Janeane Garofalo was secretly married for 20 years and she didn’t even know it

I can’t help it, I still love Janeane Garofalo. I came of age in the 1990s when she was a big deal. One of my happiest moments as a West Wing fan was when she joined the series in the last two seasons as a brash communications expert/image-maker. It’s interesting to go back and watch some of Janeane’s movies from the 1990s – very few of them are “good movies” but she’s good in them, and I always think that she was a better actress and a much prettier woman than people claimed. Like, everyone was always like “She’s the normal-looking one, she’s the average one compared to [Uma Thurman, Winona Ryder, etc].” But she was always really beautiful, I thought.

Anyway, when Janeane joined her friends in NYC over the weekend for a reunion of The Ben Stiller Show, Janeane confessed something kind of funny – she was married this whole time!

Janeane Garofalo was married for 20 years and didn’t even know it, until she needed to get divorced Saturday. She explained at a New York Comedy Festival reunion for “The Ben Stiller Show” that she married a writer on the series — Rob Cohen, who went on to produce “The Big Bang Theory” — in Las Vegas as a joke in the 1990s, and didn’t realize the nuptials had stuck.

“Rob and I got married, for real, which we had to have a notary dissolve not 30 minutes before we got here tonight,” Garofalo said. “We were married for 20 years until this evening.”

She added, “We got married drunk in Vegas . . . We dated for a year, and we got married at a drive-through chapel in a cab. [We thought] you have to go down to the courthouse and sign papers and stuff, so who knew? We were married, and apparently now that [Rob] is getting married for real, his lawyer dug up something.”

We’re told Cohen, whose credits include HBO’s “The Life & Times of Tim,” is engaged to Jill Leiderman, a producer on “Jimmy Kimmel Live.” While Wikipedia had described Garofalo and Cohen as married, they apparently thought it was all part of the two-decade joke.

At the reunion, called “Oddly Familiar,” at the Paley Center for Media, director Judd Apatow asked the unwitting exes Garofalo and Cohen if either had benefitted financially from the split, which Garofalo said was notarized at a TD Bank in Midtown.

“I’m gonna get all of that ‘Reality Bites’ money!” Cohen joked, referring to Garofalo’s 1994 Ethan Hawke-Winona Ryder Generation X drama, which grossed $21 million.

Recalling their long-ago dating days, Garofalo quipped, “I’m sure I was terrible,” to which Cohen responded, “I will confirm that.” Garofalo added she no longer drinks.

Also at the reunion panel, sponsored by Svedka vodka, were Stiller, Andy Dick and “Breaking Bad” star Bob Odenkirk, who beamed in via video. Reps for Garofalo, Cohen and Leiderman didn’t get back to us.

[From Page Six]

I can understand getting drunk-married in Vegas. I can understand being like “OMFG, what did we do?” the next morning. What I don’t understand is never finding out if the marriage was legit FOR 20 YEARS. That’s so crazy! Also: I wonder why Janeane never got married (for real married, not drunk married)? These are some recent photos of her too – she looks exactly the same as she did in the 1990s. Hipster vampire!

Photos courtesy of WENN.

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71 Responses to “Janeane Garofalo was secretly married for 20 years and she didn’t even know it”

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  1. Jag says:

    I thought that she was gay, so that could explain why she never married anyone else. Weird that they never checked, though.

  2. RN says:

    I think she looks really different than how I remember her, and I just watched “Reality Bites” on cable within the past two weeks. I can’t tell what she did to her face, but something is different.

  3. Hubbahun says:

    She is gorgeous – and the full package too, talanted, brilliant and funny. I always thought she outshines her supposedly more attractive co-stars in everything she does. Incidently she was only in Season 7 of The West Wing (I’m watching it right now!) but made such an impact that it does seem she was there the whole time (much like Lily Tomlin and Mary McCormack.) Sorry for the WW fan girl ranting but I love it! Still not over it being finished….

  4. Nev says:

    she was hysterical in Reality Bites!!!!

  5. grabbyhands says:

    I’ve always had a massive girl crush on her. I’ve appreciated how brash she can be, but one of my favorite movies of hers is The Matchmaker-she is a surprisingly good romantic lead.

