Zach Galifianakis may not have reached mainstream stardom until he was nearly 40, but as a couple videos that recently surfaced on YouTube prove, his desire to act on camera has been with him since he was a skinny, clean-shaven kid living in Brooklyn in the early '90s.
The videos, posted by YouTube user yumpladukfoo who also calls himself "Big Al Roman" in the video descriptions, claimed that he made a few short films with Galifianakis while the filmmaker was enrolled at The New School in New York City.
The first short film, posted above and entitled "Me and My Goatee, or: How I Stop [sic] Worrying And Learned To Love WIlliamsburg," claims to be the first student film that Galifianakis appeared in, and seems to accidentally predict his career early on. The future "Hangover" star, then in his early twenties, plays a wannabe Brooklyn hipster who's unwelcome at a coffeeshop -- until he grows facial hair and is immediately granted entrance. In a case of life imitating art, it wasn't until Zach grew his signature bushy beard that national audiences started paying attention to him.
In the second one, "A One Way Ticket To Palookaville," Galifianakis plays The Boxer, and spends the duration of the short film sitting in his messy apartment and flexing on the Williamsburg Waterfront. Images of a young, shirtless Galifianakis may surprise anyone who's curious what a couple decades can do to a torso.
For what it's worth, the director of these videos appears to still follow his old friend's career closely, but makes it a point to note in YouTube comments on other Galifianakis videos that he's not a fan of the movie roles that have made the actor famous. "I happen to enjoy Zach's work onstage....but not on film," he said in one comment.
As Galifianakis has been hitting the stand-up circuit since he moved to New York City in the early '90s, videos surface every so often of Zach as a young man. Here's a video of him performing stand-up in 1999 in West Hollywood.