Wednesday, July 17th, 2013

The Unfair Marginalization of Janeane Garofalo

Before we start, let me say that I know there are many that will take issue with Janeane Garofalo’s inclusion in this series and understandably so. She is, after all, one of the architects of the so-called “alternative comedy” movement and despite a lower profile compared to her 1990s heyday, still commands quite a bit of respect from the comedy community and continues to perform throughout the country as well as appear in film and television.

However, there are those within the comedy community who, to this day, take issue with Garofalo’s reliance on notes on stage, not to mention the many people who abandoned her idiosyncratic style of comedy during her foray into the realm of political activism during the George W. Bush administration. Sprinkle in a healthy dose of lazy sexism and you have a comedian who, despite being instrumental in practically re-inventing the form of standup comedy, receives little of the accolades that she deserves.

Watching this old clip from what looks to be the early 1990s, we see many quirks and mannerisms that were new to standup comedy at the time. An attitude that seems aloof on stage as well as a naked honesty about how the act is going as she runs through her bits, breaking down the wall between performer and audience member in a way that is vulnerable as well as courageous. Garofalo playfully chides the audience for laughing at a bit; claiming that the applause break she receives “broke off my pacing…I am not used to any kind of positive reinforcement.” Later, after she flubs a joke, Garofalo admits that she messed it up, making a nervous little jump onstage.

All in all, it is an absolutely charming performance, though Garofalo lacks the kind of discipline we generally associate with standup comics on television. However, this performance represents a new way of approaching comedy the sprung from the alternative comedy scene of the late 1980s and early 1990s in Los Angeles and New York City. It was an approach that was personal and casual, inspired by the punk rock and indie musicians of that time. Garofalo was part of a scene of young comedians who put that DIY ethos into practice setting up comedy shows outside of the mainstream club system, eschewing mannered performances in an effort to take comedy to a place that provided more verisimilitude than ever before.

During this time, Garofalo also embarked on a successful acting career. She appeared in the influential 1990s comedy shows The Larry Sanders Show and The Ben Stiller Show, which ultimately led to a stand out role in the Gen-X film, Reality Bites, and she proved that she could carry a film in The Truth About Cats and Dogs. She's proved that she can be a charming and irresistible screen presence, but also showed that she could do drama as well, appearing in 24 as well as Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior (which she awesomely disowns on Todd Barry’s podcast).

However, it was during the early 2000s that mass audiences cooled on Garofalo, mostly due to the way she was often portrayed in conservative media as being a kind of left wing harpy as she became more vocal about her opposition to the direction the country was moving in at that time. It is unsettling that of all the Hollywood liberals that were vocal about the war in Iraq how much the right wing media outlets like Fox News concentrated on Garofalo. It speaks to a certain intolerance on the right towards women who are outspoken and critical of conservative ideology. Even as recently as 2009, long after Garofalo’s pinnacle of celebrity, Fox News sent a reporter to ambush her at a comedy show for calling the majority of Tea Party members racist.

This is simply puzzling. While David Cross, a similarly vocal alt comedian with about the same level of celebrity, has been way more vocal and inflammatory in his critiques of right wing ideology, places like Fox News have never confronted him as voraciously as they do Janeane Garofalo. In Todd Barry’s podcast, Garofalo also states that conservative men hassle her pretty regularly because, as a waifish woman standing at just over 5 feet, they can.

This speaks to a certain amount of sexism inherent in Fox News’ portrayal of Garofalo as a “bitter liberal”, twisting her words and actions to promote the conservative idea that if you are a woman who does not have children and a husband to take care of you then you will end up “bitter” and “angry.” I believe this image of her has taken root in many comedy fans, as it is not uncommon to find reviews of her standup shows, such as this one from the Toronto based comedy website third-beat.com, that admit to attending her shows with some trepidation not knowing what to expect. Will they get the shrill, preachy caricature painted by Fox News or the loveable alt comic from the 1990s?

The answer, as anyone who has caught her act recently knows is decidedly the latter. Not only is Garofalo not quite the preachy liberal that audience members expect, she has only gotten better as a standup in recent years. Garofalo admits to a certain amount of aloofness onstage early in her career, but attributes it mostly to stage fright. As a performer today, Garofalo is more animated, quicker, and tosses out absurd asides while barreling through bits.

