‘The Simpsons’ Makes Zach Galifianakis Proud to Be An American

Galifianakis would also like you to know that Prince was born here
‘The Simpsons’ Makes Zach Galifianakis Proud to Be An American

Are you one of those fans who believes The Simpsons hasn’t been any good since Season Nine? Zach Galifianakis begs to differ. “I’m always pleasantly surprised at how much that show can still make me gut laugh,” he told The New York Times while promoting his new movie The Beanie Bubble. (NYT confirms that this phone conversation was in the can before the SAG strike.) “There’s not many shows like that. Shows like The Simpsons, and the fact that Prince was from America, that just makes me proud to be an American.”

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Galifianakis got to express his patriotism in Season 25 when he voiced Luca$ (pronounced Luca-dollar) Bortner, an overweight kid who longs to become a competitive eater. Lisa momentarily finds herself attracted to Luca$ before realizing “He’s just Ralph with a dream.”

A.V. Club gave Galifianakis credit for not simply playing Zach Galifianakis but lamented that the character didn’t give him much to do. “Unfortunately, his character isn’t particularly well-drawn or funny,” said the review, “coming off like a poor man’s Gene Belcher.” 

The New York Times conversation with Galifianakis rambles on from there, hopping from topic to topic like an ill-prepared Between Two Ferns host who dropped his index cards before the interview. Here are a few more of Galifianakis’ comedy-adjacent observations:

  • His comedy heroes were his cousins. “The way (my family) communicates is through humor,” he says. “It’s as basic as: I enjoyed the sound of people laughing.” That meant Galifianakis’s early comedy training involved skits at family reunions and dressing up his sister as the Ayatollah Khomeini.
  • He writes jokes on a tractor. “I’ve had a tractor for a number of years. It’s where I do most of my thinking about standup — specifically joke-writing. It lets me sit there and numb out and think about jokes I’ve done and try to add to them.”
  • His biggest problem with social media is that it’s criminally boring. “I’ll hear people say: You should see what I just tweeted out. As soon as I hear ‘Twitter,’ my face glazes over. For somebody like me, I have to observe. I need to see the small spaces in life as an actor, as someone that tries to make people laugh. I’m not going to get that from Twitter. But, look: I’m 53. I’m old. I’m out of the loop. Nobody should listen to me.”
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