BACKSTAGE at the CHINA CLUB, NYC Janeane Garofalo denies three times, that she is a super star. ìNo, I am not, I am not, I am just moderately successful.î ìI am not a superstar I am a moderately successful stand up actor.î Somewhat understated, Janeane defines her gigs on Comedy Central, Saturday night Live, an HBO stand-up Comedy Special, Seinfeld, Dr. Katz, Ellen, Home Improvement et al; twenty-two Hollywood Movies, four in 1999 alone--most recently Dog Park, Minus Man and Mystery Men as ìModerately successfulî. We laugh, and point out that Feel This Book : An Essential Guide to Self-Empowerment, Spiritual Supremacy, and Sexual Satisfaction by Janeane Garofalo and Ben Stiller was a best seller...she shoos us away and nods, ìThat was a best seller for about a minute and a half. You too can be a best seller if you do a book signing at the book stores they take their polls in. Thatís the secret ...itís officially true, but Iím not a super star.î O.K., we persist, how about the ìfeudî between you and Joan Rivers? Surprisingly serious, she responds, ìI donít know about that. Itís a media creation, it doesnít actually exist except for the purpose of articles. It makes good copy. I donít think either one of us is actually in a feud, but itís always fun to comment when someone asks. Itís not real. The Joan Rivers feud is not real.î
NL: Of the women in comedy today, who do you admire the most?
JG: Amy Saveras, Amy Fuller, and Laura Pipernot. Wonderful, wonderful comedienne actresses who are just brilliant. Amy Fuller is on the Upright ****ís Brigade, Amy Saveras is candy and Laura is a free lance writer.
NL: Youíve done stand up, youíve done movies and youíve written a best seller-- next is your rock album. Eddie Murphy did one She declines.
JG: ìIf I could stay on pitch, Iíd do a rock album, but I canít stay on pitch. Iíd like to do an album of kid rock. Thatís my next goal, kid rock.î
NL: What is in your CD player right now?
JG: Right before I came here was Sleater Kinney.
NL: Youíre from New Jersey, who would win a fight at the Meadowlands, The Boss or Bon Jovi?
JG: Depends on your demo, or whoís in the audience. Iím an old school Springstein fan, I kind of checked out after Born in the USA. I have never enjoyed the music of Jon Bon Jovi, but I have met him.
NL: How about later in your career, do you see yourself doing a talk show like Oprah?
JG: When I get a little older i want to do a talk radio show out of New York wherein all day long you stay with your kids-- and your dog -- and then at night you go to your radios, wherever they do it, -- and do a four hour night time talk radio show. Thatís my goal. You can bring your kids if you wantî
NL: Do you have kids?
JG: No, thatís the problem I donít have kids.
NL: Where do you get the dog? Do you have a dog?
JG: Iíve got a dog named DEWEY and a dog named KID, heís the new kid, so I named him Kid.
NL: Is there a stand up shtick or a topic that you see another comedian do and you think to yourself ìOh thatís so bad...î
JG: Yeah, there are a million things that everyone has to comment on because theyíre part of pop culture. If you do it in a fresh way, itís OK, but there are some comics that tackle it and itís so trite that it just kills me, makes me angry. What Iíll say is, I always say this is well thought well tread upon territory I hope that this is a new way to look at it, but sometimes you canít help it. I mean, we all ride airplanes and sometimes you just have to comment on a flight. Itís painful but you feel you need to do it.
NL: Have you ever thrown up in public?
JG: Yessir. On St., Marks place. Fairly recently. I went to my friend JoAnnís birthday party and brought her a bottle for her birthday-- wound up drinking half of it myself, walked home and on St. Marks Place I threw up three times. I was by myself. It was AWFUL at my age! Three times, I was so ashamed. There was nothing I could do, it was just awful. Three times.
NL: Whatís the most youíve been offered to do a commercial?
JG: Gosh, not that much, it doesnít happen that often. Itís not that common.
NL: How do you feel about artists who commercialize themselves?
JG: Iím all for non-id voice-overs. If itís a product I use, like I truly do drink a lot of Coca Cola. If they came up to me and said ìWould you do a voice over for Coca Cola, but we wonít say your name?î I would say yeah...whatever money they give me is fine with me. Anything I use or drink or eat, Iím happy to endorse but I donít think Iíd want to appear on camera and say ìHi, Iím Janeane Garofalo and whatever it is, I eat a lot of cheese.î
NL: Are you a vegetarian?
JG: Yes, I am but Iím not hardcore. I like to eat chicken. Iím all for being a vegetarian, I havenít eaten red meat since 1982. Iëm mostly a fish eater, and I know thatís against the law...fish is not a vegetable. I love salmon...gotta eat my lox on my bagel.
NL: Whatís your email address:
JG: I donít have a computer, I donít have email.
NL: Thereís a lot of stuff about you on the web.
JG: A lot of those things are untrue, some are very flattering...
Flattery is generally considered to be ìembellishmentî, ìcomplimentaryî or ìadornment.î Janeanes fans however, might simply be inspired by this very sharp, very witty lady.
Web resources:
http://www.tumyeto.com/tydu/foxy/garafolo.html --Great interview by a very savvy fan.
http://www.looksmart.com --Has the most comprehensive set of web links. BEWARE several hours worth of stuff here!