HBO Comedy Hour: Janeane Garofalo

The truth about the dog --- forget the cats in this instance --- makes Janeane Garofalo communicate fleshed-out thoughts in linear and hilarious fashion in this hourlong standup show. She meanders for almost half the show, raising excellent points and generating a gentle titter though she often comes up just short; once she's into the dog life, it's a breezy romp. Using a notebook to help her keep her thoughts straight, just another part of Everygal appeal, Garofalo rifles through pop culture, Gotham living and fanatics of religious and nationalistic variety. An explication of summer blockbusters, complete with self-deprecation, hits the mark even if she doesn't explain why she took such a nothing role in "Cop Land."

As cute as she gets connecting the dots from cloning to the Trix cereal jingle to the rules of “smear the queer,” it’s the personal moments where Garofalo shines brightest. Being noticed in embarrassing places such as public restrooms, the dog stench in the apartment, having to testify about a crime, providing the smoker’s perspective — those are the moments when Garofalo lets the outsiders in, the niche she has carved as a humorist. She’s the woman in TV and film the audience wants to see succeed — and the more she speaks from her home, her workplace and her heart, the better the act.

HBO Comedy Hour: Janeane Garofalo

Sat. (23), 10-11 p.m. ET, HBO

Production: Taped at the Hudson Theater in New York by HBO. Executive Producers, Janeane Garofalo, Sandy Chanley, Dave Rath; producer, Tom Bull. Director, Keith Truesdell; writer, Garofalo; production design, John Yeck; lighting design, Allen Branton.

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