Don't even try to flatter actress/comedian/author Janeane Garofalo with praise for her outspoken views on politics, entertainment, and the state of the Union—she won’t hear it. “I'm actually quite stupid,” the self-deprecating Newton, New Jersey native declares. With all due respect Janeane, we couldn’t disagree more.
Known for her acerbic wit and intelligent banter, the counterculture-friendly liberal feminist and self-proclaimed Atheist (enough titles? We could go on...) is an ardent tattoo-lover who wears her bleeding heart on her sleeve—literally. Inked with a heart on her left shoulder in which the ubiquitous "mom" is replaced with "liberal", Janeane collects tattoos (fifteen to date) as avidly as she collects her titles.
The Lower East Sider is also a vocal political dissident, concentrating her criticism on the Bush administration's handling of the Iraq War. On-air clashes with conservatives Bill O’Reilly, Tony Snow, and Brian Kilmeade only confirm her convictions.
But while Garofalo is opinionated, she retains a healthy dose of humility; when asked to give the next President some words of wisdom, she replies: "I wouldn't in any way deign to think that the new President of the United States would be interested in anything I had to say, so I can't even answer that question. It would be the height of arrogance for me to think that I could waste any of Barrack's time."
But Garofalo has no intention of keeping her mouth shut when it matters; the activist can often be found attending political protests and rallies. She attributes her desire to inspire change to the 2000 election debacle in Florida. “[Politics has] always been part of my stand-up to some degree, but I really became zealous in 2000 when the recount was stopped illegally by Antonin Scalia. That blew my mind, and I really have never been the same since.” Janeane quickly educated herself about the topics. “I was interested in the situation, so I tried to learn as much about it as I could,” she says. “Anybody who took the time to read, and go outside the mainstream media's narrow frame, could learn about these things.”
While politics will always be important to Garofalo, the busy entertainer has recently devoted much of her time to acting. She lent her voice to ‘Colette’ in Brad Bird's Ratatouille, and the New Yorker finds herself frequenting Los Angeles for stints in Lindsay Lohan’s latest film Labor Pains, the USA comedy Hanging Out Hooking up Falling in Love, and various stand-up cameos at comedy clubs. Up next is a recurring role on Fox's 24, where she will join the cast as FBI Special Agent Janis Gold. And while Garofalo describes the LA-based gig as "one of the funnest jobs I've ever had," her heart remains in the the Big Apple. “There are a lot of things that you're gonna be exposed to in New York that you wouldn't be exposed to in another city or suburb, where you're in your car all the time.”
Unlike the city that never sleeps, Janeane enjoys her rest when she can get it. She rarely wakes up in time for a typical NYC brunch, and lists napping as one of her favorite hobbies. “If I'm not working,” the comedian declares, “I love staying up all night watching movies or reading…And when the sun comes up, I watch BBC World News, and then I know it's time to go to bed.”
But her unorthodox schedule doesn't mean that Garofalo is missing out. Like any true New Yorker, she prefers to take in the city by foot; walking her three dogs through Washington Square Park is a common past-time.
And it is her close relationship with the city and its residents that provides Garofalo with constant comedic fodder. Even if it means tolerating the myriad males who “feel comfortable doing snot rockets on the sidewalk,” the facetious actress feels that “living in New York tends to make you a more tolerant person, a more social person, and a more open-minded person.” And we couldn't agree more.
It's a really cool place, and all they have is chocolate. And I'm addicted to it. …more
They really took the time to make it look like an Irish pub. It's laid-back Greenpoint, and the owners are very nice. …more
Washington Square Park is big for me. I just love to sit on a bench and read. …more
I have 15 tattoos altogether, and most of them are from Daredevil. …more