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Dirty Underwear and the Patriarchy: Kristen Schaal & Janeane Garofalo 

Wednesday, Jan 6 2016

Dirty Underwear and The Patriarchy: Kristen Schaal & Janeane Garofalo

Comedy is a medium conducive to free-flowing thoughts, a fact best proved by putting two comics like Kristen Schaal and Janeane Garofalo on the phone together. Schaal is known for her vocal work on shows like Bob's Burgers and BoJack Horseman, as well as her role as Carol Pilbasian on NBC's Last Man on Earth. She would be the first to acknowledge the debt she owes Janeane Garofalo, a pioneer of the alternative comedy movement that brought the world cult classics like Mr. Show and The Ben Stiller Show, while also ushering in a new era of stand-up comedy that is still going strong today.

There is an undeniable delight in listening to Schaal and Garoafalo as they volley from informal subjects like laundry to more profound fare like the cultural stigma of being a celebrity with a political opinion. What's amazing is perhaps how these two can make anything interesting. For all the substandard podcasts currently flooding the market, The Schaal/Garofalo Hour would be a welcomed addition. This conversation has been edited for brevity and clarity. Brackets denote editorial notes where needed.

JG: Hey Kristen, why don't you kick it off? In the Del Close fashion, I will 'yes and' you.

KS: I mean this sounds dangerous. This sounds like the start of a publication that gets us both in big trouble. Just say whatever we're feeling? I don't know...

JG: Well I'm feeling fairly bland today. I was just packing because I'm going on the road in a couple of days until March, so I'm feeling nothing but very anxious and sad that I can't make things fit in a very tiny bag.

KS: Oh man. Well first of all, there's a good remedy for that.

JG: What?

KS: Just pack your basics and then know that if it's too cold, then you get to treat yourself to buying a brand-new sweater somewhere.

JG: Oh I enjoy that, but then the problem is that you still have too much to carry. I refuse to check a bag. I don't care if I'm away from a year. I will try and stuff everything I can in there. I bought an even smaller bag hyphen backpack – it can be either – from Kmart yesterday. Couldn't afford not to buy it. Couldn't afford not to. I thought it was going to be perfect, and as it turns out, I just can't make it work. Here's the issue, if I may elaborate Kristen—

KS: I'm desperate to know!

JG: I like to hand wash things in a hotel sink and let it dry, so that I don't have to carry that many clothes, but because I'm in different place almost every single night, and getting up probably too early to go to the airport, I don't know if things will be dry. I could try blow-drying it in the bathroom, but that's what's throwing me: I can't guarantee that I can re-wear certain things if it's not dry. It puts me in an awkward position.

KS: I'm thinking fourteen pairs of underwear at the least.

JG: Well that's the main thing. That is a non-negotiable, that my underthings must be able to be...shall we say fresh? I don't want to work blue here Kristen. We have no need to say anything untoward.

KS: Children might be reading this.

JG: Do you take my meaning? Personal hygiene is very very important to me, and I say that without any judgment of others who may be more casual about it. I'm not accusing anyone of anything. I'm just saying that I feel, especially out of politeness to my seatmates on an airplane – a lot of these are the small hot planes that go from close city to close city.

KS: There's no way you're going to check a bag for a flight like that. You have to have a carry-on.

JG: I have to have a carry-on, but also I have to be somebody who does not offend with rancid clothes. It would be fine if I were young, ok? It would be one thing if I was in my early 20s and didn't smell good. People can overlook that. But you cannot be 50 and over and not smell good without people making assumptions.

KS: Yup. I agree. It's like you don't want to smell like grandma's attic.

JG: It's one of those things where young people can get away with anything, on an airplane and in life general. It's a young man's game. Am I right about that Kristen?

KG: I've got your back on that.

JG: Anyways, I'm monopolizing the conversation. Kristen, please, you talk.

KS: Well I just got back from Tokyo two days ago.

JG: Oh my gosh!

KS: It was really fun, but I hear you. I was only there for six days, but I only packed a carry-on. It was the shoe situation that got me. You have to figure out the one pair of shoes that will be versatile for walking around and being on stage and going to nice places. It's very difficult.

JG: If I may interject, that's not a problem for me. I've never been a shoe person. I always wear flat shoes, not just because I have a bad back – that's a whole other story – but I always wear just the same black or brown boots. That's it. So I don't have a problem with the shoes.

KS: Ok, but what about what you exercise in?

JS: I don't do that. My only exercise is that I try and walk everywhere and I take stairs, but I still wear my street clothes. I wear my street clothes, Kristen.

KS: The world is your gym.

JG: The world is my gym. It's like 'Street Stretch' from Delocated. I don't know if you remember that episode.

KS: No that is totally from Delocated. I love that scene. You said you only wear flat shoes, and I have a real issue – an agenda – to obliterate high heels from the fashion world in general. I feel like high heels are the modern-day corset.


About The Author

Zack Ruskin

Zack Ruskin

Zack was born in San Francisco and never found a reason to leave. He has written for Consequence of Sound, The Believer, The Millions, and The Rumpus. He is still in search of a Bort license plate.


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