Zach Galifianakis, he of the Hangover Trilogy and the popular YouTube Channel, Between Two Ferns asks a homeless lady to attend the Hangover 3 premiere with him. What? But, and here is where it gets you right there, this is not the first time he’s asked her to attend a premiere with him.
It is a story that will bring an involuntary, “Awwww,” springing from your mouth the minute you hear it. Zach has asked the lady to several premieres. Why? Well, because they are friends.
The backstory on these two pals, is heartwarming and says a whole lot more about Galifianakis than his acting and his hysterically funny Between Two Ferns.
Turns out that years ago, twenty of them actually, Zach was a young actor struggling to start his career in LA and like many young folks just starting out, he used the local laundromat on a weekly basis. He met the “homeless” lady there.
Her name is Mimi and she lived in the laundromat and the two clicked and became friends. Zach would visit with her each week until he finally got his “big break” with the runaway success of the first Hangover film. He didn’t need to use the Laundromat anymore, but good friend that he was, he still stopped by now and then to visit his old pal Mimi.
Then he learned that Mimi wasn’t living in the laundromat anymore and had become homeless. Zach immediately got her a one bedroom apartment in Santa Monica and took over paying her bills. The 87 year-old friend of Galifianakis has a home for life. Zach’s best girl Renee Zellweger also gets an “Awwwww,” moment because she helps Zach to look after Mimi.
She has helped Mimi to decorate the apartment and often brings her groceries to make sure the elderly woman always has food in her fridge. But Galifianakis does more than just foot Mimi’s bills, he often takes her to his film premieres.
On Tuesday, the actor escorted his 87-year-old friend down the red carpet at “The Hangover III” premiere. Mimi told the NY Daily News that, “If he’s in town, he takes me. Otherwise he lets me take a friend. I dress up nice and a friend helps me with my makeup. It’s fun, not something I’ve ever dreamed I’d experience. The limo takes me home afterwards.”
Mimi has become so popular that filmmaker Yaniv Rokah has started a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for a documentary about the former laundromat tenant. The campaign has a goal of $18,000 but has already raised nearly $25,000.
I have to admit to being impressed by this man’s unselfish gesture. Sure Zach likes to be funny and play the clown, didn’t everyone see him crawl in the trunk (boot) of that car at the premiere? Then on his Between Two Ferns he borders on comic genius. But the real worth of a man, or a woman for that matter, is shown by their actions toward their fellow Homo Sapiens on the planet.
I don’t know if you could call Zach Galifianakis his brother’s keeper, but he is definitely one person’s guardian angel and can stand tall as a true friend and that counts for more than a film career or box office receipts.
But you don’t have to believe me, just ask Mimi. I’m sure that she’d agree.
By Michael Smith