Last September, Lens writer Paul Sand interviewed Janeane Garafalo before she was supposed to come to the cities for a stand-up show on September 22. She was rescheduled to show on the 19th of January (2002) shortly after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Here’s the full interview in its Barely Censored Glory:

The Lens: What kind of (stand-up) material can we expect? Is it the trademark Garafalo style?

Janeane Garafalo: If there is one. I don’t know what that trademark would be, but yeah, I’ll have my notebook because I have no memory and I’ll be standing there talking to you, telling you true stories, hopefully you’ll find them interesting or humorous.

TL: I was just wondering if your parents were funny when you were growing up.

JG: I would say that they weren’t outwardly funny. They definitely had senses of humor, very dry senses of humor, but they didn’t say anything that made you crack up. They definitely laughed at the right things when they saw them.

TL: Where does your humor stem from then? Do you think it’s just from you experiences, growing up, just who you are now?

JG: I don’t know. I guess I don’t know where anyone’s sense of humor comes from. I think it’s just an extention of their personality, like some people’s senses of humor runs towards slaTLtick, some people’s run toward um, really sophomoric like American Pie stuff, some people’s runs toward very dry, Mort Sahl. I think it’s just an extension of your personality in every facet of your life.

TL: What’s the criteria for your role choices now? Is it different then it used to be, oh obviously it’s different, but how is it different?

JG: Well, I wouldn’t say there’s a lot of integrity to the choices I’ve made. I’ve certainly made enough mediocre films. But I think one of the only films I’m ashamed and it’s a movie that I actually really enjoyed doing called Clay Pigeons. I’m just ashamed of the violence against women. The only reason I took that is because I wanted to work with Vince Vaughn and Joachim Phoenix and the director David Dobkin, who are all three great guys. But there was originally no female part in it except for the ones who got killed, and I was like, “Damn it, this can’t be this way.” But I don’t like some of the content of that film. But I won’t do films that are like excessively violent against women, or if there’s too much gun play, or I won’t take a film that makes me make fun of my self. Like, Cats and Dogs is it for me. I won’t be in a film where I’m supposed to be the big, fat ugly girl again, because IÖwhy? Why do it? But that’s the only thing. It’s not like I have a lot of integrity, and it’s just there are things that are like (in strained voice) “Oh manÖthat’s just stupid.”

TL: Do you always have something on your plate, is there always a project coming up, or do you take timeÖ

JG: No, I don’t actively take time off, it’s unsolicited vacation. I don’t like having time off, it’s not my choice. No, I don’t always have a project. I’ve been pretty lucky where I’ve had enough work, but this summer has been real slow. I don’t like that. I don’t have a choice of whether I take time or not.

TL: So what are you up to in your free time?

JG: Really nothing. The only thing I like to do, and this is going to sound so stupid, is read. It’s the only thing I ever want to do or just hang out with my friends. Basically I just want to read and be left alone. (laughs)

TL: Are you a computerphobicÖ

JG: I’m a neo-Luddite. I don’t have a cell phone and the only thing I use a computer for is email.

TL: So you’ve never seen the Websites devoted to you then?

JG: No. I’ve heard of them.

TL: How do you feel about that?

JG: I don’t know why anyone would make a website for me. There’s Websites for everyone basically. You can find a Website for Screech and Yasmeen Bleeth andÖyou know, the Three Tenors.

TL: What do you feel is the biggest misconception about you?

JG: I guess that people assume that I’m mean and bitchy, and it’s just a sexist lazy observation.


Janeane Garafalo will do a show at the State Theatre, 805 Hennepin Ave., Mpls. on January 19, 2002 at 8 p.m. Tickets: $29.50/$34.50. (612) 989-5151.

Tickets purchased for the canceled September 22 show will be honored.