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Face Off: Seth Rogen vs. Zach Galifianakis

05.08.2014by: Dave Davis
Last week's Face-Off column put a couple of Spider-Man's iconic villains (specifically the versions from Sam Raimi's movies) against each other, and you were almost split down the middle between Green Goblin and Doctor Octopus.

This weekend has funnyman Seth Rogen as the adult dealing with rowdy youngsters in the R-rated comedy NEIGHBORS. How would Rogen hold up against Zach Galifianakis, another hirsute funnyman with a stand-up comedy background and a penchant for narcotics?

(Please note: Face Off is an opinion column. We're not using any actual science to prove or disprove anything. It's just for fun.)
EARLY WORK
Rogen got recruited into the Judd Apatow gang at a young age with a role on short-lived cult fave show "Freaks and Geeks" (and the under-appreciated "Undeclared"), and also menaced Jake Gyllenhaal as a high-school bully in DONNIE DARKO
After appearing as a stoner on the barely seen TV show "Boston Common", Galifianakis appeared in minor roles in movies like BUBBLE BOY and CORKY ROMANO before partying with snowboarders in the cult comedy OUT COLD and playing "Weird Wally" in the supernatural submarine thriller BELOW (from Darren Aronofsky and PITCH BLACK director David Twohy)
BREAKTHROUGH
Although he stole scenes as a supporting character in THE 40-YEAR-OLD VIRGIN, it was Rogen's leading role in the Apatow hit KNOCKED UP (which spawned the Rogenless spinoff/sequel THIS IS 40) that shoved him into the mainstream
Galifianakis' social misfit Alan was the catalyst for the memory-loss chaos of the smash THE HANGOVER, which launched two sequels of similar drug-and-booze fueled amnesia antics
VOICE WORK
Rogen clearly enjoys offering his distinctive voice (and laugh) to animated projects -- he's provided his voice to roles in SHREK THE THIRD, THE SPIDERWICK CHRONICLES, two KUNG FU PANDA movies, MONSTERS VS. ALIENS (and its made-for-TV specials), HORTON HEARS A WHO! and episodes of "Family Guy" and "The Simpsons", and he played the titular CG extraterrestrial in PAUL
Galifianakis played the CG version of Humpty Dumpty in the SHREK spinoff/prequel PUSS IN BOOTS, and has loaned his voice to episodes of "American Dad!" and "Bob's Burgers"
GETTING SERIOUS
Rogen tends to be more on the comedy side when he appears in comedy-dramas like 50/50, TAKE THIS WALTZ, THE GUILT TRIP and FUNNY PEOPLE, but the bipolar mall-cop movie OBSERVE AND REPORT gets pretty black
IT'S KIND OF A FUNNY STORY is actually rather serious, as it turns out. Galifianakis also straight-played a morgue mentor on the Eliza Dushku TV series "Tru Calling", had a small role in the excellent INTO THE WILD, and got shitcanned by George Clooney in UP IN THE AIR
VARIOUS HIGHS & LOWS
After the clunker comedy YOU ME & DUPREE, Rogen followed his KNOCKED UP success with appearances in SUPERBAD, STEP BROTHERS, Kevin Smith's ZACK AND MIRI MAKE A PORNO, FANBOYS and the great weed action-comedy PINEAPPLE EXPRESS before stumbling with the oddball superhero attempt THE GREEN HORNET. He got back to business by rounding up (and making fun of) his buddies for the apocalypse in last summer's hit THIS IS THE END
THE HANGOVER deservedly brought Galifianakis to attention, but the two sequels just felt like headache-inducing dj vu grinds. The remake DINNER FOR SCHMUCKS and his pairings with Will Ferrell and Robert Downey Jr. in THE CAMPAIGN and DUE DATE offered a few laughs but felt more like missed opportunities and not the sum of their parts (nor was the familiar-face-filled but flat action-comedy OPERATION: ENDGAME). Other than training the spy critters of G-FORCE, he's also co-starred with Jason Schwartzman on HBO's detective series "Bored to Death", and has popped several times up on "Reno 911!" and "Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!"
OTHER ACTIVITIES
Between trying to raise awareness for Alzheimer's disease (and marijuana, obviously), Rogen has spent plenty of time writing -- he co-wrote SUPERBAD, PINEAPPLE EXPRESS, THIS IS THE END, THE GREEN HORNET and an episode of "The Simpsons", and worked on Sacha Baron Cohen's satire series "Da Ali G Show"
Galifianakis can often be seen sitting "Between Two Ferns" as the host of the webseries, subjecting guests such as Bruce Willis, Samuel L. Jackson and Barack Obama to uncomfortable interviews
BOX OFFICE
$2.35 billion (not counting cameo appearances)
$2.5 billion (not counting cameo appearances)
SETH ROGEN
As far as overall box office, even Rogen's prolific voice work in global blockbusters like KUNG FU PANDA isn't enough to boost him beyond Galifianakis' HANGOVER trilogy, which has scored a combined $1.4 billion worldwide. Both actors excel at extracting chuckles from uncomfortable situations, and each capably balances mainstream (if raunchy) comedy with more experimental material. Zach has the edge when it comes to righteous beard growth, but Rogen's infectious goofiness is ultimately just more accessible and enjoyable than Galifianakis' quirky wide-eyed misfits.

