My Family Home Movie
(Starring Janeane Garofalo)

(Originally appeared on The Freedonian, July 10 2001)


In July of 2001, I invited Janeane Garofalo to appear in my family’s home movie. Although offered very little money, she accepted readily, save for three conditions: That we were to call her by her real name; that we were to receive no outside funding from a major studio; and that she was to be allowed to dress however she wished. Easy. Done.

August 2, 2001


Mike Sacks (as himself, home from the big city for the weekend)

Mrs. Martha Sacks (as herself, the mother)

Mr. Robert Sacks (as himself, the father)

Janeane Garofalo (only sister, ironic, world-bent, deliciously cunning, never left home, everybody’s favorite, except for the men, who unfortunately tend to overlook her in favor of her best friend, the beautiful, exotic Noelle. This is unfair, but little can be done about it, other than putting them all in their well-deserved places with an impeccably-timed quip. She is sporting (in an arduously casual manner) a mocha tank top, olive drab shorts, four thin, leather bracelets, two on each arm, and a leather cuff (right arm). She is also sporting a pair of steel-toed black chukka boots. Her tattoos are many. She is different. She is wonderful. She is, for this afternoon, our wise-cracking older sister/eldest daughter. We love her dearly.)

Cue-in . . .

A screened-in porch. A table is laid out from end to end with a bounty of delicious food. The sun is setting. It is a typical scene of a typical family. It is dusk in Poolesville, Maryland, and all is well with the world. On a circular dinner table sits a red, green and black candle that is shaped like a watermelon. For now, it is unlit.

Ext . . .

Janeane, enters from the left. She is scowling and holding her stomach.

Janeane: I feel all bright-eyed and mussy-furred, like a mangy dog ridden hard and put away wet. Do I look like a Tijuana rag doll to all of you? (Rolls eyes) The fucker gives me a call this morning, like I’m his cabana-girl bitch that he can just ring up whenever he feels the urge to merge. I pick up the phone and this is what I get. (Low, guttural voice) “Uh, yeah … like you’re friends with Noelle, right? Okay, kind of wondering if you could hook me up with her, because she’s like, more beautiful than you’re ever going to be, so sorry.” (Normal voice) And I’m thinking: “Hey, professor, go out and rut with a saucy wench and leave me the fuck out of it.”

Martha: Sweetheart, you want one hot dog or two?

Janeane (picking up a raw hot dog): Looks familiar. Like a lady’s lollipop just before the Viagra hits.

Robert: Hon, can we get her a drink?

Martha: Of course—

Janeane (sarcastically): Yeah, I need a drink like I need a hole in both your heads. By the way, what’s with that T-shirt, daddy? Looks like something Mr. Disney would have pinched out.

Robert (laughing): You’re funny!

Janeane: Funny? No. The only thing that I am is hungry. Where in the fuck is the food already?

Robert: Almost, almost. Anyone up for a game?

Mike: Sure.

Martha: Sure.

Janeane: Let me a tell you a story. It’s about a family that’s so lame they can think of nothing better to do than to play lousy games. Let me tell you another story: I feel like an Asian princess in a Greek fairy tale, bound and gagged, and then rolled over with my belly exposed. Okay, story done.

Voice of Mike (laughing): That was great!

Martha (laughing): Yeah, fantastic!

Robert (laughing): It’s fun having you in our movie. We’ve never had a daughter. This is nice.

Janeane: What’s with this house? Is the family allergic to black? And this watermelon candle? Where in the shit did you find this little gem? The gift shop in Hades?

Martha (laughing): At a garage sale on Windsor View. Isn’t it darling? Let me light it.

Janeane: Christ damn. Okay, dig this: You’re paying me to be here today, and I can respect that. I’m the older, wise-cracking sibling, that’s fine. So I’ll give you five more minutes and then I’ll take my check and I’ll leave.

Robert (laughing): Sounds good.

Martha (laughing): Okay.

Voice of Mike (laughing): Great.

Janeane (in a tight close-up): Okay, so here we go: So Noelle calls me up this afternoon and says: “Uh, did you talk to Geoffrey?” And I’m like: “Talk to him? The man can’t even form complete sentences without the help of his wet nurse, how am I going to talk to him?” And she’s like: “Do you think that he likes me?” And I’m like: “Who gives a shit? This is a man who performs somersaults for fun.” And she says: “Oh, but he’s so sensitive.” And I’m like, “Why? Because he has a tattoo of a teardrop? On his penis?” Okay, I’m done.

Robert (laughing): Fabulous!

Martha (laughing): Beautiful.

Mike (laughing): Wow.

Janeane: Seriously, I’m done. Money please.

(Dissolve to a musical montage . . . “I Feel Good,” by James Brown)

Cut to:

Janeane, in slow motion, scowling.

Janeane, in slow motion, scowling.

Janeane, in slow motion, scowling.

(Musical montage ends)

Robert: We can’t thank you enough.

Janeane: Suck my balls.

(More laughter)


Out of the house Janeane walks, slowly, and with solid purpose. She is ravishing, in a dark, brooding way. She is a woman alone against the world, her weapons only her acerbic wit and her edgy tendencies. She is off to the Smyths, and to their home movie. They’ve never had a sarcastic, progressive maid, and yet they’ve always dreamed of employing one. The Sacks family can only stand back in awe, and wave. The watermelon candle burns to a slow ember, and then out.

Important Notice:

Dearest readers:

If you, too, are interested in having Janeane Garofalo star in your home movie for very little or absolutely no money, you can reach her through the United Talent Agency, 9560 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 500, Beverly Hills, CA 90212. Or, by phone 310-273-6700. Please tell her that Mike Sacks, her younger brother for one joyful, enchanting afternoon, says “hello.”