She’s been featured in movies like The Truth About Cats & Dogs, Mystery Men and Ratatouille.
She attended Providence College as an undergrad, majoring in history, and took up humor at the same time, winning a Showtime-hosted talent hunt located in Rhode Island. She continued to pursue stand up in the New England region before moving to La, California, and joining the cast of the 1992 sketch comedy show The Ben Stiller Show. She and Ben Stiller also dated, and would later co star in film jobs.
During the 1990s, Garofalo was exceptionally prolific along with her television and movie work.
Garofalo’s film output was prodigious at the same time, using the performer featured in jobs including offbeat comedies to enticing intimate fare into a police thriller. Truth was an update on the story of Cyrano de Bergerac that costarred Uma Thurman, with Garofalo impersonating a radio show host who hides her identity from her would be paramour (Ben Chaplin).
In 1999, she starred in two ensemble comedies: the comic book inspired Mystery Men, which set a funny twist on super-heroics, and Dogma, a satirical meditation on conventional faith and spirituality.
She and Stiller took a foray into publishing at the same time, with the 1999 launch Feel This Book: An Essential Guide to Self-Empowerment, Spiritual Supremacy, and Sexual Satisfaction. The novel became a New York Times bestseller.
Garofalo afterwards spoke of being consumed by the scene and becoming dependent on alcohol. She quit drinking in 2001 using the help of Alcoholics Anonymous. From the center of the decade, with work becoming quieter about the movie front, Garofalo turned to getting a media outlet for her political beliefs and activism, hosting the liberal talk show Majority Report on Air America Radio to get a time.
In 2005, Garofalo returned to TV series work using the critically acclaimed The West Wing, impersonating campaign strategist Louise Thornton throughout the series’ seventh and final season. The performer subsequently had a worldwide smash hit with the 2007 animated movie Ratatouille, where she expressed the character Colette, a no nonsense, trailblazing feminist chef.
In 2011, Garofalo starred on the CBS drama Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior. The next year, she starred in the Acorn Theater production Russian Transportation along with the movie comedy General Education.
Around this same time, Garofalo was in the news upon recognizing that she’d unknowingly been wed to Big Bang Theory producer Rob Cohen for 20 years—the effect of an earlier service at a drive through chapel in Las Vegas. (The two were intoxicated at that time and did not consider the service was binding.)
Garofalo has continued to act as a stand-up comedian in various formats recently, and has spoken openly about the Hollywood double standard in regards to old performers as well as girls generally.
Garofalo has several tattoos, some notable, that sport words like “Valor” and “Truth.”