Agree? Disagree? Which do you prefer?
POST YOUR CHOICE BELOW!

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6:52AM on 05/09/2014
Huh...honestly thought these were the same guy until this article...fat, bearded, not funny...
Huh...honestly thought these were the same guy until this article...fat, bearded, not funny...
Your Reply:



5:45AM on 05/09/2014
I think the fact that Rogen called Justin Bieber a dick on his twitter account is enough for me to be persuaded that Seth wins.
I think the fact that Rogen called Justin Bieber a dick on his twitter account is enough for me to be persuaded that Seth wins.
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5:19AM on 05/09/2014
Sorry Zach but Seth wins.
IF YOU HAVE NOT SEEN THE LEAGUE S04E04 then jump on that, it's some of Seth Rogens best comedic acting of his career, a complete standalone episode featuring Seth Rogen as the star!!! Check it out it's truly a must see.
Sorry Zach but Seth wins.
IF YOU HAVE NOT SEEN THE LEAGUE S04E04 then jump on that, it's some of Seth Rogens best comedic acting of his career, a complete standalone episode featuring Seth Rogen as the star!!! Check it out it's truly a must see.
Your Reply:



10:30PM on 05/08/2014
Zach wins for me.
Zach wins for me.
Your Reply:



9:18PM on 05/08/2014

Rogen for sure.

I like Zach, but I always feel like his comedy depends on the versatility of the people he's playing with. Even on Between Two Ferns. He's really funny when his group is funny, and he seems bland when his co-stars aren't that funny. Seth Rogen, on the other hand, is always an independent comedian. He can be in a middle of a shitty movie and still stand out as the best thing about that film.
I like Zach, but I always feel like his comedy depends on the versatility of the people he's playing with. Even on Between Two Ferns. He's really funny when his group is funny, and he seems bland when his co-stars aren't that funny. Seth Rogen, on the other hand, is always an independent comedian. He can be in a middle of a shitty movie and still stand out as the best thing about that film.
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6:01PM on 05/08/2014
Seth is the easy choice for me. Not only do I think hes better at comedy, but hes got a good grasp on more serious/dramatic work as well, based on the underrated 50/50 screenplay he co-wrote. Hes one of my favorite comedic actors right now.
Seth is the easy choice for me. Not only do I think hes better at comedy, but hes got a good grasp on more serious/dramatic work as well, based on the underrated 50/50 screenplay he co-wrote. Hes one of my favorite comedic actors right now.
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5:18PM on 05/08/2014

Zack wins for me because

Funyons and fugees. Seth is Galifianakis is pure gold.
Funyons and fugees. Seth is Galifianakis is pure gold.
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3:47PM on 05/08/2014

Holy s***!

That was Zach Galifianakis in Tru Calling??!? Sweet, I loved that show!
That was Zach Galifianakis in Tru Calling??!? Sweet, I loved that show!
Your Reply:



3:34PM on 05/08/2014

Rogen

Rogen FTW!
Rogen FTW!
Your Reply:



2:13PM on 05/08/2014
I like both actors a lot. But...

"No regrets, that's my motto. That and everybody Wang Chung tonight."
I like both actors a lot. But...

"No regrets, that's my motto. That and everybody Wang Chung tonight."
Your Reply:



+0
2:06PM on 05/08/2014

Seth.

He has more variety and can play drama. Zach's shtick can get annoying after a while, specially when he has more protagonism. The one time he tried to mix things up it didn't work for me (THE CAMPAIGN).
He has more variety and can play drama. Zach's shtick can get annoying after a while, specially when he has more protagonism. The one time he tried to mix things up it didn't work for me (THE CAMPAIGN).
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+0
1:11PM on 05/08/2014

Agreed! Rogen!