Janeane Garofalo’s comedy is not polished or perfect. This is something that is appealing about her as a performer; there is a sense of danger in her performances that is vital to an electrifying comedy show. She goes on tangents that don’t seem to lead anywhere then hits on a moment that's cathartic for the audience. I've had the chance to see her perform a couple of times in New York City and must say Janeane Garofalo is great at finding that moment.

Far from being cold and angry, Garofalo seems warm, friendly, and vital in her special, If You Will. The show aired on Epix in 2010 and Garofalo was typically game to skewer everything in her path, yet the subject she returned to the most was herself. This image of her as political activist has become so ingrained in the 21st century version of Garofalo that it is easy to forget she is one of the great self deprecating comedians.

It's a shame that Janeane Garofalo’s politics have overshadowed her standup. Not only was she instrumental in creating a comedy scene that was not dependent on the rigid expectations of mainstream clubs, creating an atmosphere for comics to take chances, but she also helped redefine what standup comedy could be. She's always spoken honestly and intelligently and exposes her heart to the audience in a way that is funny and true. In many of the recent articles written about Janeane Garofalo, they asked, “where has she been?” and the answer is she has been out on stage, making audiences laugh and think with spot-on social commentary and intimate confessions. She has been there, some people just stopped looking.

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  • Moses Gold

    Well said. She was a trailblazer and remains funny and relevant today.

  • vivien lyon

    I've loved her since I was 17 and I love her now. People used to tell me all the time that I reminded them of her and I considered it a compliment.

  • Psy

    I am posing this as a question, but her liberal views conflict with the show 24, which is very skewed towards the republican agenda and the war on terror. Does anyone else find this a bit ironic, or do people take jobs to pay the bills…?

    • Zachary

      Who knows? Mary Lynn Rajskub was on that show too, and she never seemed to complain.

      • AGoodQuestion

        Rajskub is a friend of Garofalo's and seems likely to have brought her into the series. I'd guess that Rajskub disagreed with some of the show's politics too. Kiefer Sutherland too, for that matter.

        If you've never seen this trailer, in which Garofalo plays Tango to Casey Wilson's Cash, you owe it to yourself to watch it.

        • testy

          Kiefer Sutherland's grandfather was the head of the socialist party in canada or something.

          • Craig Stephen Tower

            Kiefer's granddad was Tommy Douglas, leader of the New Democratic Party, and the man who led the drive for universal healthcare.

            A few years ago, a national poll voted him "The Greatest Canadian".
            (And Kiefer is on record as sharing his granddad's political views… which probably explains why he had to go into rehab TWICE while working on that damn show).

    • Mike

      I don't mean this to sound patronizing, but grownups take jobs. We all make choices against our better interests every day (shopping at Wal-Mart, eating meat, etc.); you do your best and try to make a difference where you can. Tough to pay your rent with idealism.

      • Barbara

        Am I understanding that you don't think that being a comedian is a job? Comedy is her job. And it is also a tough job. Many people are out there try to do this "work" but a very few get the big recognition. I hope whatever your better interest was, I hope you at least tried it before you started shopping at Wal Mart and eating meat.

        • LP Steve

          You're not understanding. He's defending her for taking the job on "24" despite her obvious differences with the politics of that show.

      • jm313

        There are people who won't work at certain places, shop at certain places, eat at certain places etc. all because of the political ideology of these places. Politics gets a lot of people's blood boiling.

    • Nick

      The issue is that 24 is pure fantasy, but entertainment purposes. Unfortunately, the Republican agenda is similarly based. Therein lies the comparison, but it does not follow that fantasy for entertainment is inappropriate; just that it serves as a poor political justification. It would be like going to war because Gandalf swears that the Eye of Mordor is in Afghanistan. lol

      • Nick

        *for entertainment purposes

  • elduderino1971

    I love Janine and hope she never changes.

  • Evan Roche

    I think she's great. She was one of the first 'alt-comics' I got into at a young age ('95 or '96 or so). She has a lifetime pass in my eyes.

    • The Admiral

      Exactly. She was, is, and always will be just five feet of fantastic in my book.

  • jessicapancakes

    I would also like to point out that she was probably the only stand up comic that I can recall that I and most women I know would categorize as probably our first hero. She meant a LOT to a certain kind of awkward, riot grrrl influenced lass in the late 90s. She deserves even more respect than this. Bless her.

    • Skippy Cooper

      Yes! She was absolutely one of my first heroes!

