Zach Galifianakis is an enigma. His onstage persona is shuffling and silly one minute and bold and clever the next. His jokes are well thought out, exquisitely crafted one-liners followed by off-the-cuff self-deprecating remarks, all strung together with soothing piano music and random character impressions. His stand-up is like performance art, except funny on purpose and not at all pretentious. It's genius and retarded at the same time, like watching Einstein make fart noises with his armpits. You may recognize Galifianakis (GAL-IF-a-nakis) as the most bearded member of the Comedians of Comedy (he describes his look as "a young Santa Claus") or the least heinous star of the snowboarding movie Out Cold. Both Fiona Apple and Kanye West appear to be fans, as they've released videos with Galifianakis lip-syncing their songs ("Not About Love" and "Can't Tell Me Nothin'," respectively). The native North Carolinian recently released a stand-up DVD, Live at the Purple Onion, which combines his live performance with pre-taped skits and bits of road trip footage. Like Galifianakis himself, it's smart, original, odd, messy and fucking hilarious. Zach Galifianakis performs 7:30 p.m. Saturday at the Lakewood Theater, 1825 Abrams Parkway. Tickets are $22.50. Call 214-821-7469 or visit lakewoodtheater.com.
Sat., Dec. 15, 7:30 p.m., 2007