Between Two Ferns With Zach Galifianakis

Zach Galifianakis' Between Two Ferns brilliantly balances obnoxiousness and hilarity as the offensive comedian interviews the Hollywood's biggest stars

The Hangover star Zach Galifianakis hilariously flips the talk-show genre on its ear

Before Zach Galifianakis entered the realm of comedy superstardom via his turn as the decidedly peculiar Alan in The Hangover, he had already earned a significant cult following for his equally unconventional take on stand-up comedy.

These eccentric sensibilities have remained intact for Galifianakis’s web series, Between Two Ferns, in which he conducts incredibly passive-aggressive interviews with some of entertainment’s biggest names while seemingly working on a budget not significantly higher than that of your average cable-access show.

Between Two Ferns Brings Out the Stars

Ah, but you’re concerned that there’s some hyperbole going on with the use of the old “entertainment’s biggest names” cliché. Well, fair enough, but consider that, since starting the series in 2008, those who have deigned to take a seat between the ferns include Natalie Portman, Michael Cera, Steve Carell, Bradley Cooper, Charlize Theron, Jennifer Aniston, Ben Stiller, Jon Hamm, Sean Penn and Bruce Willis.

The most impressive thing about Galifianakis’s guests, however, is their willingness to suffer through his perpetual abuse and mockery.

Granted, the tension that builds during the interviews with Carell and Stiller is almost certainly a case of two comedians riffing back and forth, but it’s sometimes a little harder to tell with guys like Penn and Willis. (In particular, the latter seems legitimately testy when asked questions like, “When you were making The Whole Ten Yards, were you ever worried that it would be too good?” or “Did you know that some actors turn down roles?”)

In an interview with ABC News Now, Galifianakis explained that Between Two Ferns was inspired by the sycophantic nature of the Hollywood machine (“It’s fun to make fun of”) and his appreciation of inappropriate humour.

Will his web series prove too inappropriate for your personal tastes? Perhaps, but given the star power of his guests, you should at least give it a shot.

Originally published in TVW. For daily programming updates and on-screen Entertainment news, subscribe to the free TVW e-newsletters, or purchase a subscription to the weekly magazine.