Illustration by Hilton Dresden
Comedy queen Jane Lynch celebrates her birthday this week, so what better occasion for us to celebrate her excellent talent, from iconic cheer captain Sue Sylvester to ex-pornstar Laurie Bohner.
Sue Sylvester on Glee (2009-2015)
In perhaps her most famous role to date, Jane Lynch threw zingers left, right, and center. When, in season six, Will Schuester (Matthew Morrison) finally asks what’s wrong with her, she neatly sums up what so many of us feel but can’t quite get away with saying: “Oh, it’s just a flare up of my chronic hate disorder.”
Constance Carmell on Party Down (2009-2010)
There are shows that get canned for good reason (anyone ever see Heil Honey, I’m Home? No? There’s a good reason for that), and shows that some corporate schmo kills for no good reason. Case in point, Party Down, in which Lynch wowed as the caterer Constance. Although it was cancelled after two seasons, Party Down remains a perennial darling of the critics.
Christy Cummings in Best in Show (2000)
Christopher Guest’s dog-competition mockumentary endures as one of our favorite comedies of all time. Lynch made us howl like dogss on heat as Jennifer Coolidge’s assertive, competitive beau, as well as editor-in-chief of lesbian-purebred-dog-owner zine American Bitch.
Sergeant Calhoun in Wreck it Ralph (2012)
In this underrated Disney sensation, Lynch dazzled as Sergeant Calhoun, the tough, steely leader of the force against a swarm of alien mutant insects. She revealed a tender side when her character fell for the equally lovable Jack McBrayer.
Laurie Bohner in A Mighty Wind (2003)
As pornstar-turned-housewife-and-witch Laurie Bohner, Lynch again brought her signature flair and charisma to the screen. Her pairing with director Christopher Guest is the stuff dreams are made of.
Paula in The 40 Year Old Virgin (2005)
As Steve Carrell’s co-worker Paula, Lynch charmed and creeped us out with her haunting rendition of a Guatemelan love song formerly sung to her by the seductive gardener, Javier.