      • trueamerican

        you are an idiot… don't even know what a hero is

        • grayrain

          You don't know? Figures.

    • Paul T

      "She's like me! She's my hero!" is not a good way to go about things. "She's better than me! She's my hero!" is a much better way to go. But you're right, and so are the others who considered her a hero simply for resembling them – she IS like you. Kevin Smith fanboys have a similar issue. Whenever you see some no-talent schlub of one kind or another having any kind of vogue, or having any kind of niche appeal, that's why. People are seeing someone who resembles them and makes them feel more comfortable with their own deficiencies having popular success, and it feels like a personal validation.

      Your heroes are supposed to be much, much better than you. They're role models. A version of you who inexplicably achieved popular success despite being as blah as you are is not a proper role model.

      • jessicapancakes

        Man, I guess the point is that of COURSE she's better and smarter and wittier and braver than me – I don't think most people have heroes that they believe are "no talent schlubs." And also, thank you so much for calling me a worthless human based on my love of a comedian. Whattadick. You must have a LOT of heroes, considering based on my one interaction with you, you are a total asshole.

      • grayrain

        "Your heroes are supposed to be much, much better than you."

        So in your case, a steaming pile of shit would suffice as a role model.

        Look, you got mad because someone likes someone you don't. That's all there is to it.

  • Ted

    I am unconvinced that Janeane Garofalo's politics have anything (or very much anyway) to do with audiences' cooling to her since the mid 90s. If anything I would place myself to Ms. Garofalo's left politically speaking, and was a big fan of hers throughout the 90s. I think her HBO comedy half hour (1995 or 1996?) was one of the best standup performances of the decade. Her later hour special for HBO, probably 1997 (?) was good but the material seemed significantly weaker. Then I saw her live doing new material in 1999 or so. Unfortunately, her material was just plain weak. Since that time, I am sorry to say I think she just hasn't been funny. Now whenever I see her do new material on TV, I am consistently disappointed, I feel like she uses her cadence as a crutch but forgets to actually tell jokes. But maybe that's just me.

    But yeah, she was great back in the day.

  • Paul Mullenax

    She's way bigger than David Cross.She went from cult comedy icon,to Gen X icon,to America's next sweetheart with a sleeper hit and passed on the chance to star in opposite Tom Cruise.Middle America has/had no clue who David Cross was/is until the Chipmunks sequel.Furthermore,I'm a liberal but think Fox News was actually fair and balanced in her case.She's so vocal,they don't have edit her words to get a soundbite.

    • wwww


  • balboaactually

    I love Janeane, but I got tired of some of the political stuff, and I don't think you can blame Fox News for anything related to her career.

  • Stephen M.H. Braitman

    Janeane Garofalo should be on a postage stamp. (Though she could stand to lose a few tattoos :)

    • http://glitterisafoodgroup.blogspot.com Grace M

      "Hold still we're just going to scrub ink off first…..hold on..there's still a bunch of skin…gimme a minute!"

  • Bill "Danger" Robinson

    She really lost me with her Air America show. Her politics are pretty mainstream and sophomoric (although I'm sure she thinks she's quite the radical) but her radio skills were really sub-par. She came off as intellectually lazy and a bit tedious.

    • 3-I

      "Although I'm sure she thinks she's"

      Oh, what terrible words those are. Judge what she says, not what you think she thinks.

      • Bill "Danger" Robinson

        Good call. The political point-of-view that she espoused on her Air America stint was sophomoric, juvenile and logically perilous. To most reasonable listeners she sounded ill-prepared and hesitant with little patience for anyone's point of view other than her own. The craft and skill needed to present a well-paced and interesting program were missing from her presentation. I'll take a guess that she thought she was doing a passable job (or why would she have continued?) Many people thought otherwise.

      • SupernaturalCat

        Given that the USA is the Land of Manufactured Consent, the point isn't that Janeane is necessarily that far to the Left, it's that most of the populace here aren't cognizant of just how rightward leaning the corp/state–its 'value$' and 100% managed media–has conditioned them to be without their realizing it.

  • Bhess

    I'm conservative but I've always liked her. I think she was a lot more visible than Cross also she was on the now defunct lefty radio network Air America. She put herself out there so she's going to catch some flak. Also it seemed like she took a break from stand-up for a while.

    To me it's if she's funny, that's what counts.

  • karmabitch

    I love her. My son's stuffed giraffe is named Janeane Giraffealo, All respect.

