Janet Varney

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Janet Varney
Janet Varney Oct 2014 (cropped).jpg
Varney at the Comic Media Expo in October 2014
Janet Maureen Varney

(1976-02-16) February 16, 1976 (age 42)
EducationRincon High School
Alma materSan Francisco State University (BA)
OccupationActress, comedian
Years active2003–present

Janet Maureen Varney (born February 16, 1976) is an American actress and comedian. She voiced Korra in the Nickelodeon animated television series The Legend of Korra.

Early life[edit]

Varney was born and raised in Tucson, Arizona. She graduated as salutatorian from Rincon High School in 1993[1][2] and is an alumna of San Francisco State University, where she majored in theater, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in 1997.[3] She later pursued a career in interior design before eventually finding her way back into acting.[4] Varney was raised Mormon, but left the church at 17 and now identifies as an agnostic.[5] Varney is of English and Scottish descent.[6][2]


Television projects[edit]

Varney was co-host of The Hollywood Show with Brian Unger, a recurring player on Norm Macdonald's sketch show Back to Norm and an ensemble player on Crossballs, all for Comedy Central. She also starred in the short-lived Fox comedy Happy Hour. In 2007, Varney appeared in the short films Random Acts of Kindness, Die Hardly Working, Eternal Waters, Worldly Possession, The Losers, Keep Off Grass, and Dress For Success which were made during the reality show On the Lot. She has recently appeared as recurring character "Bev" for the web series Back on Topps with Randy and Jason Sklar. Starting in 2008, she began starring in the HBO television series Entourage, playing television producer Amy Miller who works alongside Eric and Charlie. Varney was also cast in a movie called Best Player, starring opposite Jerry Trainor and Jennette McCurdy.

As well as television, Varney acts as host on ESCAPE!,[7] a web series broadcast on Geek & Sundry where teams of celebrities work together to get out of an escape room.[8]

Dinner and a Movie[edit]

In 2005, Varney replaced Lisa Kushell as the host of the TBS cooking and entertainment show Dinner and a Movie. She appeared with Paul Gilmartin and Claud Mann in each episode, introducing films and injecting humor during the preparation of a creative dinner for some themes. The series was cancelled in 2011.


Varney has written and performed several comedic audio commentaries for films along with fellow SF Sketchfest co-founder Cole Stratton. These appear on the Rifftrax website under the Rifftrax Presents branding, as being officially sanctioned by Rifftrax founder and Mystery Science Theater 3000 alumnus, Michael J. Nelson.

She has performed in Rifftrax commentaries for the following films:

Other professional projects[edit]

Varney is the co-founder, creative director and producer of SF Sketchfest, The San Francisco Comedy Festival and is also the co-founder of the San Francisco sketch group Totally False People. She performed with the Los Angeles and San Francisco-based group Sequel 4000. In March 2012, she launched a podcast entitled The JV Club, hosted on Nerdist.com[9] from 2012 to 2018. In November 2018, it was announced that The JV Club is moving to the Maximum Fun network.[10] Varney has participated on a regular basis on the improv comedy podcast Spontaneanation with Paul F. Tompkins, where she is referred to as "Little Janet" Varney.

Personal life[edit]

She was in a relationship with comedian Chris Hardwick from 2004 to 2011.[11] In young adulthood, Varney was diagnosed with depersonalization disorder.[12]

In 2018, Varney came out as bisexual on her Instagram page telling a listener “You should listen to my podcast, I’ve made no secret of my bisexuality.”[13]



Year Title Role Notes
2003 Stuck Jane
2004 Catwoman Party Girl
2007 Humble Pie Joleen
2007 Dante's Inferno Cleopatra / Various (voice)
2008 Bill Amelia Short film
2009 Still Waiting... Haley Direct-to-video
2010 Nic & Tristan Go Mega Dega Sylvia Fishtickle - Mom
2011 The Selling Mary Best
2011 Judy Moody and the Not Bummer Summer Mom
2014 Present Tense Cynthia Short film
2016 Norm of the North Janet (voice)