Have to agree. Rogen is great. So is Galifinakis, but I think his stuff is a bit more repetitive. Plus The Hangover 2 & 3 just killed it completely for me.
Have to agree. Rogen is great. So is Galifinakis, but I think his stuff is a bit more repetitive. Plus The Hangover 2 & 3 just killed it completely for me.
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12:59PM on 05/08/2014

Rogen

I love Rogen. I know he gets a lot of hate for the fact that he seems to just be playing himself in different situations, but then again Galafianakis isn't that far removed from that degree of type-casting/niche building. The ultimate deciding factor is that Rogen appears to be a far more talented writer, with the potential to follow in Apatow's James L. Brooks-ian footsteps.
I love Rogen. I know he gets a lot of hate for the fact that he seems to just be playing himself in different situations, but then again Galafianakis isn't that far removed from that degree of type-casting/niche building. The ultimate deciding factor is that Rogen appears to be a far more talented writer, with the potential to follow in Apatow's James L. Brooks-ian footsteps.
Your Reply:



+2
12:58PM on 05/08/2014
Zach for me, if only for his piano-playing standup routines. Although I certainly wouldn't mind hanging out with either of them.
Zach for me, if only for his piano-playing standup routines. Although I certainly wouldn't mind hanging out with either of them.
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12:31PM on 05/08/2014
I can't stand either one of them personally.
I can't stand either one of them personally.
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12:17PM on 05/08/2014
I've got to give it to Rogen, a talented writer, actor, and stand-up performer. Galifianakis is also talented, but I just don't enjoy as many of his movies. If he got better roles, it might be a tie (though even then I might give it to Rogen just for the humorous quality of the screenplays he's worked on).
I've got to give it to Rogen, a talented writer, actor, and stand-up performer. Galifianakis is also talented, but I just don't enjoy as many of his movies. If he got better roles, it might be a tie (though even then I might give it to Rogen just for the humorous quality of the screenplays he's worked on).
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2:15PM on 05/08/2014
Maybe not anymore, but he's done it, and what I've heard is pretty good.
Maybe not anymore, but he's done it, and what I've heard is pretty good.
12:54PM on 05/08/2014
Rogen isn't a stand up
Rogen isn't a stand up
12:11PM on 05/08/2014

Zach

I see Galifianakis as having a humor that is completely unique. You never know what could come out of his mouth next, and I think that gives him a pretty big edge over Rogen. Plus, I know stand-up doesn't have anything to do with the big screen, but Zach's is consistently clever and funny.
I see Galifianakis as having a humor that is completely unique. You never know what could come out of his mouth next, and I think that gives him a pretty big edge over Rogen. Plus, I know stand-up doesn't have anything to do with the big screen, but Zach's is consistently clever and funny.
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11:55AM on 05/08/2014
Zach over Seth any day. The guy hosts Between Two Ferns.
Zach over Seth any day. The guy hosts Between Two Ferns.
Your Reply:



-3
11:43AM on 05/08/2014

Rogen!

I can't believe this is even a face-off. Zach is annoying and I'm glad his lead roles are done. He was playing the same character in every film. He is essentially another Jon Heder.
I can't believe this is even a face-off. Zach is annoying and I'm glad his lead roles are done. He was playing the same character in every film. He is essentially another Jon Heder.
Your Reply:



11:35AM on 05/08/2014

Seth

While I detested Green Hornet I loved Zak & Miri. Seth cracks me up while Zach just annoys me.
While I detested Green Hornet I loved Zak & Miri. Seth cracks me up while Zach just annoys me.
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11:22AM on 05/08/2014

Zach Galifianakis

Gotta give this one to Zach Galifianakis. I like his goofiness and his brand of humor more. Also, I enjoy him more in serious roles then I do when Rogen does serious roles.

Gotta give credit to Rogen's writing abilities though.
Gotta give this one to Zach Galifianakis. I like his goofiness and his brand of humor more. Also, I enjoy him more in serious roles then I do when Rogen does serious roles.

Gotta give credit to Rogen's writing abilities though.
Your Reply:



11:09AM on 05/08/2014
I think even though Rogen seems to be playing himself all the time, but I think he's more versatile than Galifianakis. "Versatile" probably isn't the right word, but you know what I'm getting at.
I think even though Rogen seems to be playing himself all the time, but I think he's more versatile than Galifianakis. "Versatile" probably isn't the right word, but you know what I'm getting at.
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