Review: Janeane Garofalo: Put a Pin in That

An erratic hour that will leave fans disappointed and newcomers baffled

★★
comedy review (edinburgh) | Read in About 2 minutes
Published 10 Aug 2018
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Janeane Garofalo

Janeane Garofalo is a veteran of the lofty heights of Hollywood, so it's surprising when she begins her set by talking about, of all things, British daytime property shows. The unexpected shoutout to Nick Knowles is perfectly welcome. What's equally surprising, though far less welcome, is the incredibly patchy hour that follows.

Put a Pin in That not so much meanders as darts uncontrollably between a series of topics chosen on an apparent whim, with Garofalo veering off script so often you're left wondering if there actually is one. Indiscipline isn't necessarily her enemy, and she's made her name as a talkative wildcard, but this takes tangentiality to the limits of audience patience. Indeed, she herself runs out of patience with her audience, dismissing them early on with a shooing motion and a tacit apology. 

The warning signs are there, chief among them the moment she sits down on stage halfway through and ponders aloud: "Has it been an hour yet?" She alludes to being off her game, but on this evidence there wasn't much of a show to revert to when things went south. 

We know she has interesting and worthwile things to say about feminism, but she doesn't get round to any of them because she's busy prowling around the seating area trying to engage her crowd directly (seemingly forgetting that's what her act is supposed to do, on the stage). It's digressive and ultimately self-indulgent. One can only assume the title is an ode to her attempts at writing the show.