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Back to Section One | Back to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, May 14, 2010 - Volume 38 Issue 20
Garofalo proves shooting DVDs not the same as making comedy
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Garofalo proves shooting DVDs not the same as making comedy

by Scott Rice - SGN Contributing Writer

Janeane Garofalo
May 8
Moore Theatre


Janeane Garofalo is the lefty darling whose credentials include trading barbs with Bill O'Reilly, needling Teabag Party members for being racist, and the valiant effort to answer right-wing radio with Air America Radio. She is a hero to the political left in America.

Garofalo is also a funny woman. She's a self-deprecating comedian who famously sees the cup as half-empty - and cracked. If you've never seen the film Clay Pigeons with Garofalo, Vince Vaughn, and Joaquin Phoenix, rent it today. From her constant presence in the New York comedy and performance art scenes to more mainstream roles like Janis Gold on the well-worn Fox hit 24, I have enjoyed Garofalo's shtick from the start, especially since we came of age together.

Garofalo played two shows at Seattle's Moore Theatre on May 8. They weren't really shows as much as they were film shoots. The shows were shot for a DVD to be released later this year. I make the distinction because the evening did not play out like a regular comedy show.

Looking back I was naïve to think they would shoot around the show. I mean the tickets clearly stated they were shooting a video. Still, I thought the show would run intact and they'd shoot around it. I was wrong.

I get it. This is big business and seeing the cameras working, the lights, and the equipment was fascinating in its own right. It was fun to see the director fussing over continuity issues as the camera boom swung inches over the heads of the folks in front of us.

And even if the obnoxious drunk woman who kept falling asleep paid her hard-earned cash to see a comedy show, the bean counters back at the office were expecting product.

So, I get it.

Still, is it asking too much of our star, our lefty hero, our dark purveyor of all things slightly amusing, to finish a damn joke? Come on, Janeane, you can do it. Finish a joke already.

This is partially hyperbolic on my part. Garofalo did finish a couple of her bits. She finished the sophomoric rant about how Natalie Portman does not shit (it's funny 'cause it's true?).

In spite of Garofalo's denial that she takes Adderral for ADD (she claims it simply gives her a spring in her step), she seemed to have a serious case of it from start to finish. Even her famous notebook seemed to confuse her. Maybe she should rethink the prescription.

Maybe it was my own high hopes, my own lofty expectations that sabotaged the evening for me. I was terribly excited to see Garofalo perform and maybe I was expecting too much.

In the end, the comedy was much like the shoot: a bit unorganized and haphazard, without a lot of closure. I hope the editing goes well.

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