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STUDIO: Image Entertainment
RUNNING TIME: 65 minutes
• Janeane on Pets
• Congressman’s Dream
Janeane Garofalo communes with her filthy bearded liberal brethren in Seattle.
Janeane Garofalo. Pissy Mary Lynn Rajskub not included.
That chick from Mystery Men rants at you for 65 minutes. Hilarity ensues.
Janeane tells a story early on in this special about how a Starbucks barista told her “Look, not to offend you or anything, but you look just like Janeane Garofalo,” and her co-worker leans in and says “Yeah, whatever happened to her?”
Last I checked, the Bush administration happened. When last I checked in with our heroine, Janeane spoke her mind during peak ignorance season of the Iraq War, pissed off middle America, leading to her getting the same blacklist treatment the Dixie Chicks got. Only she didn’t recover nearly as fast in the public eye. She kept a low profile, trading barbs on Air America, voicing Linguini’s hot-tempered French girlfriend in Ratatouille, and giving tech nerds lackluster boners on 24. But more or less, her star got forcibly dimmed a bit by daring to question authority.
Does this mean her comedy got any better or worse for the experience? Not really. She does her thing, happily, ascerbically, and unapologetically. Though she seems to be doing it taking fewer breaths in between.
She’d probably blame the Adderall.
If You Will doesn’t really see Janeane tackling anything as weighty as she did on Air America, though she does save a good healthy dose of spite for the Tea Party. Most of the hour flows along a pretty bubbly stream of consciousness that runs anywhere from her experience (or lack thereof) with the internet, to probably the hardest laugh in the entire show, a diatribe about Natalie Portman’s lack of human sex organs. The stream never really ceases, though, which is a good and bad thing. Good because the jokes feel like they’re just coming from the top of her head, even when she stops to pull something from her notebook of tricks, and even when one joke doesn’t work, there’s a better one to pick up the slack 2 seconds later. Bad because it tends to showcase a lack of polish on some of the jokes that probably shouldn’t have gotten out of her dressing room (read: most of the poop jokes. Except the one that explains her and her boyfriend’s lack of sex life).
Janeane: I don’t have to explain my art to you, prickstain.
Still, it’s an hour well spent, Garofalo’s energy, though sometimes wired and anxious, is kinda contagious, I love that her politics never get in the way of the funny, which is always a danger depending on the outspoken uber-liberal comedian you’re talking about, and I love that she’s one of those comedians who never needs to make a concerted effort to talk to her audience on their level. It just happens naturally. The show feels like she’s at the biggest loudest Starbucks in town with a few thousand friends.
And if the baristas ask, you can tell ‘em she’s doing fine.
It’s a clean, warm-looking 1080i TV transfer that does what it needs to. The real testament to its strength is how much detail the camera picks up on Janeane’s tattoos.
Again, it is what it is. Its not one of thoe showy concert tracks where the audience is sitting with you at the rear, but then, it doesn’t need to be.
There’s just two short skits: One is truly hilarious, involving the dangers of letting audience members send you live gifts. The other, involving Janeane being goaded back onto Air America by a conservative politician running for office, not so much.
8.0 out of 10