The comedy scene

Kathy Griffin keeps ’em laughing

 

When you hear Kathy Griffin talk — whether she’s simply engaged in conversation, discussing mundane topics such as traveling, or current events or reality TV — you realize she was born to make people laugh. Which is probably why Griffin, best known for her Emmy-winning Bravo show, Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List, has been nominated for five Grammys for her comedy albums and at age 52, holds the record for most stand-up specials in history. It’s also why Griffin has been banned from several TV shows: She also lacks the ability to censor the rapid-fire witticisms that shoot out of her mouth. And that makes her a compelling, gut-bustingly funny stand-up comedian. She takes the stage at the Hard Rock Live Arena at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino 8 p.m. Thursday.

Are you excited about the show?

Well, I’m a little nervous to be going down there — I’m not gonna lie. Superstorm Chantal might be waiting for me. And my biggest fear is that the day I land in Florida, the [George] Zimmerman verdict will come in. So I’ve got a lot to worry about. Or I could run into any one of those crazy Housewives, Adriana or Joanna Krupa.

Do you actually watch those shows?

It’s my job. I can’t just follow the news, like “Hollywood Beach is set to lose 800 parking spaces” like you can.

What can we expect from your show?

It’s gonna be a night of debauchery, gambling, offensive jokes, making fun of the Kardashians, even down to the brand new ones, as long as I feel like it. And then Jessica Simpson, with her ridiculous kid’s name Ace Knute. So come with an open mind and leave the kids at home. There’s lots of cursing, inappropriate assumptions and allegations, but mostly it’ll be based on my own experiences with popculture figures, my run-ins with the Kardashians or any of your infamous political figures down there. Or also, I could easily talk about Florida for 90 minutes to two hours.

How did you come up with the title “My Life on the D-List”? That wasn’t accurate; you were doing pretty well.

I heard that the seating charts of the Golden Globes are the movie people are in front, the TV people are the second tier, and the supporting people are sort of toward the back of the room. Keep in mind that a lot of these supporting players are people like Paul Giamatti or Joan Allen, Academy Award-nominated. And then I often thought that if I ever went to the Golden Globes I would be not even in the room. I would be in the parking lot, and hence, I came up with, “If I’m not on the A, B or C list, I’d have to put myself on the D list.” But I want you to know, that with my last stand-up special that premiered on Bravo called Calm Down Gurrl, I actually shattered the existing record for the most stand-up specials in history. Any comedian, male or female. So, even though I loved George Carlin, as any comedian would, I officially broke his record, Bill Cosby’s record — all those boys! And I’m gonna do another one in November, so I’m gonna break my own record. How about that? Because when you’re a girl comedian, you have to work harder and jump higher, and that’s all there is to it.

And you’re not even old yet.

Are you kidding? I did the Don Rickles roast — it was actually the Friars giving him a Lifetime Achievement Award — and I was like the ingénue of the room. The only female roasters as usual were Joan Rivers and myself . . . and so, yeah, I’m 52 years old, and Robert De Niro turned to me and asked, “How old are you?” as if I was like barely of age to get into the room. It was great.

So why did you get banned from Ellen DeGeneres’ show?

Oh, there’s a long line of bans. The bans include Kelly and Michael, which is hard for me to remember, because I’ve been banned since Regis and Kathie Lee, then Regis and Kelly. Then I was banned during Kelly and the cavalcade of substitute hosts, including Josh Groban, who often substitute hosted, and I went to his concert last week. I’m banned from The View, of course, the Today show, and I’m assuming anything on OWN. I mean, obviously I was banned from Oprah, but I’m assuming the ban would

continue to [all of that network’s shows].

Michael Hamersly

Tickets: 954-797-5531, hardrocklivehollywoodfl.com; $47-$77

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