Talking with comedian Kathy Griffin for an assigned 10 minutes-that-turned-into-50 was a soliloquy of rapid-fire sarcasm, spite, silliness and statements of hard fact and wishful thinking. That all this and more (“it’s a three hour show,” she exclaimed) will be part of her two Merriam Theatre shows next weekend, October 6, is to be expected. First, because Griffin has a quick, sharp mind that assimilates the emotional, social and political events of the moment, and spits them back at you immediately. Secondly, because, well, she’s been away for a minute.
Kathy Griffin isn’t pulling her punches
“My whole life was turned over, so you haven’t seen a show like this ever before,” say Griffin, talking about the May 2017 photo shoot with her holding a bloody, severed, faux Trump head, and having her career caved in by public officials, network heads and right wing audience members alike.
While the comedian agrees that she been in trouble before, she yells out, “not like this honey,” before going through a litany of stupidity done in the name of censoring Griffin and suspending her career.
“What’s funny, or not so funny, is that after the Trump experience, I’ve learned that there in ‘Hollywood trouble’ and ‘real life trouble.’ I mean, I took the picture in the first place because this f—-g pig has it coming, and have been through Hollywood trouble with religious groups and such, and that lead to my naiveté about what could happen,” says Griffin. “I knew the picture would be shocking. It was artsy-fartsy and thought it would wind up in ‘Der Spiegel’ – but did not believe that it would go outside the bounds of my own social media.”
Griffin didn’t believe that TMZ’s Harvey Levin (“a gay Trump lover who the president contacts for advice”) would pick up the photo, and run with it. Or that Donald Trump Jr. would Tweet out his disgust over the photo. It did, and they did big time, and from there, Griffin was ostracized, and lost guest starring and hosting duties at CNN, American tour dates, and the ability to be seen or hired for television or Netflix/Amazon specials.
“Remember how many stand-up specials I had? I’m in the Guinness Book of Records for how many,” she says. “I didn’t know the extent of how American Media could plant hit pieces on me and my girlfriend Stormy Daniels… To have the sitting president use the power of the First Family, the Department of Justice, the Oval Office, the right wing media and the entertainment media set out to decimate an American citizen is historic.”
And Griffin believes that she was the test case, as the same government and entertainment media, attempted to put down stand-up comedian Michelle Wolf (after her White House Correspondents event comments) and talk show host Samantha Bee (for calling Ivanka Trump a “feckless c–”). Mention guys in Hollywood comedy who have been in trouble for their indiscretions, and how easy it may be for them to make a comeback (i.e. Louis C.K.), and Griffin says she’s heard through the industry grapevine that there is a “whisper campaign among the men to watch each other’s backs…. Hey, I’m not going to have Louie’s back. Alec Baldwin called me while I was in the middle of a federal investigation to ask if I’d phone Louie – that he’s having a hard time – and I said, ‘Bye, Alec.’ I’m busy being on the ‘no fly’ list. Interpol is looking at me too, I’m not going to take my penis out, run it on my intern, and ruin their dreams.”
Griffin is on a comedy mission, as she has finally figured it is a different world for female comedians, than it is for male. And to that, she is putting everyone on blast, now that the dust has settled, somewhat.
“I always had the Westboro Baptist Church people at my shows because of my support of the gays, but now I have old women who pull themselves away from me because they think I’m in ISIS,” Griffin says, laughing. “Look, I’m a worker bee, who just wants to get gigs. I write all my own stuff. I love making people laugh, whether it’s on commercials or doing stand-up. I love making fun of the Real Housewives and all that, but to be able to have travelled the world as I did (when she couldn’t get shows in America in the wake of Trump) on the back of that photo – it has changed my life irrevocably. It was a complete game changer. I’m the Hanoi Jane of comedy – the seventh most Googled person of 2017 for all the wrong reasons.”
“And by the way, when I’m in Philly, I will call my friend Stormy from the stage ask her about the mushroom shaped penis,” she adds. “I’m not doing some family friendly show here. It’s all fair game, honey. What else can they do to me?”