On his DVD Live at the Purple Onion, Zach Galifianakis blames his lack of celebrity on the fact that he was passed over for Kangaroo Jack: “That would have been my ticket out!” Without a featured role, the deadpan comic has thrived as an alt-comedy star and master of the icky-funny cameo (rapping for Kanye West, homeless with Sarah Silverman)—while waiting for his big break. Well, here it is: The Hangover, a bachelor-party comedy from Old School’s Todd Phillips, has buzz so strong that Warner Bros. has already greenlit a sequel. Galifianakis spoke with Logan Hill.
Congratulations on The Hangover 2.
Like everything else in my life, it could be a major disappointment.
You don’t strike me as a bachelor-party dude.
It’s not my thing.
You didn’t go out much in Vegas?
I did rent one of those Rascals—those things that old people or obese people use to get around. They’re big in Vegas because we’re all just fat and lazy. I wore nothing but a robe and sunglasses and went around the entire town. But most nights, I found myself back in my hotel watching a Lifetime movie. That’s more of my scene.
Your character doesn’t seem to belong in a broad comedy like this, either.
I think he was the guy who would carry records for a D.J. at raves in the early nineties. He was a normal, likable guy, but then the bad part of the drugs sort of stayed in his brain. And he never bought clothes since then.
Some of the stuff, like alluding to the fact that he can’t be around children, I improvised.
Why can’t he be around kids?
To me, it was never a sexual or malicious thing. It’s just that no adult really wants to hang out with him, so he could end up spending a questionably creepy amount of time with kids.
You wear a Baby Björn for much of the movie. Did you base that part of your character on your neighbors in Brooklyn?
Yeah, but not a lot of guys in Brooklyn have a black eye while wearing the baby carrier, as I do.
He’s a bad babysitter.
As far as the inappropriate baby scene goes? Well, we were waiting around, and I just took the fake baby’s arm and acted like it was jerking itself off. That’s all. Todd was like, “We’ve got to put that in the movie.” And he walked over to the mother and asked her if it was okay.
The mother said yes?
Yeah. Now my nightmare is that fifteen years from now, I’ll be in some airport and some guy will be like “Uh, you were in The Hangover?” “Uh, yeah … ” “Well, I’m that kid you jerked off. You ruined my life.”