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 quickly realize she was born to make people laugh. The woman can’t speak a sentence without it sounding like a carefully constructed joke for a stand-up comic – she’s a nonstop source of stream-of-consciousness hilarity. 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 Grammy Awards 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, including Ellen DeGeneres’ talk show, “The View” and anything involving Oprah – she also lacks the ability to censor the rapid-fire witticisms that shoot out of her mouth.
And lucky us, because that makes her a compelling, gut-bustingly funny stand-up comedian, which will be on full display Thursday night when Griffin takes the stage at the Hard Rock Live Arena at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino near Hollywood. She talked to The Miami Herald about the show, and just about everything else.
Are you excited about the show?
Well, I’m a little nervous to be going down there – I’m not gonna lie.
Why are you nervous?
Because 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.
So 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 pop-culture 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”? Because that wasn’t really accurate – you were doing pretty well.
Well, actually I just wrote an article about this for The Wrap, an online trade paper like The Hollywood Reporter. Anyway, they had me write an article called “How Being on ‘My Life on the D-List’ Got Me Off the D-List.” But how I came up with the title was that I heard that the seating charts of the Golden Globes – they don’t outwardly say, but it kind of goes by where you are on the list – 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 Giamotti or Joan Allen – Academy Award-nominated. And then I often thought that if I ever went to the Golden Globes – even though in fact I am a double Emmy winner and a five-time Grammy nominee – 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! More stand-up specials than anybody. 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 last week – it was actually the Friars giving him a Lifetime Achievement Award – and I was like the young ingénue of the room. First of all, the only female roasters as usual were Joan Rivers and myself, which was great – she’s a hilarious comic and a great friend – 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. And I was like, “Oh, Bob, I’m 52” – hahahah!” It was great. I should join the Friars just to be the new teenage face of the Friars.
So what happened with Ellen DeGeneres – why did you get banned from her 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. And that was very dangerous – a very naughty rock-‘n’-roll experience at the Hollywood Bowl. Anyway, 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].