Tuesday, March 09, 2010
Fans of public access television have been enjoying “The Lyle Janes Show” for 11 years now, surely a local feat if not quite as nationally notable as the adventures of Jay Leno and friends. Janes, however, does things differently than most talk-show hosts. You might even say that he does it… his way.
“I've always liked to sing. I grew up listening to big band and easy listening music, like Frank Sinatra and Mantovani. I also had asthma, though, so I could never do it a lot.”
Janes also grew up as a Jehovah's Witness, an unlikely beginning for a fabulous entertainer. “Oh, no, no, no!” Janes exclaimed. “I'm actually writing a book about that.”
As Janes grew into adulthood, he realized that he preferred the cult of show business, inspired by “The Merv Griffin Show.” Becoming a host and entertainer like Griffin became his dream. While Insight-98 might not be NBC, Janes fulfills his dream, every Wednesday night at 9:30, and there is no Conan O'Brien waiting in the wings to force him out.
Janes, a native of Louisville's Highview neighborhood and today a commissioner of the city of Parkway Village, can also be seen often at the Improv at Fourth Street Live, where his comedy act touches upon his Jehovah's Witness youth and what he calls “disasters and beauty school accidents.” (He recently began working as a hairdresser at Sensations Spa & Salon.)
A fan of singers Michael Buble and Harry Connick Jr., Janes went into a recording studio to make a demo. He printed 500 copies of Introducing Lyle Janes. His cover of “Mack the Knife” is probably the first to include a shout-out to Louisville. “I've been giving them out as Christmas presents. Or I use them as coasters,” said Janes, laughing, although they are also available at Ear X-tacy.
Even if he never becomes as famous as Merv Griffin, Janes has a wonderful way of seeing the world. “I've always ended my show on an upbeat note, every time. I always say that it's nice to be important, but it's more important to be nice.”
photo by John Rott
c. 2010 Velocity Weekly
at 11:45:00 PM