Janeane Garofalo has made her name as an actress, stand up comic, and left wing political activist. She was born in 1964, in New Jersey, and did stand up full time after graduating college. Garofalo worked with fellow comedian Marc Maron for a time. Her first television series was in the brief run of The Ben Stiller Show in 1992, featuring Stiller, Bob Odenkirk, Andy Dick, and David Cross. After that came The Larry Sanders Show for which she received two Emmy nominations for her role as Paula. Rip Torn also featured.
Janeane then joined the cast of Saturday Night Live. In an interview, she criticized the comedy of Adam Sandler, which caused a rift with the SNL writers. Janeane left the show after a six month stint. Garofalo has mixed television and movie roles. She did reject the role of Monica in Friends, made famous by Courteney Cox; but appeared in the cult movie Reality Bites, with co-stars Winona Ryder, Ethan Hawke, Steve Zahn, and Swoosie Kurtz. Ben Stiller directed and also had a part. Garofalo appeared in an episode of Ellen with Ellen DeGeneres and regulars Joely Fisher, David Anthony Higgins, and Jeremy Piven.
Director Michael Lehmann cast Garofalo in the romantic comedy The Truth About Cats & Dogs. It co-starred Uma Thurman, Ben Chaplin, and Jamie Foxx. Garofalo appeared as herself in the stylish 200 Cigarettes, along with Ben Affleck, Casey Affleck, Kate Hudson, and Courtney Love. Janeane also starred in a comedy adventure film directed by Des McAnuff, called The Adventures of Rocky & Bullwinkle. Her co-stars were Rene Russo, Jason Alexander, Randy Quaid, and Robert De Niro.
Janeane Garofalo joined the cast of hit political show The West Wing for several episodes as Louise Thornton. This was alongside the regulars Martin Sheen, Stockard Channing, Rob Lowe, Richard Schiff, and John Spencer.
Political issues have occupied much of Garofalo time, and she has shared the platform several times with Ralph Nader and Jello Biafra. She is a committed pacifist and feminist who is opposed to the Iraq War. Janeane Garofalo has participated in broadcast debates with Bill, Jonah Goldberg, and Brian Kilmeade. Garofalo took part in political concerts featuring Steve Earle, Billy Bragg, and Tom Morello and has also campaigned for Howard Dean.
In 2004, Janeane Garofalo became the co-host for The Majority Report for the liberal Air America Radio. She presented with Sam Seder and left in the summer of 2006. Garofalo has a number of projects lined up for 2006 and 2007. Janeane has had a recent romance with actor Craig Bierko.