    • http://twitter.com/sciamachy Sciamachy

      My kids have a Janeane Gruffalo :-)

  • AnonymousCommenter

    I've loved her since The Ben Stiller Show and think she's a very funny comedian — however for me, she lost favor in my eyes not because we were at odds politically but because I found a lot of holes in her arguments and there was a lot of conflation. This is all anecdotal without transcripts or YouTube clips of course, but I distinctly remember listening to an appearance of hers on Fox & Friends where she started off justifiably tearing them a new one, but quickly lapsed into a litany of "liberal" tropes that just did not help her otherwise valid argument. (In essence it became, "Bush = Evil, Democrats = Good! Israel bad! Corporations!").

    I completely agree that the onslaught against her is mainly due to misogyny and the lunkheaded-morons that decided she'd make a great bullseye over at Fox. But for me at least, and as a big fan of Garafalo's, her inability to really articulate and/or backup the issues she was taking a laudable stand against became problematic for me.

    • wayneraltman

      This surprises you? She along with 2/3 of the entertainment crowd need to take a moment and ask themselves if they have the tools to comment on public policy.. At the very least they should think about what those comments will do to their next paychecks…

  • whimseywisp

    I LOVE HER. I have always admired her, looked up to her & she has always made me laugh. Kudos to her for being herself :D.

  • steve

    She's done it to herself. Going up with a notebook with political views that don't have jokes is not stand up.

  • oscarina

    Hey, I don't mind that her politics have "overshadowed her standup." I like thinking about her political opinions, I like that she's been outspoken, and not backed down. I have a lot of respect for her, possibly more than I would have otherwise. I like seeing her in stuff, always happy when she appears.

    • SupernaturalCat

      "overshadowed her standup" = code for, we wish she wouldn't say all of those 'CRAZY' things that don't jive with the TV Reality brainwashed Americans abide unquestioningly.

  • wayneraltman

    If you want to appeal to a large audience pissing half of them off is a bad career move. As a comedienne she is funny, as a political activist she is a partisan hack. I thought that is what she was going for, and she has been successful..

    • http://www.tumblr.com/tumblelog/lastbutnotleast janinedm

      Was there a big segment of conservative Garofalo fans? Half her fans?

      • wayneraltman

        No. I was speaking of the population at large not her fans specifically. I am sure she knew what she was doing by wading into waters over her head politically.. She was I am sure, aware of the ramifications her views would have on her career. We all make choices, and I am sure she is fine with hers..

      • Garnet

        Hey, even people who agree with a comic's politics might stay away from a standup gig if they think it's going to be more of a lecture. Being known for political views undermined Mort Sahl and Dick Gregory's comedy career, and it's almost as problematic for Garofalo as it is for Dennis Miller.

        • http://www.tumblr.com/tumblelog/lastbutnotleast janinedm

          In that case, I would attribute it to a decline in the act's quality, not the politics per se.

        • The Admiral

          I'm a total liberal but I still find Dennis Miller funny when he's actually cracking jokes and would watch a comedy special by him in a heartbeat. By the same token I find Bill Maher totally unfunny and he's on my team. I tried to watch his latest stand up and was liek, Meh. Click.

          Garofalo's standup was never mainstream. Her acting, yes, but her comedy was always subversive and indie so I don't think her politics hurts her comedy fanbase in any way, but it surely took a toll on her acting career.

    • Paul T

      I seriously doubt there are many Garofalo fans, or would-have-been Garofalo fans, who would have a problem with her political views. All this might have done is kept her from Sandler/Spade-like network/mainstream success. But she never had that even before the political stuff.

      • wayneraltman

        You might have a point Paul, however she is funny to people who might not share her political beliefs. Once they hear her crazy political stuff they get turned off. Same thing happened to the Dixie Chicks, and a number of others.
        Price you pay for projecting your politics, or religion on others. You start cutting your paycheck the minute you do that…

  • guy incognito

    I saw her do standup in Boston back in 2002. She showed up late and read jokes off of bright neon index cards. She literally flipped through them, and when she identified something she thought was funny, she read it out loud. This was half of her act, and it wasn't a bit – it was painfully unfunny.

  • Chelsea

    Just a quick plug for Janeane's film "The Matchmaker." It has a great soundtrack, and her performance shines as a woman putting her foot down in a man's world. Also, beautiful scenery, and lots of Irish humor – which I can't get enough of!

