15 August 2009

Janeane Garofalo

From her early days as the booker on the Larry Sanders Show, to the only person Jerry Seinfeld proposed to, through to the less attractive one of Uma Thurman and her competing for Ben Chaplin's attentions in The Truth About Cats And Dogs, I have always admired Janeane but never learnt who to pronounce her surname. For many years it was Gar-faf-alo until I heard she was coming to Edinburgh when I concentrated and made it Janeane the Gruffalo. Be that as it may (that's a in-joke to people who have seen her this year), she is still a well established American Star doing a decent length run in Edinburgh (and not skipping days out like Jimmy Carr performing Rapier Twit, as all the doctored posters cleverly say).

It seems in her middle age (she's now 45 and look great for it) she is losing words (they are always in the last place you look – why else would you keep looking?), as well as forgetting what she had previously said after returning from a tangent (I get that a lot to be fair). It is probably these two traits that caused to walk off stage in a pre-Edinburgh preview after 10 minutes, breaking up with the audience using the “it's not you it's me” line. Each night however she has been getting better and better (based on other reviews) and fortunately I had the nous to book her last night in Edinburgh (tickets for the show that is, I'm not renting her personally). Put a pin in that for the moment and lets talk about what she talks about this time.

Janeane opens with some good Scottish gags that go down well and explore many areas about her life including depression, dogs, children, marriage, relationships and her sex life. She has a humble demeanour and is very likeable, even when wandering. Some of her anecdotes are quite funny but mostly there is a constant chuck throughout the show. She is a seasoned professional that just needed to get rid of some ring rust. Probably the biggest annoyance was the frequent distractions of camera flashes or camera displays (for those who remember to turn off the flash) to capture her likeness because you can't find it on the internet... On that point of bemusing devotion there were some mindless heckles, including one “show us your pants” about five minutes after showing she has Spanx (some form of thick tights from what I could see) right up to her rib cage). All in all it was a good performance and a nice way to see someone from the big/small screen (either way it's an NTSC screen) live and in person. Adorable, Open and Realistic – 8 out of 10 or four stars stuffed full of puppy dogs.