When it comes to female characters there appears to be an odd belief that there are few examples of them in comedy, specifically examples who could be held up as comedic role models. I seem to have some extra time on my hands right now and rather than rearrange my wardrobe I have decided to dedicate an essay each to the fictional girls and women who deserve more recognition for their comedy.
When I wrote about Daria in this column a lot of people got in touch to ask if Jane Lane would be featured too. So, here are my reasons why Jane Lane is, alongside her BFF Daria, a comedy icon.
Out of the pair, Jane is probably the more relatable character. She shares Daria’s cynicism but not her impossibly high standards, giving her leeway to occasionally critique Daria and the Fashion Club. Rarely questioning herself (maybe it was all those Self-Esteem classes), Jane’s relaxed outlook balanced out Daria’s hyper awareness.
While Daria’s character often contrasts with her family, a busy and often distracted mother, a foolish father and a vain, shallow sibling, Jane comes from a more artistic and carefree background. In fact other than brother Trent, we rarely see Jane’s family and nor does she. Jane has used this freedom to develop her artistic talents and think for herself. Which is perhaps why she’s almost as cynical as Daria and just as dry.
This upbringing has created a fearlessness in Jane, something rarely seen in a teen character unless they’re being given boy-crazy or pixie-dream-girl storylines. While Janes has her talents and principles, she’s not perfect. She doesn’t excel in any classes outside of art but she’s not afraid to try new things, talk to new people (I’m talking about asking boys out but I don’t want to disabuse my boy-crazy line) or stand out.
Jane uses her talents to express herself, such as in the episode Arts n’ Crass – where she has one of my favourite lines, upon being busted for defacing her own art she responds to Principal Li’s “Did you really think you were going to get away with this?” with “Well, it would be stupid to say yes now.” Like her friend Daria, Jane is always ready with the kind of sarcastic remark that reminds you sarcasm is not the lowest form of wit, it’s just the hardest to do.
Aside from being funny, Jane has a style that can only be described as bitchin’, you just can’t beat shorts over tights paired with combat boots finished off with a bold red lip. You. Just. Can’t.
Without Jane Lane Daria would not be the show it is. Making her a comedy icon.
If you have a character you’d like to suggest for this, then tweet me @funnywomened
Read why Lisa Landry is a comedy icon here!
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Read why Marmalade Atkins is a comedy icon here!
Read why Tracy Beaker is a comedy icon here!
Read why Daria Morgendorffer is a comedy icon here!
Read why Anastasia Krupnik is a comedy icon here!
Read why Helga Pataki is a comedy icon here!