Louis CK Crashes Zach Galifianakis & Brad Pitt’s Very Awkward Interview

Appar­ent­ly, the bad part about scor­ing an inter­view with the Pres­i­dent is it kind of makes you blasé for sit­ting down with any­body else. Not that Zach Gal­i­fi­anakis of Between Two Ferns deserved his tete-a-tete with Oba­ma, or for that mat­ter Bart Pit … Bradley Pitts … Brad Pitt, star of 2013’s 12 Years a Salve (sic).

(The Onion’s fic­tion­al “Out­side Scoop” enter­tain­ment colum­nist, Jack­ie Har­vey, has noth­ing on the almost-as-fic­tion­al Gal­i­fi­anakis when it comes to mur­der­ing names)

Yes, this inter­view­er is pet­ty, com­bat­ive, and utter­ly lack­ing in grace, but his inter­vie­wee, the celebri­ty who turns stone-faced and sullen almost imme­di­ate­ly is no prize either.

Everyone’s mis­er­able, even come­di­an Louis CK, whom Gal­i­fi­anakis sum­mons with a few bars of his pop­u­lar sitcom’s theme song. Moods seem on the verge of lift­ing when Gal­i­fi­anakis brings up Pitts’ star­ring role in “Ben­jamin But­tons,” but it doesn’t last. Inevitably, there are ref­er­ences to Pitt’s famous wife, as well as his ex, an ear­li­er Between Two Ferns guest. (She’s no Tila Tequi­la…)

This is a dif­fer­ent dynam­ic than the one Borat shared with cer­tain incred­u­lous, intel­li­gent sub­jects. It’s a giv­en that Pitt’s in on the joke. And it would seem that both gen­tle­men have some­thing they’d like to get across regard­ing the dirty busi­ness of celebri­ty inter­views.

Jour­nal­ist Jan­ice Turn­er, took a sim­i­lar posi­tion when she wrote of her night­mar­ish 2013 inter­view with actor Rhys Ifans for the Lon­don Times:

The game is you lis­ten polite­ly while they plug their film, bang on about their ‘method’, the bril­liance of their co-stars and direc­tors etc. Then in return you hope they will offer up — with­out you hav­ing to prod and pester like some celebri­ty stalk­er — the tini­est nugget of anec­dote, a shard of light upon their real selves.

Because they hate the game too, and par­tic­u­lar­ly since it is main­ly con­duct­ed in hotel suites, you feel as if you’re engaged in an odd form of pros­ti­tu­tion, one where it remains unclear who is the hook­er and who the john.

Her per­spec­tive brings a cer­tain puri­ty to the Gal­i­fi­anakis-Pitt Ferns stand-off. Cer­tain­ly, nei­ther of them is play­ing the game.

If you want to learn how to con­duct a hor­ri­ble inter­view, watch Gal­i­fi­anakis.

If you want tips on how to make it worse, watch Pitt.

And if you want to be a movie star, seek ways to laugh at your­self with­out break­ing char­ac­ter.

Relat­ed Con­tent:

An Awkward/NSFW Inter­view with Nir­vana Pro­duc­er Steve Albi­ni (Plus B‑52 Front­man Fred Schnei­der)

Hear Bob Dylan’s Unedit­ed & Bewil­der­ing Inter­view With Nat Hentoff for Play­boy Mag­a­zine (1965)

The Sur­re­al Short Films of Louis C.K., 1993–1999

Watch Frank Zap­pa Play Michael Nesmith on The Mon­kees (1967)

Ayun Hal­l­i­day is the cre­ator of The Mermaid’s Legs, a trau­ma-filled Hans Chris­t­ian Ander­sen reboot play­ing this week in NYC. See it! And fol­low her @AyunHalliday

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