This article appears in the December 2013 issue of Louisville Magazine. To subscribe, visit Loumag.com
For the past 15 years, Janes has hosted The Lyle Janes Show, which you can see Wednesday nights at 9:30 on Time Warner Cable channel 98. The 54-year-old lives in Parkway Village and also works as an associate with funeral-services provider Dignity Memorial and as a part-time hairstylist. Janes says the most famous guest he’s interviewed on his variety show is Kentuckian and former Miss America Heather French Henry.
Earliest childhood memory?
“My dad taking me on his shoulders for a ride around our yard with the many fireflies all around; my mom making homemade cookies. Also, playing in the sandbox and on our swing set and running down to Grandma’s, just two doors down.”
When you were younger, what did you want to be when you grew up?
“I grew up with asthma and was a sickly child, so TV was my life. I watched all the old talk shows — Mike Douglas, Dinah Shore — but my favorite was Merv Griffin. I always wanted to be an entertainer.”
The weirdest place somebody has recognized you in public?
“At a funeral home someone walked up to me and said, ‘Aren’t you on TV?’”
All-time favorite album?
“Judy at Carnegie Hall (1961). Judy Garland sang at her best at that point in her career.”
Who in Louisville is flying under the radar?
“My comedienne friend Janelle Fitzpatrick.”
“Long Island iced tea. Or a good margarita.”
Best Louisville bar?
“Big Bar in the Highlands. It is a little place, but everybody feels welcome.”
“Antique toys that my favorite aunt, Della, gave to me when I was a boy.”
All-time favorite Louisville restaurant?
“The Seelbach’s Oakroom for brunch. Ask for Troy Westrick; he’s a table captain and will make you feel like royalty while you are dining.”
All-time favorite Louisville athlete?
“Wes Unseld. He forged his reputation on relentless rebounding and laser-beam outlet passes. He did all the unspectacular things that lead to glamorous victories.”
What’s a local restaurant people would be surprised to know you’ve never tried?
“Vincenzo’s. Waiting for someone special to take me there.”
All-time favorite Derby winner?
“Secretariat. What a fantastic horse. And, of course, I was a paid extra in the movie. LOL!”
If Louisville had to be known for something other than the Derby, what should it be?
“Its great Southern hospitality. And bourbon balls. And whiskey — my favorite bourbon being Blanton’s.”
Can’t-miss TV show?
“The Vampire Diaries.”
What movie has had the greatest influence on your life?
“The Sound of Music. Watching that film as a boy, I never knew I would one day get to meet and have my picture taken with the lovely Julie Andrews, who starred in that film.”
Biggest guilty pleasure in Louisville?
“Steak ’n Shake chocolate shakes.”
What tattoos do you have?
“NONE! If forced to get one, I’d get a tiny, tiny, tiny, little, bitty, bitty, teeny, tiny dot.”
Bardstown Road, Frankfort Avenue or East Market Street?
“Bardstown Road reminds me of Gatlinburg, Tennessee. I love all the little shops and restaurants and different things to do.”
Where do you go to be alone?
“Cave Hill Cemetery to feed the ducks in their lake.”
What’s something nobody knows about you?
“That I love to cook and sing — usually not at the same time. And I was born on Derby Day 1959, the year Tomy Lee won.”
“Not going to Hollywood.”