Isn’t it funny how interconnected everything seems to be in show business? On Friday night I saw Christine Jeffs’ film Sunshine Cleaning with Amy Adams, Emily Blunt and Alan Arkin giving strong performances in a likeable family comedy-drama setting. The main subplot for Blunt’s character, the wayward younger sister Norah, has her tracking down and befriending Lynn, a peculiar woman who works in the local blood donor clinic.
Lynn is played with commendable obliqueness by the actor-comedian Mary Lynn Rajskub. The name rung a bell somewhere, but not for the most likely reason; I’ve not seen the TV series ‘24’ in which she plays second billing to Kiefer Sutherland as Chloe O’Brian. Scanning her list of acting appearances, I realised that I’d heard of Rajskub not for her top-rating TV career on ‘24’, but for the low-key cult comedy duo, The Girls Guitar Club.
Now, to be fair, I’d not actually seen the 2001 short film, The Girls Guitar Club until this evening, when I tracked it down. (There’s no apostrophe in the title, before you flame me). It’s a charming 14 minutes of film, and they certainly have impeccable connections, what with Mark Everett (aka E from Eels) playing the creepy indie bearded guy and Grant-Lee Phillips playing the Kontiki Lounge host. Not to mention the guidance counsellor from Freaks & Geeks, as the record producer:
Rajskub’s GGC partner, comedian Karen Kilgariff, was a stand-out performer in Annie Griffin’s fantastic Channel 4 series, ‘The Book Group’. In the second series Kilgariff played the ascerbic sister of the main character Claire, and her cutting dialogue was a highlight of the series, as was her character’s uncanny ability to drive her sister round the bend. Kilgariff now writes comedy material for Ellen Degeneres’ show, but let’s take a look at one of her own stand-up musical numbers, ‘Problem Parfait at the Fake Gallery’:
Here’s another example of the GGC’s pleasingly daft stand-up performance from a 2001 TV show:
Rajskub has plenty of recent TV comedy experience too, having recently appeared in the second Flight of the Conchords series on HBO. Here she is with Jemaine Clement and Art Garfunkel: