Zach Galifianakis: The Life and Career of the One-Man Wolf Pack

He’s an unpredictable comedian who has come to dub himself the leading member of a one-man wolf pack. Born on October 1st, 1969 in Wilkesboro, North Carolina, he developed a flair for bizarre comedy while he was still a student. Experiencing a nervous breakdown early on, he moved to New York City, where he tried his hand at stand-up comedy. Following this success, he headed over to Los Angeles to audition for television. Landing several roles, and given his own show, he came to regularly provoke controversy. However, it was his presence on the internet and the ensemble comedy "The Hangover" that launched him into superstardom. Join WatchMojo.com as we take a look at the life and career of comedian and actor Zach Galifianakis.
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Zach Galifianakis: The Life and Career of the One-Man Wolf Pack

He’s an unpredictable comedian who has come to dub himself the leading member of a one-man wolf pack. Welcome to WatchMojo.com and today we’ll be taking a look at the career of actor Zach Galifianakis.

Born on October 1st, 1969 in Wikesboro, North Carolina, he is the son of a heating oil vender, and the head of a community center for the arts.

Developing a flair for bizarre comedy while he was still a student in high school, he went on to study communications at North Carolina State University. However, he dropped out at 23 years old after he experienced a nervous breakdown.

With no plans, he moved to New York City, where he took up acting lessons and supported himself with a series of dead end jobs, including working as a busboy at a strip club.

A few years later, he met a stand-up comedian and was inspired to bring his weird sense of comedy to the stage. Debuting at Hamburger Harry’s in Times Square, he later devoted all of his free time to developing his act and found his own form of conceptual humor, which included extreme awkwardness, and random outbursts of rage.

In 1997, Zach decided to move to Los Angeles to pursue a career in television. Soon enough, he landed the part of a stoner on the short-lived sitcom “Boston Common”, before playing an eccentric coroner on “Tru Calling.”

At the same time, he appeared in several small films, such as 2001’s “Heartbreakers”, while hosting his own show “Late World with Zach.” Unfortunately, his shocking anything-goes marijuana-fuelled talk show threatened to end his career before it could take off.

Due to this, it was only 2005 that his career began to recover. This resulted from recording his cross-country comedy tour with several other talents for the documentary “The Comedians of Comedy.”

Zach then returned to quirkier projects. These included becoming a semi-regular on the show “Reno 911!”, and co-hosting the short-lived mock news program “Dog Bites Man.”

Interestingly, his most popular project yet turned out to be a series of short internet movies for Absolut Vodka. In the shorts, Zach wore a beehive wig, guzzled booze and picked fights. At the same time, his program “Between Two Ferns with Zach Galifianakis” premiered on Will Farrell’s online comedy site “Funny or Die.” Similarly going viral, it presented audiences with a purposely-awkward five-minute talk show, in which he attempted to interview confused celebrities between two potted plants.

Becoming an Internet sensation, Zach went on to conquer the box office when he co-starred with Bradley Cooper in 2009’s smash hit comedy “The Hangover.” There, the comedian’s unique brand of oddball humor perfectly brought to life his role as a whacked out brother-in-law.

2009 saw the actor make several other film appearances. before he returned to television as a comic book artist in the series “Bored to Death.”

Zach then appeared as bizarre self-proclaimed psychic, opposite Steve Carell, in “Dinner for Schmucks”, and as Robert Downey Jr.’s mismatched travel companion in “Due Date.”

Continuing to push the boundaries of comedy, he once again shocked audiences when he lit up a joint on live television, and tried passing it to the other guests on “Real Time with Bill Maher.”

In 2011, he returned to co-star in the fast-tracked sequel to “The Hangover”, this time sporting a shaved head and a monkey for a companion.

Originally an underground comedian, this bizarre bearded talent has gone on to garner mainstream attention, as well a dedicated following, for bringing countless awkward laughs to bewildered audiences around the world.
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