Sweet Jane

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For the past five days we’ve looked at the nominees for Favorite Movie Actor.  For the next five we’re going to tackle the fabulous leading ladies who you’ve chosen in the Favorite Comedic TV Actress category:  Jane Lynch, Kaley Cuoco, Lea Michele, Sofia Vergara and Zooey Deschanel.

Up first:  the hilarious Jane Lynch.

My first exposure to Jane Lynch was on the stage; she played Carol Brady in The Real Live Brady Bunch at  Chicago’s Annoyance Theater circa 1991.  As you might imagine, she nailed it… the hair, the mannerisms, the delivery of Mrs. Brady’s classic lines.  She was just perfect.  A couple of years later she played a doctor in a brief scene with Harrison Ford in The Fugitive. I remember sitting in the movie theater thinking, “Hey, that’s the actress who played Mrs. Brady.”

But, let’s be honest, she really burst onto the scene in 2000 as Christy Cummings in Best in Show.  In a cast that includes comic geniuses like Catherine O’Hara, Christopher Guest, Eugene Levy, Fred Willard, Jennifer Coolidge, Michael McKean and Parker Posey, she managed to stand out as the highly competitive type-A dog trainer who is secretly romantically involved with Coolidge’s Sherri Ann Cabot.  From her first walk with reigning champ Rhapsody in White (a hilariously shorn standard poodle) to her final scene at American Bitch magazine (which focuses on “the issues of the lesbian pure bred dog owner”), she owns the movie.

Now a part of the Christopher Guest mockumentary ensemble (she sadly didn’t appear in Waiting for Guffman but has thankfully been in each of his films since), Jane returned in 2003 in A Mighty Wind as Laurie Bohner, the ex-porn star turned folk singer.  Who can forget her describing her religious beliefs: “Terry and I worship an unconventional deity, the power of another dimension. Now you are not going to read about this dimension in a book or a magazine because it exists nowhere… but in my own mind. Through our ceremonies and rituals we have witnessed the awesome and vibratory power… of color.” And just try not to smile at her performance of “Potato’s in the Paddy Wagon” with her fellow New Main Street Singers.

In For Your Consideration (2006), she played the co-host of an Access Hollywood-type show, perfectly capturing the square-shouldered faux earnestness of a tabloid TV reporter. In addition to brilliant work as a Guest star, she had scene stealing turns in The 40 Year Old Virgin (2005) and Julie and Julia (2009), and she can currently be seen heard in theaters as the voice of Calhoun in Wreck-It Ralph.

But it’s her work as Sue Sylvester on Glee that earned her the People’s Choice Award in 2011 and another nomination this year.  Sporting a track suit, brandishing a megaphone and hurling insults at anyone who crosses her path, Sue has become one of TV’s most memorable characters ever, thanks to Jane’s amazing performance. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Jane Lynch a couple of times.  She couldn’t be nicer (or less Sue-like), which makes me appreciate her acting chops even more.

Capturing all that’s great about Sue Sylvester in one blog is hard, but I have a feeling I know how she’d respond if she knew I just wrote that:

“You think this is hard? Try being waterboarded. That‘s hard.”

or

“You think this is hard? I’m living with hepatitis. That‘s hard.”

or

“You think this is hard? I’m passing a gallstone as we speak. That‘s hard.”

or

“You think this was hard? Try auditioning for Baywatch and being told they’re going in another direction. That was hard.”

Fair enough. But what’s really hard is choosing between all the amazing nominees for Favorite Comedic TV Actress.

Just one more Sue Sylvester quote before I go…

When romance starts to develop between Will and Emma, Sue advises Terri: “I think you should both pack up and move out of the district… unless you wanna lose your man to a mentally ill ginger pygmy with eyes like a bush baby.”

Today’s Poll: Glee‘s Jane Lynch is nominated for Favorite Comedic TV Actress. Which of her Christopher Guest movies is your favorite?

Best In Show

For Your Consideration

A Mighty Wind

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