I have been a big fan of Janeane Garofalo for years -- ever since I saw her in Reality Bites in 1994, when she played Vickie Miner. She reminded me of my friends; she was somebody that I would hang out with. I fell in love with her all over again in Romy & Michele's High School Reunion in 1997. She has showed up in tons of TV shows over the years. SNL, Larry Sanders, Seinfeld, Ellen, The Ben Stiller Show, West Wing, Strangers With Candy, Law & Order, & Dr. Katz! She is currently filming a new version of Criminal Minds. She has also just released a new stand up DVD this week called If You Will. It was filmed live in Seattle, the perfect place to see her. Janeane is busy filming her new show so I only managed to get an email interview out of her, but I was excited to meet her...via email, anyway. Here is our email conversation...
Brad: Hey Janeane! Thank for doing this interview for the Amoeba blog! I have been a big fan of you for years. You tend to work a lot on television. Do you prefer it to working on films? I know that SNL is one of your least favorite shows you have worked on, but what is your favorite? Felicity, Larry Sanders Show, 24, West Wing?
Janeane: I enjoy working in all mediums, including radio and live theater. One of my most favorite TV jobs was Larry Sanders, but they were all sort of my favorite.
Brad: I missed a lot of Larry Sanders but I loved the few episodes that I did watch. That is for sure one of those shows that I need to go back and watch fully on DVD. The complete series of The Larry Sanders Show comes out on 11/2! I will be watching it! I am currently watching 24, which you are also in. Just started last night. Then I need to watch Sports Night. You are not in that one, but one of my coworkers tells me that I need to watch it every time that I talk to him. He swears I will like it even though I am not a sports fan. There really are not very many shows this next season that I am interested in other than The Walking Dead so I will have some time to check out some older shows that I originally missed. How did you get hooked up with Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior? Have you started shooting? What city does the show take place in and where does it shoot?
Janeane: My agent at I.C.M. asked me if I wanted to join Criminal Minds, so I said, “yes, please.” The show takes place in different cities every week. We started shooting on August 5th.
Brad: I will admit that I have never even seen an episode of Criminal Minds before. I was obsessed with the original C.S.I. and Law & Order SVU and Criminal Intent but I think I burnt myself out a bit on those shows. Still, it is interesting when a new cast member joins the show or when a whole new show is spun off from an older one. I will for sure check out the new show. I am also interested in C.S.I New York now that Sela Ward is joining the new season. I love me some Sela Ward & Sisters!
I do love myself some stand up comedy on DVD as well. I love the new David Cross DVD Bigger & Blackerer. I also love the Margaret Cho, Kathy Griffin, Zack Galifianakis, Louis C.K., Maria Bamford, & Aziz Ansari DVDs. I was a bit surprised that you have not ever released a comedy special sort of DVD. How did the new DVD If You Will come about?
Janeane: I’ve always resisted releasing a DVD because I fear no one will want to buy it. (Hopefully someone will.) Epix was kind enough to shoot it for me.
Brad: Well, it's about time! I was actually in New York on May 1st this year for my birthday. One of my good friends, Keala, came to my birthday party but had to leave early to go see you perform live that night. If it had been anyone else I would have been upset, but this friend of mine is sort of like the gay male version of you. He cracks me up. He just tells the best stories and the most amazing things seem to happen to him! He also tends to just tell those sort of stories that might not normally be that interesting if told by someone else. His delivery is just perfect. Where did you get your sense of humor from? Did you have any relatives with a similar sort of delivery of their humor?
Janeane: My sense of humor comes from my father and my high school pal, Jim Barry.
Brad: Somehow I hadn't seen Wet Hot American Summer until last year. I am not really sure how I made it through almost 10 years without seeing that movie. My boyfriend and some friends of mine were actually upset that I had not seen it and made me watch it. I, of course, loved it and it stars many of my favorite actors. It is now up there with some of my favorite movies. I was also a big fan of The State. It just really doesn't make any sense why I hadn't seen this movie! How did you get involved with this one? Your character seemed perfect for you. It again seemed like it was written for you. When can we expect to see Wet Hot American Summer II?
Janeane: I am friends with The State crew and they asked if I wanted to play “Beth” in the film. It was one of the best times I’ve ever had doing anything…ever!! I hope, hope, hope Wet Hot 2 will happen someday soon.
Brad: I hope so too! My friends and I would go crazy. I would go to the midnight screening on opening night. I always try to make sure all my friends have seen Wet Hot American Summer now that I am part of the fan club. It is amazing. How do you feel about the recent remakes of everything? Part of me hates it but I do end up seeing some of them. I just saw Piranha a couple of days ago and actually sort of loved it. I can't even believe the stuff they got away with in that movie! Everything from our childhood seems to have remakes: Transformers, A-Team, Piranha, Warriors, The Smurfs. I personally want them to start remaking some 80's TV comedies into big budget movies. How awesome would it be to see Webster or Small Wonder on the big screen... or maybe just remade into new TV shows? I am ready for a new Golden Girls movie! What do you think of these remakes? Are there any roles from old movies or TV shows that you would love to play?
Janeane: I would like to see Maude remade or Bosom Buddies. I want to play Bea Arthur’s role in Maude and I’d like to play Peter Scolari’s role in Bosom Buddies. Also I would have liked to play Jim Rockford in The Rockford Files.
Brad: Yes! Janeane Garofalo as Maude. You should get someone writing that script right now. And I like the idea of switching the roles in Bosom Buddies. You and Margaret Cho could play the men dressing up like women. David Cross and Will Arnet could play the women dressing up like men. It would be like Felicity Huffman in Transamerica. This is the kind of stuff that wins people Oscars!
We have had a ton of celebrities shopping at Amoeba in Hollywood over the years. Have you been in our store?
Janeane: I love Amoeba. I have purchased many CDs and DVDs. I’ve seen bands perform there.
Brad: What is your favorite section of the store? Are you a CD or vinyl person? Did you know cassettes are making a comeback? I never thought it would happen but it makes me kind of happy. I would love it if all albums started coming out on cassette with a digital download code
Janeane: I still have all my old cassettes, mix tapes and songs taped off the radio. I have a stereo and cassette deck in my N.Y. apartment. I don’t have a favorite section of the store but I’m willing to get one. When I decide on a favorite I shall tell you all about it. Thank you for asking.
Brad: Good to know that you still have a cassette player! I really want to bring back the mix tape. I think I might make all of my friends mix tapes for presents this holiday season! Maybe I will make you one and send it to you. Do you have any recent favorite albums? Besides Susan Boyle and Lady Gaga?
Janeane: Some of my recent fave albums have been: Beach House, The National, Vetiver, Mountain Goats. Anything and everything on Sub Pop. Kudos to LadySusanBoyleGaga.
Brad: I love Sub Pop too! Home of David Cross. They put out some amazing albums this year: Wolf Parade, Avi Buffalo, The Foals, Dum Dum Girls, The Vaselines, & Beach House!
Thanks, Janeane! I will be looking forward to Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior, although it looks like I will have to wait until 2011 for it. I can catch up on Larry Sanders before that anyway. And I will be anticipating Wet Hot American Summer II. Maybe in 3D! Make it happen! Please!
BUY IF YOU WILL ON DVD