When Locke labeled Zach Galifianakis as an “Up-and-comer” in his piece last summer about “That Funny Guys,” mainstream moviegoing audiences had only been introduced to the offbeat comedian three months earlier in The Hangover. Fast-forward one year, and now you’d be hard pressed to find a film-lover who doesn’t know who the bearded funnyman is (even though the majority of people still might not be able to correctly spell or pronounce his last name… poor guy).
Anyone remaining who isn’t familiar with Zach G. will have that situation remedied by the end of 2010. In early May, he delivered what I felt was the best opening monologue of the entire Saturday Night Live season (yeah, Betty White, I said it!). At the end of this month he’s starring alongside Paul Rudd and Steve Carell in Dinner for Schmucks. As you might remember, I’m cautiously optimistic about that one, based on its trailer.
Then in the fall he’ll be showing off his dramatic skillz in the adaptation of Ned Vizzini’s “It’s Kind of a Funny Story.” (It’s OK if you immediately thought of the Sicilian mastermind from The Princess Bride when you read that last sentence. I thought of him when I wrote it!) I’m loving its preview:
My favorite part was the “One, zip” at the very end. Awesome. Unfortunately, as of right now, It’s Kind of a Funny Story is only scheduled for a limited release, beginning on September 24.
A month and a half later, Zach will return to his sweet spot in the road-trip comedy Due Date.
Truth: I almost spit out my tea at the very end when Zach was all, “You better check yourself, before you wreck yourself.” The look on his face was priceless. I just don’t see how this movie can be anything short of fantastic. Downey Jr., Galifianakis and Jamie Foxx? And it’s directed by The Hangover/Old School‘s Todd Phillips? Hello, I’m sold. I also have a hunch that for once this is one of those trailers that does not give away the best parts of the film. It’s gonna be a loooong wait ’til November 5.
On top of all that, he’s in FOUR — count ‘em four — movies that are currently in redbox kiosks. There is no escaping The Galifianakis. Don’t even try. If you want to celebrate his facial hair and pot belly and much-deserved success, you can catch him in:
Youth in Revolt, as Michael Cera’s mom’s gross boyfriend.
Up in the Air, as a disgruntled employee given very bad news by one George Clooney.
G-Force, as the human helper of super-spy guinea pigs
and, of course,
The Hangover, as the dimwitted Alan.
I just realized that Zach might be my favorite comedian out there right now. Sorry, Will Ferrell. Maybe you’ll regain your #1 spot if The Other Guys kicks butt.