  • Dr. Stephen J. Krune

    remember when comedians had to be funny?

  • Jimmy Voltron

    Those fuckin' tattoos look retarded and she was never all that funny.

    • Koshi Yamada

      You talk like a biased redneck.

      • Jimmy Voltron

        You talk like a butthurt Garofalo fan who can't handle the truth.

        • Koshi Yamada

          The truth is there were no WMDs and the Tea Party is racist and funded by the Koch Brothers. And you can take that to the bank Redneck.

          • Jimmy Voltron

            I'm not just a two-time Obama voter who registered as a Republican in the 2000 primary to vote for McCain (to keep Bush out, who I knew would be a disaster for the world) and not at all affiliated with the tea party, I am also a comedy aficionado. I mean the classics like Lenny Bruce, George Carlin, Richard Pryor, Sam Kinison, Bill Hicks, Eddie Murphy, even Chris Rock, etc. Garofalo just doesn't stack up. She gets away with it because she's a woman and marginally more attractive than Sam Kinison. And those tattoos look dumb.

          • jm313

            WOW so fuckin original. Give yourself a pat on the back.

          • quesondriac

            Thank you. I will. But I would rather invite you to Hillary Clintons victory party when she is elected!

          • reasonablesteve

            I must identify myself as being right of center but not a Tea Party supporter. However my brother is a Tea Party guy and I take exception to her calling all Tea Party member "straight up racist" on the Bill Maher show a few years ago. My brother is married to a woman from Northern Africa. She is not African American, she is African African! Their child is African American. Someone is going to have to help me understand how he can be racist? While it is convenient for the left to think otherwise, one can be conservative without being racist just as one can be liberal and still be racist.

          • Watermeloniqua

            Would you call any non-white a racial slur? Redneck is a racial slur and you have no business calling anyone else when YOU are flinging racial slurs.

  • bobalouski

    Her liberal bullshit statements negate anything funny she can spurt out of her stupid mouth.

    • Random Jerk

      Here's bobalouski's idea of funny, from another comment he posted:

      "By all means…blacks should boycott Florida! They don't spend money, they don't tip and they stink up the streets."


  • http://twitter.com/sciamachy Sciamachy

    I'm glad to see she's still about & still funny. I'm gonna see about buying a DVD of her standup routine. She deserves our money. :-)

  • http://www.chantillypatino.com/publications Chantilly Patiño

    Thank you! I have been a huge fan since the first time I saw her in the 90s. She is smart as hell, apologetically progressive and the FIRST woman like me that I saw in the movie industry. I just love her and I'm so glad you've given her due credit here. ♥

  • bozono

    I used to know Janeane Garofalo from doing open mike night in Boston in the late 80s. She wasn't getting work here, left town, and all of a sudden was on TV! She's still done better than many of those I did stand-up comedy with, who never got on TV or in movies at all.

  • Mikael J

    God bless ya, Janeane.

  • Derrick Jeeder

    I don't think her politics have over shadowed her comedy. To say that is to admit that fox news has done what they intended- to marginalize her or make her irrelevant or seem overly irrational. For her to say that everyone at a rally is racist is accurate simply because every human being on the earth is racist to some degree.

  • TooSmartForMyOwnGood

    As a liberal, feminist, and white male, the "elephant in the room" that the author does not address is radical feminism. Janeane Garofalo is (or at least was) a radical feminist, and if anyone decided to do an honest treatment on what radical feminists actually do, they would be exposed to a level of insidiousness that would truly astound. To be clear, this comment has nothing to do with feminism, but with the tactics that radicals use in both their political and business dealings. I guess my generation will need to confront this eventually, as baby boomers sure didn't understand it. Maybe marginalization is too little.

    • TooSmartForMyOwnGood

      Hope my comment will not be misread, the first sentence should have started "As a liberal, feminist, and white male, I can say that…". I was stating my own background, not implying anything about the author's background.

  • MJ

    She went to a comedy festival, and told an audience full of comedy fans what "killing" meant when a comedian used it. Dead serious. It wasn't a joke. Yes, Janeane. We all paid to attend a four day festival purely for comedy and we need you to explain to us what "killing" means. She's annoying. End of story.

  • Carol

    Oh, stop it. Fox News doesn't care if a "woman" speaks out about conservative issues. They tackle the issues. Janeane Garofalo is just not that important. End of discussion.

