JANEANE GAROFALO | EW.com

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JANEANE GAROFALO

THE CAUSTIC COMIC LIKES THE C-WORD (AND NO, WE DON'T MEAN COOL)

Janeane Garofalo doesn’t take any crap. The list of things the stand-up comic-actress considers ”crappy” begins with Fox, which canceled The Ben Stiller Show, the critically revered sketch-comedy series on which she expertly impersonated such pop-cult figures as Sinead O’Connor (trying out for Tonight Show host but refusing to tell jokes ”while there’s so much sufferin’ in the world”) and Juliette Lewis (losing her retainer in a send-up of Cape Fear’s thumb-sucking scene). Garofalo, 28, says she probably won’t work for Fox again because ”they tend to make crappy shows.” Garofalo’s stand-up persona-a bitter, boot-wearing feminista-is no act, and her bracing honesty separates her from the teeming masses of laff-factory comics. ”It kills me when I have to follow hacks (at clubs),” she moans. ”I’m trying to talk after they’re done with their stupid crap. I’m really sick of stand-up.” Fortunately, Garofalo isn’t giving up on comedy-she has returned to her role as Paula, the sardonic talent booker on HBO’s The Larry Sanders Show, and will play Vickie, ”a 21-year-old spawn-of-hippies,” in Reality Bites, a film directed by Stiller. Also high on Garofalo’s crap list: the ”repressive” Providence College, where she maintained a straight-C average and got into stand-up, winning Showtime’s Funniest Person in Rhode Island contest in 1987. ”That’s an indication of how crappy the comics in Rhode Island are,” she says. Her cool list, on the other hand, includes the teen feminist riot grrrls movement, alternative-rock bands Bettie Serveert and Belly, filmmaker Albert Brooks, and former White House communications director George Stephanopoulos? ”When he had to make a statement about the President’s haircut, he looked so fed up,” she says. ”I thought, ‘That’s pretty cool.”’ So does Garofalo consider herself cool? ”As a solo entity, no,” she says. ”But compared to the general population, yes.” Agreed.