Need a feel-good story to break up the flood of horrifying tornado news? This should do the trick: Zach Galifianakis’s date to yesterday’s premiere of The Hangover Part III was Elizabeth “Mimi” Haist, a formerly homeless octogenarian whom the comedian has been helping to support for the past two years.
Galifianakis first met 87-year-old Haist nearly 20 years ago — long before he was famous. According to the Daily News, she worked at his local laundromat, and over time, the two struck up a friendship. After the massive success of The Hangover in 2009, Galifianakis stopped going to the laundromat — “Maybe he has his own washer and dryer now,” Haist told the Daily News — but he never forgot about Mimi.
And when Galifianakis learned in 2011 that Haist had slipped into homelessness, he found her a one-bedroom apartment and began paying for her rent and utilities. The star also enlisted his friend Renee Zellweger to furnish Haist’s new apartment and buy her groceries.
Since he and Haist reconnected, Galifianakis hasn’t just been supporting her — he’s also been bringing her to one movie premiere every year, starting with The Hangover Part II (2011) and The Campaign (2012). (Something tells me that Galifianakis’s wife, charity vice president Quinn Lundberg, doesn’t mind.) Here’s a clip of the two of them together at Mimi’s very first premiere:
“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,” Haist told the Daily News describing her experiences on Galifianakis’s arm. “Afterwards, they have a party at somewhere close by and you meet the stars. I drink lemon drop martinis with Grey Goose vodka.”
All together now: Awwww.