Zach Galifianakis Takes on the World (as a Professional Clown) in Baskets

Gregory E. Miller
BASKETS -- Pictured: (L-R) Zach Galifianakis as Baskets. CR: Ben Cohen/FX
FX

Excusez-moi, but if you were imagining that Zach Galifianakis’s new show would be The Hangover: The TV Series, he has une surprise for you. In the dark comedy Baskets, the actor and comedian stars as Chip Baskets, a classically trained clown in the French tradition who—broke and seemingly left with no other options—must degrade his beloved craft by taking a job as a rodeo clown in Bakersfield, California.

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Executive producer Jonathan Krisel says the series, which he created with Louis C.K. and its star, is more in line with Galifianakis’s restrained acting work in the Oscar-winning Birdman than the trilogy that made him a household (albeit somewhat unspellable) name. Krisel calls this turmoil-centric show “a slapstick drama.”

“He’s a guy trying to be a clown, and he’s not very good at it, but in his real life, his pants are falling down, things are crashing,” Krisel says. “If you are a clown, that’s a nightmare because it’s not fun to break things in the real world. It’s actually a tragedy.”

Baskets Thursday, Jan. 21  Series premiere, 10/9c, FX

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