Made his stage debut freshman year of high school in a community theater production of Biloxi Blues.
Met his wife, Robyn Peterman, while both were performing in a touring production of Bye Bye Birdie in 1991. She is the daughter of J. Peterman, a catalog founder and inspiration for the Seinfeld character of the same name.
Ben Stiller cast him in Reality Bites (1994) after seeing his performance in the 1993 off-Broadway play Sophistry (also starring Ethan Hawke).
Gained 20 lbs. for Employee of the Month (2004). Ironically, his next role, as a treasure hunter in Sahara (2005), required him to be in excellent physical shape.
Is an avid fly-fisherman.
His endearingly quirky role as Davis in the HBO drama Treme is punctuated by his musical contributions, which include the left-wing political song "Shame, Shame, Shame."
1999, Sundance Film Festival — Special Jury Prize for Comedic Performance (Dramatic): Winner
2013, Screen Actors Guild Awards — Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture: Nominee
2008, Independent Spirit Awards — Best Supporting Male: Nominee
2000, Independent Spirit Awards — Best Supporting Male: Winner
2016, Screen Actors Guild Awards — Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture: Nominee
Audrey Claie Zahn — Daughter
Robyn Peterman — Wife
Henry James Zahn — Son
Attended Gustavus Adolphus College, St. Peter, Minnesota, United States; attended American Repertory Theatre, Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States