Monica Bielanko
That's What She Said
Just A Junk Drawer Dream
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I Am An AssKissing LoudTalker And I Will Scare Her!

One might assume I'd want to interview a celebrity. I don't. Who wants to cartwheel across the balance beam of asskissing versus asking some worthwhile questions? Not me. Celebrity interviewing? Eh. I do well interviewing everyday folks. Cat stuck in a tree? I'm your gal! Survive a house fire? I got it covered. But I have absolutely no fucking idea what to ask Janeane Garofalo. To make matters worse, I've had a girl crush on her ever since I saw her bang fringe and heard her dulcet I'm-so-bored-with-this monotone on Reality Bites. C'mon.. it was THE flick for Generation X. Reality Bites, Singles, and Heathers. Of course, I can quote Janeane every single line from Reality Bites... but that seems a tad inappropriate, no?
"Like, OMIGOD, Janeane - can I call you Janeane? Like, Reality Bites is so totally in my top ten favorites! You know that part where you're all "I'm late for jean folding seminar, let's locomote!" because you, like, work at the Gap? And that other time where you're all "EVIAN is NAIVE spelled backwards?" And that one time when you dance to My Sharona in the gas station? That's the best!!! So, like, what is Ben Stiller really like? Did you guys ever date?"

See? I should not be unleashed on the charmingly acerbic Ms. Garofalo. Yet my editor at Dig & Scratch disagrees. Does anyone have any suggestions on what to ask our gal Janeane? What would YOU ask? Remember, the girl has a brain, she has issued such notable quotes as:

"I guess I just prefer to see the dark side of things. The glass is always half empty. And cracked. And I just cut my lip on it. And chipped a tooth."

"How is it that this debate has been twisted on its head, that somehow those that advocate peace and diplomacy are anti-American? ... Or those that advocate peace are anti-troops or pro-Saddam?"

"Is being an idiot like being high all the time?"

I wish I said that last one. It would be so much easier were I interviewing, oh, say Paris Hilton. I'd just be all, "Omigod Paris! I love your dress! How much did it cost? Where did you get those shoes, they're ADORABLE! And your handbag? That's hot! What's it like being a celebrity? What's your advice for all the young women who look up to you? Stay sexy? Perfect! Thanks!

Janeane requires some finesse. Some skill. She's sassy AND smart, a "feisty, funny, opinionated fireball of a woman all wrapped up in a cute little package." Seriously. Help a sister out. What are you curious about? What would you ask Janeane?

Reader Comments (26)

Is she a lesbian?

January 8, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterRaj

Actually, methinks she got married (to a man) on a whim back in '91 or '92. Although they broke up - I don't think they ever officially divorced.

January 8, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterThe Girl Who

Love, love love Janeane Garofalo! Her stand-up is the best. I once saw her walking her dog in the city! Her hair was blonde and she is very small. Obviously, ask her about her dog!

January 8, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterAimee

I'm like the worst with celebrities. All I can do is stare at them and/or follow them around crowded bars aimlessly. I'm smooth, obviously. When the time comes, I'm sure you'll be great.

January 8, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterHeather B.

Remember "The Truth About Cats and Dogs" not only was there a hot masturbation scene, she played a VETERINARIAN!!! That could be a good topic. Remember in the movie, they put skates on a HUGE Great Dane!
Just a thought.

January 8, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterJen

I'm afraid I have the same instincts to gush over the very same things you do - I also love The Truth About Cats and Dogs. Actually, I LOVE her. So, no help here. Sorry! I'm too "EEEEHHHHH" with the thought that you get to hang with Janeane.

January 8, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterEDW

what about asking whether her comments about the war have hurt her career in any way. shes right but there are so many crazy pro-bushies out there

January 8, 2007 | Unregistered Commentermargarita

She's not the biggest fan of "The Truth About Cats and Dogs." I thought it was pretty good, though.

January 8, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterBaker

What about focusing on topics you are passionate about that she seems to share? Like dogs and writing? That way the interview may become more of a conversation than a series of questions (most of which she's probably answered before anyway...).

I'd be interested in knowing why she majored in history, and what era - or historical figures - she was drawn to and why.... But then, I'm a history geek myself....

Obviously, she's passionate about politics, and that might be something that would get the conversation flowing....

Good luck and I'm more than a little jealous!

January 8, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterEAO`

I like margarita's question. In addition to that I would want to ask her opinion on celebrities' influence on politics-- does she think that voters are/aren't or should/shouldn't be swayed by what Hollywood thinks/says about certain members of the administration? Do celebrities have a duty to their audience to disclose their political opinions? Who would she like to see run/win in '08? Political discussions never fail to stir things up-- you'd probably get some very good stuff, but depending on how far right or left Dig & Scratch is, ya may have trouble using some of her responses. Of course, they did ask you to interview her, so they probably knew what they were getting into ahead of time. Good luck-- I'm sure you won't need it, though.

January 8, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterwebchic

ooo - i like the idea about if comments about the war have hurt her career. reading about celebrity opinions on politics is always interesting.
is asking her something about females in comedy trite? it doesn't seem like there are any new female comedians hitting it big lately....

i'm sure you'll come up with something beyond brilliant!

