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  • Faith: Atheist
  • Career: Actress
  • Birthday:  September 28, 1964

Janeane Garofalo is an actress, comedian, and former co-host on Air America Radio's "The Majority Report." She started her career as a stand-up comedian and became a cast member on "The Ben Stiller Show,” "The Larry Sanders Show," and "Saturday Night Life," then appeared in over 50 movies, with major or leading roles in "Reality Bites,” "The Truth About Cats and Dogs,” "The Wild,” "Sweethearts," and "The Independent." She's been a regular on TV series like "Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp,” "Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce,” and “24.” She continues to circulate regularly within New York City’s performance art and comedy scene.

Garofalo was born in Newton, New Jersey, the daughter of Carmine and Joan Garofalo. She grew up in various places, including Madison, New Jersey, Ontario, California, and Houston, Texas, where she graduated from James E. Taylor High School. She said she didn’t like life in Houston because of the humidity and heat and the emphasis on prettiness and sports in high school. While studying at Providence College, Garofalo entered a comedy talent search sponsored by the Showtime cable network and won the title of “Funniest Person in Rhode Island.” Her original gimmick was to read off of her hand, which wasn’t successful in subsequent performances. Dreaming of earning a slot on the writing staff of “Late Night with David Letterman,” she became a professional stand-up on graduating from college with degrees in American studies and history.

She struggled for several years, even working as a bike messenger in Boston. Garofalo officially started her career in stand-up comedy in the mid-1980s during the pre-grunge era. Her appearance was often in line with very mid-1980s style: messy with thick black glasses and disheveled hair. Her comedy is typically self-deprecating, but she’s made fun of popular culture and the pressures on women to conform to body image ideals promoted in the media. While she was in San Francisco, Garofalo was a frequent guest at the San Francisco Comedy Condo. Her comedy shows also involve her and her notebook, which is filled with years’ worth of article clippings and random observations she references for direct quotes during her act.

What religion is Janeane Garofalo?

Garofalo has been candid and outspoken about her liberal political views. She identifies as a feminist, and in an interview with Geek Monthly, she said she was raised in a conservative family. She appeared with political figures like Jello Biafra and Ralph Nader at various events. Garofalo described herself as an atheist and participated in a radio interview by Freethought Radio, a show by the Freedom From Religion Foundation.

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