There’s good news and good news. This fall, Netflix will turn Zach Galifianakis’ Hollywood parody talk show into a feature film, with
A few installments either aren’t listed by
Happy Holidays Edition
A very calm Samuel L. Jackson, a very smug Tobey Maguire, and all 900 members of Arcade Fire make for a loaded lineup in a perfectly silly holiday special that isn’t listed as a normal episode despite being normal length. All that really matters, though, is that it makes us laugh.
James Franco and The Lonely Island
This is an amazing Lonely Island music video perfectly wrapped around a hilarious installment of
Between Two Ferns: A Fairytale of New York
This Comedy Central special is the longest installment
Now for the official episodes.
20. Sean Penn (Ep. 10)
When this is your “worst” episode, you’re doing something right. Zach’s fictional brother Seth does get Penn to threaten his life, but for the most part the notoriously humorless Penn is let off the hook. This is the most wasted potential of any episode, even if it’s still pretty decent.
19. Conan O’Brien and Andy Richter (Ep. 7)
With these three, you’d expect this to be an all-timer, but it’s just okay as Conan does most of the heavy lifting as one of the most “sincere” guests in show history. The more Conan “bombs,” the funnier it gets, and there’s a great cameo at the end.
18. Charlize Theron (Ep. 6)
This is one of the weirdest episodes thanks to Charlize Theron’s very bizarre performance. The whole thing is strange, and not in the normal way
17. Bradley Cooper (Ep. 5)
Outside of one great segment here—a physical battle that comes at the end—
16. Jon Hamm (Ep. 3)
This is a funny episode, with a very early
15. Jennifer Aniston and Tila Tequila (Ep. 12)
This dual interview, where Jennifer Aniston is less than an afterthought to a former reality star, is consistently enjoyable throughout even if there aren’t many big laughs to be found.
14. Justin Bieber (Ep. 16)
The good: Bieber lets Galifianakis go after him for some terrible things, like Bieber’s disastrous trip to Anne Frank’s house, and it makes for a funny interview. The bad: Galifianakis carries all of the comedy and it would be even better with Bieber more involved.
13. Brad Pitt (Ep. 18)
This is another episode that gets better and better as it goes along, thanks to a very game Brad Pitt who goes from stoic to insane. Galifianakis’ line about a “Ross and Rachel” relationship is also genuinely amazing. (A cameo from Louis C.K. isn’t as much fun now as it may have been once.)
12. Barack Obama (Ep. 17)
11. Hillary Clinton (Ep. 19)
This hilarious interview with Hillary Clinton, which is far more vicious and hysterical than his one with Obama, was a lot funnier in September of 2016 when it debuted. Has time and the horrors of real life knocked it down a few spots since then? Unfortunately.
10. Michael Cera (Ep. 1)
The very first episode just cracks the top 10 thanks to a wildly inappropriate final segment that is also wildly funny. The sweet (non-
9. Natalie Portman and Her Dog (Ep. 4)
This cringe-inducing interview, where Galifianakis asks far-too-personal questions and hits on Natalie Portman, is a perfect example of how the show parodies the worst of Hollywood, and still feels way too relevant in 2019. The first half isn’t great, but his
8. Ben Stiller (Ep. 8)
This might be the most offensive episode, but it’s also one of the funniest. Stiller is amazing as a slightly confused guest who constantly tries to brush aside Galifianakis’ wholly inappropriate language and insults until he can’t handle it anymore.
7. Jimmy Kimmel (Ep. 2)
This sketch is funny from start to finish, including great bits about Kimmel dating Sarah Silverman and doing a sketch with Ben Affleck. The late show host was one of the better guests the show had. If you didn’t know any better, you would think Kimmel was genuinely unaware of what he had agreed to do, and it makes the whole interview hilarious.
6. Bruce Willis (Ep. 11)
For the first half, the host is the source of the comedy, as Bruce Willis refuses to engage. The second half, a suddenly way-too-talkative Willis carries the interview. Both are equally hilarious and this is one of the most rewatchable
5. Jerry Seinfeld and Cardi B (Ep. 20)
The most recent episode (June 14, 2018) features maybe the most perfect guest for the show, Jerry Seinfeld, who refuses to engage in any of the typical
4. Will Ferrell (Ep. 13)
Most episodes feature one weirdo and one “normal” person trying to make sense of what is happening, but Will Ferrell matches Galifianakis’ strangeness the whole time and the result is one of the best episodes ever. (Much better than their movie
3. Oscar Buzz Edition Part 2 (Ep. 15)
The second of two Oscar specials from 2013, this one starring Jessica Chastain, Sally Field, Emmanuel Lewis, and Bradley Cooper, is a strong installment that gets all the way up to number three because of Cooper’s second appearance on the show. Paying off past episodes, the two co-stars engage in one of the dumbest, funniest fights ever, and if the other segments were just as good this would easily be number one.
2. Oscar Buzz Edition Part 1 (Ep. 14)
The first of the Oscar specials, starring Jennifer Lawrence, Naomi Watts, Christoph Waltz, Anne Hathaway, and Amy Adams, proves bigger is better, as each segment lands. The highlight easily belongs to Amy Adams, who doesn’t just deliver the funniest line of the series, she delivers one of the funniest lines ever.
1. Steve Carrell (Ep. 9)
In its purest form,
But until the movie comes to Netflix on September 20, we reserve the right to change our minds about this list. Just to be safe we should probably watch them all again. And again.