January 8, 2007 | Unregistered Commentergirlymama

i once saw janeane scooping up her dog's poop in the west village! you could ask her if it's embarrassing to get stares from people while she's bent over cleaning up after her dog, hee hee...

January 8, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterlc

I luv Janeane. I'm sure she'll talk a lot about her dog-- and will tell funny stories.

She's been so vocal about the Iraq War and some serious stuff recently, perhaps you could ask her some light-hearted questions about who her favorite comedien(ne)s are and what makes her laugh! I think her humor is so unique and funny and I just love to watch her do her standup routines.

January 8, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterKaren D.

These are all good. I read somewhere that a pilot she shot got canclled because producers didn't like her political views. I think Garofalo is pretty bad ass. Good luck and post your article here!

January 8, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterJib

first question: i love you.
second question: can we dispense with the chit-chat and just get married?
follow-up: seriously, i love you.

then, if she hadn't punched my face or walked out, i'd probably ask about the impending demise of air america and what she thinks that says about the current climate - the fact that we live in a country with a supposed "liberal" media bias, but an unabashadly liberal radio station can't survive while guys like hannity, et al. continue to clog the airwaves on mainstream talk radio stations.

i'd probably also ask her how in god's name somebody like dane cook becomes the most popular comedian in america while chappelle is hiding somewhere in ohio and guys like dave attell and patton oswalt are still mired in (relative) obscurity.

then i'd try and infuriate her by asking her why she (at least the last time i saw a picture) continues to lose weight at an almost lohansian pace when she was - allegedly - a woman who was extremely comfortable with her body and refused to lose weight when some studios suggested she do so in order to land more "leading love interest" roles. was her refusal to lose weight an act of defiance? like, "yeah, i'd like to be thinner, but on my terms." if so, considering that she's still a public figure, didn't the eventual weight loss send the same message she tried to avoid?

seriously, janeane, aren't my questions intelligent and just smarmy enough to convince you that we two should be wed?

oh, i might ask if she has any plans to write again, as that book she and still collaborated on was pretty entertaining.

January 8, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterkasey

Back in late '92 just before the US went into Irac, Janeane stated very publicly her beliefs that Irac had no WMDs. Turns out she was right. Ask her if she feels any vindication. Also did the fact that she was a women, and a celebrity create a credibility problem for her politically? AND did it back-fire and lessen her credibility as an entertainer a la, Natalie Maines of the Dixie Chicks?

January 8, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterbob

do you share food with your dog, or are you one of those no-table scrap people?

January 9, 2007 | Unregistered Commentergossamer

Y'all rock! Now I can fool Janeane into thinking I'm, like, smart and stuff. And things. Maybe she will want to be best friends and then we will have coffee together and walk our dogs together and go to the movies together and OMIGOSH, Janeane, what is "Still" really like?

Although, the article is to be on the shortish side and is going in the entertainment section of the paper so I don't know how political I can get. I read somewhere that she was offered the role of "Monica" on friends and turned it down for another project. She was also allegedly offered the role of Gail Weathers in the SCREAM trilogy. Apparently, Courtney Cox is famous because Garofalo refused a few gigs.

January 9, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterThe Girl Who

I just finished reading Jancee Dunn's memoir & it's filled with anecdotes on what to ask & not ask when interviewing a celebrity...Of course, now that I'm trying to think of her tips my mind is blank. If you have time, maybe you can pop into a bookstore & have a peek? It's called "But Enough About Me: A Jersey Girl's Unlikely Adventures Among the Absurdly Famous"

January 9, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterChrissy

I can only think of questions I abhor because of their overuse:

What's playing right now on your iPod?

Who is the nicest celebrity that you know?

What was it like on the set of [popular movie]? I bet [renowned cut-up] always had everyone laughing so much it was hard to get any work done.

In any celebrity interview, if you avoid those and any questions that might somehow bring up either Rachel Ray or Grey's Anatomy, you're in the clear.

January 9, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterereiberg

Lucky, lucky, girl...

Good luck!

January 9, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterAlejandra

Ask her if she saw this: Why Women aren't funny. Grrrrr!

January 10, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterHolls

holy shit, monica, i'm so jealous.. have you interviewed her yet? if not, discuss her work on Air America and what it was like to work with Sam Seder. she was fantastic, in my opinion, on the Majority Report. and, of course, ask her about her dogs! i, too, would often see her walking her dogs in the village, but was always too starstruck to introduce myself.. (i think her youngest dog's name is Lou)

p.s. (since this is my first time commenting) thanks for sharing your kick-ass writing - especially about new york. makes me miss being there.

January 10, 2007 | Unregistered Commentererin

Wow I have not visited this site in what feels like months. She has disabled 90% of the comments? You have probably driven away half your readership with that. People come onto this site becuase they can comment. Comments are interactive. Wow your really smart Monica.

January 18, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterMichael

If I ever met Janeane, I would want to talk about indie-rock music with her and make fun of top 40 stuff, because I'm pretty sure she and I have almost the exact same taste in bands.

January 27, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterMysticalChicken

So? Has the interview happened yet?

March 3, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterjujubes

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