Face Off: Seth Rogen vs. Zach Galifianakis

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.)
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)
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
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"
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
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 déjà 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!"
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
$2.35 billion (not counting cameo appearances)
$2.5 billion (not counting cameo appearances)
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?



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