They say politics makes strange bedfellows. But the better question is, does it make good TV? Famously left-leaning comic Janeane Garofalo will join the cast of the unabashedly right-leaning counterterrorism drama 24 next season. Janeane will play Janis Gold, an FBI systems analyst assigned to the team investigating the crisis befalling Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland) and company in the upcoming season.
As a regular cast member the outspoken liberal (heck, she’s even had it tattooed on her arm) will work for a man (series co-creator/executive producer Joel Surnow) who is a big Rush Limbaugh fan and happily calls himself a “right-wing nut job.” Wow, that should make for some interesting water cooler conversations. Even Janeane was surprised by her casting, which she told the Ottawa Sun happened "much to my chagrin. That’s why I feel like I’m being punked. I feel like the creators are going to make me say things that cause my sphincter to tighten."
Janeane is the second announced addition for the seventh season of the real-time drama. Earlier this summer out actress Cherry Jones was cast as President Allison, the show’s first female commander in chief. A lesbian and a liberal? Now I might actually have to start watching.
And, as if the tantalizing twofer of Janeane and Cherry wasn’t enough to convince me, the producers of 24 announced last month that show will go green to educate viewers about global warming. In an attempt to be completely carbon neutral by the season finale, the production will switch to biodiesel, “green power” (wind, sun, water) and hybrid vehicles, among other environmental moves. Kiefer Sutherland and other cast members will record PSAs about climate change. And, the issue of global warming and the importance of carbon emission reduction will even be incorporated into the show’s storyline, when appropriate. Again, wow. If this is the kind of right-wing nut jobs at 24, no wonder Janeane wants to go work with them.