Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Happy Birthday Janeane (Garofalo)!

Happy birthday wishes go out this morning for one of my favorite actresses, comedians, and people in general, a true American treasure, Ms. Janeane Garofalo!
Janeane was born in New Jersey, just like my lovely case manager, Erin (perhaps they know each other). Her parents both worked for the oil industry, her mom of Irish decent, and her dad Italian. Apparently the family traveled a lot, and she grew up in Ontario, California (due east of Los Angeles), Madison, New Jersey, and Katy (no relation to Perry), Texas, where she graduated from high school. She studied history at Providence College in Rhode Island, and while there entered a comedy talent show sponsored by the Showtime cable television network, and became a stand up comic after graduating with degrees in history and American studies.
Janeane continued her stand up work throughout the late 80s, often appearing "disheveled with thick black glasses and unkempt hair," making fun of herself, woman's role in society, and body image. She's stated that she really doesn't tell jokes per se, but relates observations that are funny (similar to the way I write, I believe). I can remember one routine of hers where she couldn't understand, "Why guys always say they're after a piece of ass? A piece. Why don't they ever want the whole thing?"
Good question.
She says she sort of has a pessimistic outlook, stating, "I guess I just prefer to see the dark side of things. The glass is always half empty. And cracked. And I just cut my lip on it. And chipped a tooth."
She moved on to acting, and appeared in the cast of her friend Ben Stiller's "The Ben Stiller Show," in 1992. In 94 she broke into movies in "Reality Bites," with Winona Ryder. That year she joined the cast of Saturday Night Live for just six months, coming away from the experience "anxious and depressed," stating the show had sexist overtones, and that she had been "largely stuck in dull, secondary wife and girlfriend roles," and that the stint was "the most miserable experience of [her] life."
That year she scored a starring role alongside Uma Thurman in the film "The Truth about Cats & Dogs," which she didn't care for either, but the film was enough of a success that the writer/director Cameron Crowe offered her the female lead in "Jerry McGuire," opposite Tom Cruse. After losing weight for the part, however, she learned the part had gone to Renee Zellweger (screw you Crowe!). She turned down the role of Marla Singer in "Fight Club," as she was uncomfortable with some of the sexual content (to be quite honest with you I don't remember a whole lot of sexual content in "Fight Club").
She kept busy in television as well, appearing throughout the years in shows like "Mad About You," "Sienfeld," News Radio," "The West Wing,"Two and a Half Men," "Law and Order," and will start next year on "Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior."
Some of my favorite films she has been in are," Romy and Michelle's High School Reunion," "Dogma," "Mystery Men," and "Big Trouble." Hell, she's been on everything, and wonderful in them all.
Quite often she plays women who are smart enough to be disgusted and frustrated with the reality in which they find themselves, knowing things should be different. Check out the scene below (a favorite of Erins) compliments of Funny or Die:
Janeane is an outspoken liberal political activist, who clearly articulates her point of view regarding Right wingers, and I paraphrase: "They are selfish, self loathing, repressed, materialistic, scum." She would go on and on about it, and I would agree with her wholeheartedly, adding of course that they are sociopathic as well.
Anyway, I at one time, before I had cable television connected to my box (between 2004 and 2006), would spend my nights listening to her and Sam Seder on Air America's "The Minority Report," and I must say I miss hearing her melodious voice over the airwaves pointing out the lunacy of the Republicans, Right wing Evangelicals, Tea Baggers (they weren't around then, but if they were she would have talked about them), and everything else on a daily basis, and I have to admit that I'm secretly in love with this intelligent, witty, beautiful, sexy, right on woman, although the last I heard she likes living alone with her dogs.
In any case, all of us here at Joyce's Take have a special place in our hearts for Ms. Janeane Garofalo, and wish her continued good fortune, and an especially happy birthday (with many more!).
Happy Birthday Janeane!

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