By Kurt Schlosser
Zach Galifianakis warned Brian Williams that viewers would turn off a long interview piece with the actor if it aired on "Rock Center." But after watching several candid minutes with the comedian and "Hangover" star on Friday night, it was hard not to be left wanting more.
Galifianakis, the bearded comic turned reluctant big-time star, opened up to Williams about more than just the buddy-movie trilogy that has made his extended Greek moniker a household name.
They talked about life on the North Carolina farm where Galifianakis, 43, and his wife Quinn Lundberg spend part of each year. "I have donkeys. I have blueberries," Galifianakis said. "But enough about your Brooklyn apartment," Williams countered. "I asked about North Carolina."
Cue the whistling: Galifianakis says a 6th grade visit from the man behind the iconic theme song of "The Andy Griffith Show" convinced him he should go into show business. "I remember being affected by that whistler, thinking I could maybe try to do something like that with my life. Not whistling ... but telling diarrhea jokes."
But it's no joke that life at home on the farm has framed Galifianakis' view of Hollywood and all that comes with being a celebrity. "It's not for me. I'm not into that scene," he said. "It's so stupid. It's all so dumb. It's so weird to me."
And for a man with the last name Galifianakis, there's a punchline waiting in the wings. "If I've always wanted to have my name up in lights I would have changed it to Don't Walk." Nod. Wink. Cheers.
Starring roles on television aside, it's the "Hangover" movies which did put Galifianakis' name in lights. Alan -- the portly, man-purse carrying sidekick to Bradley Cooper's Phil and Ed Helms' Stu -- is back in theaters May 23 in the third and final movie.
And any interview with Galifianakis wouldn't be complete without actually being interviewed with ferns for a backdrop, something he's turned into comedic art with his fake Internet talk show "Between Two Ferns." Williams brought the two ferns to the interview and Galifianakis was game for a lengthy chat among the plants.
"This is the longest conversation I've had with anyone in, like, seven years," Galifianakis said, contradicting his earlier directive to Williams to "do a couple of jokes and then get out."