Year Title Role Notes
2004 Crossballs: The Debate Show Additional Characters Unknown episodes
2005 Back to Norm Christine MacDonald Television film
2006 Free Ride Megan Episode: "Up the Aunty"
2006 Love, Inc. Glenda Episode: "Full House"
2006 Happy Hour Molly Episode: "The Mix CD"
2006 What About Brian Carol Episode: "What About First Steps"
2007 Home Purchasing Club Debbie Driscoll Unknown episodes
2007 The Untitled Rob Roy Thomas Project Ellie Tennant Television film
2007 Halfway Home Kimberly Costas Episodes: "Halfway Hot", "Halfway High School"
2007 Die Hardly Working Heroine Television film
2007 Eternal Waters Lead Television short
2007 How I Met Your Mother Stacey Gusar Episode: "Little Boys"
2007 The Weekend Madelaine Television film
2008 Chocolate News Trina Johns 2 episodes
2008 Man Stroke Woman Various Television film
2008, 2014 Psych Mindy Howland / Connie Camp Episodes: "Murder?... Anyone?... Anyone?... Bueller?", "Remake A.K.A. Cloudy... With a Chance of Improvement"
2008–09 Back on Topps Bev Cleary Series
Unknown episodes
2008–09 Entourage Amy Miller 3 episodes
2009 Memory Lanes Tracy Morris Television film
2009 Bones Maureen Perot Episode: "The Bones That Foam"
2009 Better Off Ted Lawyer Episode: "Trust and Consequence"
2009 Married Not Dead Susan Television film
2011 Hot in Cleveland Ellen Episode: "Bad Bromance"
2011 Best Player Tracy Saunders Television film
2012 The Game Summer Grayson 2 episodes
2012 Sullivan & Son Kim Elliot Episode: "The Bar Birthday"
2012 Childrens Hospital Stacy Episode: "Ladies Night"
2012 Neil's Puppet Dreams Patron 3 episodes
2012–14 The Exes Lorna 2 episodes
2012–13 Burning Love Carly Regular role (23 episodes)
2012–14 The Legend of Korra Korra (voice) Main role (52 episodes)
2013 MyMusic Nancy Spackman 2 episodes
2013–14 Kroll Show Wife / Mrs. Wilson / Jessica Episodes: "Secret Room", "Sponsored by Stamps"
2014 Warehouse 13 Elise Episode: "Secret Services"
2014 Maron Delphine Episode: "Therapy"
2014–present You're the Worst Becca Barbara Recurring role (22 episodes)
2014 Sanjay and Craig Bernice / Yoga Instructor (voices) Episode: "Ting/Farkwerk"
2015 Shameless Park Mom Episode: "Rite of Passage"
2015 Other Space Host Episode: "Getting to Know You"
2016–18 Take My Wife Melina Marquez 5 episodes
2016 Comedy Bang! Bang! Movie Trailer Wife Episode: "Kaley Cuoco Wears a Black Blazer and Slip on Sneakers"
2016–present Stan Against Evil Evie Barret Main role: 18 episodes
2016 American Housewife Jenn Episode: "Power Couple"
2016 ESCAPE! Host Web series
2017 Adam Ruins Everything Mandy Episode: "Adam Ruins Weight Loss"
2017 HarmonQuest Sedona Episode: "The Barely Cursed Bazaar of Commerce"

Video game[edit]

Year Title Voice role
2014 The Legend of Korra Korra


  1. ^ Star, Phil Villarreal Arizona Daily. "Justice keeps listeners posted on heart surgery".
  2. ^ a b "The JV Club #153: Felicia Day". Nerdist. May 7, 2015. Retrieved January 15, 2019.
  3. ^ Magazine, SF State. "Funny Business". sfsu.edu. San Francisco State University. Retrieved August 24, 2018.
  4. ^ "Conversations With Ross: Featuring Janet Varney". rosscarey.com. Retrieved January 15, 2019.
  5. ^ "The JV Club #29: Cara Santa Maria". Nerdist. September 20, 2012. Retrieved January 15, 2019.
  6. ^ "Varney Family History". Ancestry.com. Retrieved May 11, 2015.
  7. ^ "YouTube". www.youtube.com. Retrieved January 15, 2019.
  8. ^ "Introducing ESCAPE! with Janet Varney". Geek & Sundry. Retrieved March 30, 2017.
  9. ^ "The JV Club". Nerdist. Retrieved October 30, 2014.
  10. ^ "Special Announcement: The JV Club Joins Maximum Fun!". Soundcloud. Retrieved November 30, 2018.
  11. ^ "Chris Hardwick: Nerdism For Fun and Profit". Gothamist. June 30, 2009. Archived from the original on July 19, 2017. Retrieved April 13, 2011.
  12. ^ "Janet Varney". mentalpod.com. March 26, 2011. Retrieved January 15, 2019.
  13. ^ "Janet Varney on Instagram: "I've been woefully lax in celebrating Pride this month on social media! So I'm ending this month listing 10 movies that made me feel less…"". Instagram. Retrieved January 15, 2019.

External links[edit]