  6. valleymiss says:

    That’s funny! I could see myself making a mistake like that. I thought you had to apply for a license and do blood tests and all that? (But I’m realizing that this must be why everyone says getting married in Vegas is the “quickie” way to do it – I guess they skip all that?)

  7. Trillion says:

    Ha! My husband did that. He could NOT convince me enough that it was legally over before we got married. We got married in Iceland so I was paranoid that when we returned, the marriage would be somehow deemed illegitimate by some random kink in the red tape somewhere down the line.

  8. lucy2 says:

    I always thought she was pretty too, esp. in that movie with Uma.

  9. Toot says:

    I always liked Janeane too and thought she was better lookg than Uma in “The Truth About Cats and Dogs”.

  10. jenny piccolo says:

    I love this article because I’ve been trying to figure out what to call my style for the longest time. My kids call me emo. I like hipster vampire better. Janeane G. is an excellent actress and really likeable. Wonder why she stopped making movies? WTH?!

  11. Erin says:

    Wait a minute – unless she had something huge done to her face, the top picture is definitely NOT Janeane Garofalo. Anyone know who this is or if she had a facelift or something?

  12. jani says:

    Love, respect and admire Janeane. I’m sure she would have become a much bigger star as an actress if she fit the Hollywood beauty stereotype. Since she didn’t she got relegated to the few movie sidekick roles available to women. Always thought that she was, and still is, very pretty. Her consistently bizarre style choices, though, make me think that she is one of those people who deliberately play down their attractiveness.

  13. Justyna says:

    I really like her too. Back in the 90′s when I was still a kid/tween, she was always one of those actresses who I couldn’t really remeber by name but I’ve watched a lot of her work and found her very talented, likeable and pretty. I don’t get how people can call her the average one and Uma Thurman the beautiful one. But I have always found Thurman to be overrated. As for her marriage. I don’t know how it worked for them but it’s not the first time I hear about people who got drunk-married and than found out years later it was legally binding. What happens it Vegas…

  14. Jen says:

    Whaaaat? The fact that you’re a WW fan just makes me love this site all the more now! She rocked as an addition to the Jimmy Smits campaign. Also, I always loved Janeane in Romy & Michelle’s High School Reunion and Mystery Men. Bad, but enjoyable movies where she was the highlight.

  15. Lindsey says:

    Everytime I look a picture above the fold of Janeane I’m like “wow,she’s so pretty!” and then I scroll down and see her clothes and “ACKKKKKKKK”

  16. MissMary says:

    She identifies as asexual/aromantic with no interest in sex, marriage, or any sort of romantic relationship.

  17. Paula says:

    Not gonna lie, ‘The Truth About Cats & Dogs’ is 1 of my favorite rom comes ever. Loved her in that!

  18. Alexis says:

    She’s not gay, she has self professed “intimacy issues.”

  19. WOM says:

    Secretly married? I don’t think so — it’s been listed on her wikipedia page for years and she’s spoken of it before in interviews. As to plastic surgery: she’s had her breasts reduced for sure. Also maybe the same face-fat suckin’ thing as Bristol Palin.

    I liked Garofalo when she was an actress, but her style of political punditry is so base I now can’t stand her. She personally insults those with opposing views, is overly emotional in defending her opinions and talks in sound bites.

  20. Shelly says:

    I love her…..she’s the epitome of sarcastic humour.

  21. Erin says:

    wow, she definitely had a nose job at the very least then. her entire face is different. that’s really too bad, i always appreciated her attitude. :(

  22. Chicagogurl17 says:

    She said in a rolling stone article in 98/99 that she got married to someone in Vegas yrs ago, didn’t know if it stuck, so this news isn’t surprising. I love JG and I love her even more with Henry Rollins. They seem like a great intellectual match.

    • Cirque28 says:

      Yes! I was just going to say– I think she must have been joking when she claimed to be asexual, because what about Janeane and Henry Rollins??

      The fact that Janeane Garofalo considered him worthy to date totally raised my opinion of Henry. And I already liked him.

