There are a lot of misconceptions about Janeane Garofalo out there: she’s a vegan, she defines Gen X, she turned down the role of Monica on Friends, she’s my best friend’s stepmother’s cousin (that’s not a joke…Janeane confirmed this wasn’t true). So what IS the truth about Janeane G? Well she’s not afraid to speak her mind, for one thing! We got a chance to chat with Janeane at Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary’s Komedy For Karma event last night. Check out the interview below!
Ecorazzi: How did you first get involved with Woodstock?
Janeane Garofolo: I can’t remember now. I think we interviewed them while I was working at Air America. I think we interviewed Jenny. So I believe I became involved when I was working at Air America and we just kept in touch.
E:You were a vegetarian for 18 years…
JG: Right, but I’m no longer a vegetarian.
E: I read that.
JG: I’m a vegetarian except for bacon. The amount of times I eat bacon is negligible though. I’d say I eat bacon once or twice a year. But other than that — no meat at all.
E: Now I know you’re very politically involved. Are you excited to see Obama in office?
JG: Yes, very. But I’m not excited when he panders to the right wing. I’m not excited about that at all. Democrats make that mistake all the time. The DLC is responsible. They think it’s prudent to pander to the least among us – which would be conservatives. And it’s a very vocal minority. They’re just the squeakiest wheel so they get greased.
When Obama tries to “reach across the aisle,” it’s a fool’s errand. They will never be bipartisan because their ideology won’t allow for it. So I don’t know why Obama is doing things like taking reproduction justice out of the stimulus package. Stuff like that is just nonsensical.
E: What are three things you’d like to really see Obama change in this country?
JG: I’d like to see him be a proud liberal and say it. You know what I mean? There’s no shame in being a liberal – it’s something to be very proud of. He should say it – cause he is one – and he should be proud to be one. And since it is clear and has been clear since Reagan that the republicans, the “conservatives” will NEVER play ball…NEVER…fu%$ um.
Their policies have destroyed us and most of the world – that’s a fact not an opinion. Their policies of deregulation, pre-emptive strikes, unmitigated support for Israel to the detriment of the Israelis, Palestinian’s, Americans, the British. Every single policy that “conservative republicans” have put forth since Reagan has destroyed us. And we affect most of the world, so why do they still get a say? That’s what blows my mind. It’s almost like self-flagellation or masochism in some way. We keep going to that portion. They are NEVER going to compromise. The thing is that the more you give in to something like that, the more they take advantage.
The reason a person is a conservative republican is because something is wrong with them. Again, that’s science – that’s neuroscience. You cannot be well adjusted, open-minded, pluralistic, enlightened and be a republican. It’s counter-intuitive. And they revel in their anti-intellectualism. They revel in their cruelty.
I don’t know if you heard me talking to Jenny a while ago, but I was saying that first you have to be an asshole and then comes the conservatism. You gotta be a dick to cleave onto their ideology.
E: This might be an appropriate time to segue into Sarah Palin. I would love to know what you think about Palin.
JG: Probably what most people think about Sarah Palin. She’s small-minded and mean-spirited. It has nothing to do with gender — I don’t give a shit about her gender — she is what the Republican Party has become: obstructionist, contrarians, small-minded, all of these things. She just happens to be attractive. There’s definitely something wrong with her. She’s lacking in so many areas. Of course she’s successful with a segment of the country because she represents that lesser segment of the country. It’s people’s lesser nature – their human frailty. You know whatever’s wrong with them is what she is about.
E: I think it’s safe to say she’s done some pretty nutty things.
JG: It’s not even nutty. It really is neuroscience. I truly believe that it has something to do with their limbic brain. I really believe that some people’s limbic brain dominates more than others. Our limbic brain controls all our emotions and it causes us to be irrational. Our limbic brain goes into action when we’re ecstatic, frightened, when we’re having sex. I really believe that if a neuroscientist examined the brain of somebody who identified as a conservative, they would find it’s wired differently.
E: I know you’re about to do your set, so I don’t want to keep you. Are there any projects you have in the works?
JC: I just wrapped on 24. I’m sort of always doing stand-up. I’m doing some dates here, San Francisco, Portland, England, Ireland, Melbourne. So just waiting for another job. I think I might be doing another series on USA next year, but it’s still just theoretical.
A big thank you to Jeneane Garofolo for taking the time to chat with us. And also much thanks to Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary for arranging this interview. You guys rock!