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Varney at the Comic Media Expo in October 2014
Janet Maureen Varney
February 16, 1976
Tucson, Arizona, U.S.
|Education||Rincon High School|
|Alma mater||San Francisco State University (BA)|
Varney was born and raised in Tucson, Arizona. She graduated as salutatorian from Rincon High School in 1993 and is an alumna of San Francisco State University, where she majored in theater, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in 1997. She later pursued a career in interior design before eventually finding her way back into acting. Varney was raised Mormon, but left the church at 17 and now identifies as an agnostic. Varney is of English and Scottish descent.
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.
Dinner and a Movie
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
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 from 2012 to 2018. In November 2018, it was announced that The JV Club is moving to the Maximum Fun network. 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.
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.”
|2007||Dante's Inferno||Cleopatra / Various (voice)|
|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)|
|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|
|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–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"|
|2017||Adam Ruins Everything||Mandy||Episode: "Adam Ruins Weight Loss"|
|2017||HarmonQuest||Sedona||Episode: "The Barely Cursed Bazaar of Commerce"|
|2014||The Legend of Korra||Korra|
- Star, Phil Villarreal Arizona Daily. "Justice keeps listeners posted on heart surgery".
- "The JV Club #153: Felicia Day". Nerdist. May 7, 2015. Retrieved January 15, 2019.
- Magazine, SF State. "Funny Business". sfsu.edu. San Francisco State University. Retrieved August 24, 2018.
- "Conversations With Ross: Featuring Janet Varney". rosscarey.com. Retrieved January 15, 2019.
- "The JV Club #29: Cara Santa Maria". Nerdist. September 20, 2012. Retrieved January 15, 2019.
- "Varney Family History". Ancestry.com. Retrieved May 11, 2015.
- "YouTube". www.youtube.com. Retrieved January 15, 2019.
- "Introducing ESCAPE! with Janet Varney". Geek & Sundry. Retrieved March 30, 2017.
- "The JV Club". Nerdist. Retrieved October 30, 2014.
- "Special Announcement: The JV Club Joins Maximum Fun!". Soundcloud. Retrieved November 30, 2018.
- "Chris Hardwick: Nerdism For Fun and Profit". Gothamist. June 30, 2009. Archived from the original on July 19, 2017. Retrieved April 13, 2011.
- "Janet Varney". mentalpod.com. March 26, 2011. Retrieved January 15, 2019.
- "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.