  • Stephanie Stebbins Tethrake

    She does not speak truth, she speaks of liberal ignorance and emotion. If you can't back up your opinions with facts, keep it to yourself.

  • Rick Olson

    If being unprepared is considered edgy, "Bush is Satan" a deep political thought, all "tea baggers" are racist is deep understanding of society's problems, nervous jabber a standup act then she is definitely an icon worthy of praise. Otherwise, not so much.

  • Bill

    "It speaks to a certain intolerance on the right towards women who are outspoken and critical of conservative ideology". . . .?!? It's an thousand-to-one ration the number of times I've heard Sarah Palin or Michele Bachmann mentioned negatively in the media when compared to Garofalo.

    • Koshi Yamada

      Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann say inflammatory things, sometimes quite untruthful, as part of their strategy.

  • Paul T

    I like Garofalo but she's always had two problems, that are connected (and that connect with her political work), and which have both gotten worse, not better, as she's gone on – and which have sunk her – and those problems are, A) She is pretentious (meaning, she tries to appear as something she is not, tries to claim something she is not or a role she does not deserve), and B) She's not funny. And to show this is not politically based, I'll add that I am an anarchist, and very much to the left of Garofalo. And to show that this is not gender based, I'll add that her former paramour Ben Stiller was a male clone, and had all the same problems. There's an old Conan appearance by Garofalo, I think it's from the early 2000s, and she's the first guest. And she basically does her schtick while sitting there, and it's so-so, it really doesn't work. She's super serious and rat-tat-tat, and taking herself very seriously and making a great effort to portray herself as a serious intellectual saying important things. And this is even when she was still more or less the 90s Garofalo. Then the next guest comes out, and it's odd because it's a second straight stand-up comic who sits down and does his schtick there at the chair, while Garofalo sits next to him in the previous guest's chair – it's Harland Williams. And he KILLS. Because he's Harland Williams, and that's just what he does. He's the least pretentious comic in the world. He's what self-deprecating comedy REALLY looks like – a guy who's not afraid to make a fool of himself or be thought a fool, for a laugh. Garofalo of course is the exact opposite – even when she seems to be self-deprecating, she's doing it for the opposite reason – to not appear foolish. She's never risking herself or putting her real self out there, but is always portraying this idealized target version of herself. Only she does it very unconvincingly, and even if she were better at it it wouldn't be any good, because it's a boring, lame character. Nobody wants to talk to the ACTUAL Noam Chomsky or Woody Allen, let alone an imitation of those men by someone whose intelligence tops out at the level of a high school AP student. ANYWAY, Garofalo sat next to Harland Williams as he sat up there talking to Conan and absolutely killing. And here's the thing – he kept involving her in his act. He'd turn to her, he'd mention her, he'd casually involve her in the act in a friendly way. And she was a great audience – she laughed sincerely at several of his jokes and seemed to take delight in the entire performance – she watched the whole thing and reacted to it extremely generously and naturally, given the usual nature of stand-up comics. She was HERSELF. And she was better and funnier and more fun and likable in those little asides during Harland's bit, or when we heard her offscreen laughing, than she was at any point in her own segment on the show. THAT'S the woman who we like, when we like Janeane Garofalo – and it's someone whose presence, whose existence, we almost always have to pretty much divine or guess at or infer, because she so rarely gives a glimpse or a hint of it. Another good one is at the roast of Jerry Stiller. I like the girl sitting over by Ben Stiller cracking up at all the jokes and enjoying herself w/o self-consciousness, without pretentiousness, without any kind of bullshit.

    Feminists or those who see her as a champion of feminism or of women may not like to hear it, but Garofalo simply may not have the chops to succeed as a comic or performer in her own right. We all just wish she did, because deep down, we think she's a likable, nice, ultimately good-hearted, EXTREMELY insecure person. But if she doesn't, she doesn't. And I don't think she does.

    Is Fox's treatment of her unfair and horrible and misogynistic? Yes, but it's not why her star has fallen (to the extent that it has). And for her part, she makes an easy target – she IS shrill, she IS a poor thinker, she IS, in so many ways, the caricature of the Hollywood liberal come to life. She's that exceptional real thing that helps so much to sell a stereotype. Good heart, bad brain. Put it on her tombstone – "Janeane wanted nothing but to be taken seriously. You may judge the results."

  • Koshi Yamada

    Watching her get crucified on Fox before the Iraq invasion got me on two levels.
    1. As a six foot tall man I feel I am hardwired to protect small women.
    And watching Kilmeade and others bully her was offensive.

