Happy birthday, Zach Galifianakis

Hangover comedian turns a respectable 41

Who is Zach Galifianakis? Does he work at that Greek restaurant out in Long Island City which I used to patronize until I had bad swordfish? Galifianakis: that’s Greek, isn’t it? Thus my inferring that he might work in one of those multi-purpose restaurants in the surroundings of Manhattan.

No, Zach Galifianakis is a certified funny man who most recently shot up to stardom thanks to the Hangover movies. He played the sheltered, live-in son who desperately wants to make friends but plays hard-to-get at the same time. In other words, a very tortured individual and one of the rare–if not the only one–thespians alive nowadays who sports a very respectable beard (he probably belongs to one of those beard societies).

Anyway. Why did I start telling you about Galifianakis… Oh yes! Today is his birthday. Zach is turning 41 and we are wishing him the very best as a new year on this planet looms before him.

I remember first hearing about Zach Galifianakis on Youtube. He played Piano Man. The videos were shot at a comedy club and Zach G did his routine behind the piano, since he’s fluent in that instrument. He looked disheveled and in a stupor and the hook about the routine was to try and guess whether this was for real or not. Is he really (a) near-dead from a mixture of benzodiazepines and chablis or (b) is it an act? If (a) is the right answer, then we really do live in the Age of the Chemical Stupor. If it’s (b) then this young feller is a very interesting man. Acting like you’re in a stupor is deceptively easy. But between each sage observation on life (made piquant by the wry question he would always tack on at the end) Galifianakis would strike a few melodious keys to keep the thing going.

Here’s one of the videos from that period: in it, Galifianakis verbally head-butts a heckler:

Happy birthday, Zach Galifianakis.