Jane Lynch: My Comedic Hero


I don’t what it is about her. Jane Lynch is an uncanny, unrelenting character. I wish she were my aunt. I can easily envision her at annual family dinners making every single relation feel incredibly awkward by her seemingly passive and deliberate assertions. Grandma complains of the difficulty of getting from one place to another because of her aching, aging body. Aunt Jane shoots, “You think [that’s] hard? Try living with hepatitis. That’s hard.”

Until recently, I didn’t know who she was by name. I only knew her face; and god, I love her face. You know something brilliant is going to come out of her mouth the second she steps onto the set. She has appeared on what seems like every television show and in every movie of the past ten, twenty years. Her first major role (not counting a brilliant cameo on Empty Nest) was as a somewhat androgynous-enamored-of-Jennifer-Coolidge dog trainer in Best in Show. She told the New York Times Arts Beat that her first encounter with Christopher Guest was as a midwestern Tony the Tiger stalker in a Frosted Flakes commercial he directed. After running into each other in an LA restaurant, he then picked her up for Best in Show and his subsequent film For Your Consideration. Lynch told Chelsea Handler months ago that Guest’s “script[s] looks like every other script except there’s no dialogue.” Heh.

One of my favorite roles Lynch has played to date is her two episode turn as Cindi Lightballoon — the unsuspected Mole who falls for Rav. George Sr. (Jeffrey Tambor) — on Arrested Development. Her genuine emotion pours into you through a chain-linked fence as she urges Bluth to cop a feel. She then turns right around and makes me cringe with delight while watching her character Constance in Party Down every week. I’ll forgive you for having completely no idea what show I’m talking about right now because it’s on Starz. Now start watching.

Last night, FOX premiered Glee — a new show that initially didn’t strike me as particularly exciting. And then I watched it. Written by Nip/Tuck‘s Ryan Murphy, the lines are scalpel-sharp. And the delivery is flawless. Lynch plays a cheerleading coach who at one point in the episode screeched, “You think this is hard? Try being waterboarded. That’s hard.” I think this show will stick around. Even Gawker liked it.

Watch the pilot here and share any favorite Lynch moments of your own in the comments.