    2. I thought and later knew that the WMD case for invasion was unjustified.

    Janeane might do better if she was more disciplined in her act so that more
    people would enjoy her comedy.

    Janeane might do better if she had a manager tell her what to say to the press

    and tell her what parts to lobby for so as to increase her appeal.

    But then she would not be J. Garofalo. I hope her pilot for Bravo

    (The Girlfriends Guide to Divorce) gets picked up and we get to see it.

  • alwaysright

    this woman slanders people because of her lack of dignity, racism and self hatred… I pity this women and pity the stupid that follows her…………..

  • jm313

    Conservatives attack Janeane Garofalo because she is extremely vocal in all types of media. I've never heard David Cross talk politics in any thing other than his stand-up act but I have heard Janeane all over the place like radio, news media, talk shows, stand-up. The right attacks her more than David Cross because she is much more vocal in many things she is more dedicated to political issues she is simply out there talking politics more than David Cross.

  • dmbatten

    This woman is a horrible Communist sympathizer with no respect for the principles this country was founded upon. See this from Twitter: https://twitter.com/M_E_Adams/status/373677606157418496/photo/1

  • Mr.Clumpus

    Hideous, putrid, unfunny.

  • ArtPepperMeetsTheRhythmSection

    Oh man, she's so nervous in that first clip.

  • Adam Sens

    Whatever point she is trying to make gets lost in her blatant bias. Labeling a large group of people as racist or otherwise clouds over whatever else she is trying to say. I support people who are trying to break down walls and improve the human condition. Stereotypes and unsupported generalizations are what's wrong with this country and this star who has faded from relevance. If you want to open a dialog, the best way to start is by not blanket criticizing people for what they may or may not have done.

  • Gormenghast7

    I was fine with her criticism of George W. Bush; he deserved it. I was not fine with her calling me a racist, and I will never watch any of her work again.

  • zemy

    I've watched some of her shows and some of her movies and I love her!

  • Pete Mangum

    Well, sorry. I don't buy this attempt to whitewash what Garofalo has become. Yes, let's DO watch that performance as cited above. That's one of my favorites, and it shows the Garofalo I fell in love with. She was cute, charming, quick-witted, and thoroughly entertaining. Where has that girl gone? First of all, put that picture above up next to a picture of Garofalo now. You'll have a damn hard time seeing any similarity. What we have now is a greasy haired – looking, tattooed street urchin whose show now sounds more like Lenny Bruce in his decline. If she come of as 'nasty' it's because she IS! She doesn't give a damn what she looks like any longer and she is so consumed with politics and flinging "Racist" smears everywhere that she's become boorish. For someone like me who adored her when she came on the scene to become completely disinterested in her now is just sad. I guess that's what being worth 10 million will do to you. She could care less what I (one of her most loyal fans) thinks of her. She doesn't have to.

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  • James Synkgar

    Sad to see anytime a woman fails or gets dismissed we lazily attribute it to sexism

  • Get100

    Her only problem as a comedian is that she isn't funny. She is about as funny as cancer. To me she is like Sinead O'Connor. Messed up with a big axe to grind. Listening to her drone on… grinding that axe… might be fine for her unfortunate friends. But it holds ZERO entertainment value for the rest of us.

  • Frank Miles

    Janeane has interesting things to say and is intrinsically an interesting, even admirable person. She did not, however, reinvent standup comedy. She has essentially gone from looking like a talented open-miker to being an act that (if not for name recognition) might make an OK middle in a three comic lineup. And one who seems to be aping the mannerisms of Dane Cook, who in turn just apes the late Bill Hicks.

    It takes craft to do standup well. Hicks had it. Carlin had it. Bruce had it. And it took nothing away from what they had to say. Craft and content are not opposing qualities. Each enhances the other. Janeane has never devoted herself entirely to honing the craft. You don't throw out kudos for that.

    But it's fair to say she has always been exactly the opposite of a hack comic, in that she never went for the easy laugh. She tries honestly to show the humor she herself sees instead. More craft would only make that work better, I think.

  • John T

    Another brain dead commie.
    Cuba is great,North Korea is misunderstood.
    I have 50 million dollars,fly private jet-yet I know what is good for you.

  • Paul Volpe

    Fans of Janeane please check out my Facebook page "We Love Janeane Garofalo." Thank you.