  23. RobN says:

    As somebody who actually got married in Las Vegas, I can tell you that you’re not married unless you went to the Clark County courthouse and applied for a marriage license. If you did that and then went through a ceremony, regardless of how hokey, then you’re married and I’m not sure why you wouldn’t realize it. They send you a copy of your actual license a couple of weeks later.

    This ‘we didn’t know we were really married’ stuff is ridiculous. I think they think it’s just a cute story so they’re playing it up, but it just isn’t believable at all.

    And I really preferred her old face. I wouldn’t have even recognized her.

  24. Moi says:

    She’s a raging bitch in person.

  25. jc126 says:

    She’s pretty. She used to talk about how she was fat, at least by Hollywood standards. I saw her one time in the subway in Boston, and let me tell you – she was tiny, slender and small boned. Impossibly tiny, the kind of person who catches your eye because she’s so much smaller than everyone else. Seeing her made me think most normal-weight people would look absolutely enormous on camera.

  26. Jade says:

    I just met her a few months ago and she’s shorter than me (I’m 5 foot 3 inches tall) and very slim- I thought she said she’s had work done on her face, in some interview a few years ago? She was so incredibly nice to me!

  27. EscapedConvent says:

    You can’t watch “Bye Bye Love” & not love Janeane! (sorry about all the negatives!) Everyone ought to see her in that—it’s hysterical. (Poor Randy Quaid.) It’s a little gem of a performance.

  28. Ginger says:

    I have always thought she was pretty too. Is she still doing radio?

  29. Happy21 says:

    I love her! Reality Bites was such a big deal when I was 16 :)

    She was fab in Romy & Michelle’s HS Reunion but most of all I loved her as “The Bowler” in Mystery Men.

  30. BangBang says:

    I can’t help but love her although she has kind of lost her mind. Saw her a few years ago and she was ranting and raving about politics, I thought she’s going to have a heart attack. Nobody thought it was funny which is sad because she can be brilliant. The politics she takes way too far though.

  31. Eileen says:

    LOVE her! Her movies sum up my entire late teens/early 20s experience.
    Ahhhhh-Doc Martens, Baby doll dresses, flannels and LOTS of eyeliner. #goodtimes

  32. skuddles says:

    I remember when Jeanne used to be so cool – now she confuses bath towels for skirts… sigh.

  33. KateNonymous says:

    Really? Because I’m pretty sure she talked about this 10-15 years ago but danced around the identity of the groom. This sounds really familiar.

  34. JulieM says:

    She hosted an Air America radio show with Sam Seder back a few years when there was an Air America. As others have stated above; very, very strong opinions; but extremely bright. And talented. And insecure. Sam used to tease her to tears on their show, which I found mean spirited. But she could give as good as she got.

  35. sofie says:

    ….my favorite film with her, definitely, is “200 cigarettes”….

  36. The Original Victoria says:

    I love the Truth About Cats and Dogs because I always identified with J’s character. It’s like I always had super beautiful friends and felt like the ugly duckling so I hid behind my wit and intellect; not that I’m saying I’m a genius but you know…

    Anyway, seeing that movie was all kinds of awesome and I loved the chem she had with Ben Chaplin.

  37. Steph says:

    Love her, intelligent, funny, beautifully. What’s not to love?

  38. LittleDeadGirl says:

    I have a very neutral opinion of her, don’t hate her or love her, like her in a few movies I’ve seen but wasn’t majorly impressed. I’m baffled by what she’s wearing though … it’s something I’d expect a senile grandmother to wear.

  39. Susie (1 of 3) says:

    Thank you for listing her name in the heading. I never would have guessed it was Jeanane. Always loved her stand up comedy best of all. Was concerned for her during the white hair bleached blonde period when she seemed barely coherent. So sad she is turning her face into the main stream Barbie look she so hated, when her unique beauty had set her apart. She looks healthy and I hope this is a happy part of her life.

  40. Velouria says:

    Loved her on Larry Sanders more than anything she’s ever done. She looks weird so thin and with the tatts…almost methy.

  41. Adrien says:

    I find her beautiful. There was a movie starring her and Uma Thurman where she’s supposed to be the insecure, plain looking one. I thought she was more attractive than Uma.
    Oh well, she will always be Daria to me.

  42. ezra says:

    An asexual, cute raging bitch.
    There you go.