I saw D-list darling Kathy Griffin for the first timea year ago, then I saw her at Madison Square Garden's WaMu Theater last night. As she pointed out, the WaMu has to be renamed in a few months thanks to its namesake bank's disastrous collapse and since nobody wants to pay for the privilege it'll just be called "The Theater" again. Even when she plays MSG she's D-list, forced to appear in the wing with the undesirable sponsor.
Reality check: It was the opening night of a sold-out run of shows.
Griffin's increasingly popular comedy is fascinating to me because it's anti-cerebral and yet still incredibly smart. She's a consummate pop-culture connoisseur and observer and owes a huge part of her following to how much her audience probably agrees with every word out of her mouth, whether she's joking or being serious or both.
At one point, she made a side reference to Jessica Simpson's weight gain, which got a big hoot. This led to a coquettish, "Shall we?" This is her secret—she knows her fans' limits (non-existent) and revels in seeking our approval for her obscene and obscenely funny remarks.
Her gay following is not surprising considering her surgical take on pop culture—I think gay people are particularly good at observation, deconstruction and destruction—and due to her explicitly identifying as one of us. She ended her set with a funny report on how she spent her birthday with Cher, during which she admitted "as a gay man" it was an amazing thrill meeting Cher. Remember when Madonna started the "I'm a gay man trapped in the body of a woman" trend 18 years or so ago? Kathy has dropped the body of a woman part.
(Oh, and she's rooting for The Woz on Dancing With The Stars.)
It was a hilarious evening, a real pleasure and was almost 100% new material. She's funny, fearless, desperate for attention and an unflinching liberal big-mouth—if I believed in organized religion, I might nominate Kathy for Jesus.
MSG as gay mega-church.
Some of her highlights (or lowlights, depending on your last name):
Miley Cyrus is a whore: "I'm just gonna come out and say it—Miley Cyrus is a whore. I don't care anymore! She's a whooore...whooore...oh, God...whooore! That's not, that's not nice to say about a 16-year-old. But don't you think she would fuck a cucumber at this point...if it was attached to her dad?...Believe me, she is sore right now from some shit...Granted, this girl is 16 and I'm definitely being too hard on her, but she's a little advanced. Can we at least agree that she's a little what we could call forward? When I was 16, I was such a nerd I was looking at my mom and saying, 'When will I get menstruation?' I wasn't sending pictures of myself in panties on the Internet...which they didn't have. Nor did I use the postal system or a mule team. She's a whore."
Jonas Brothers are impure: "I just have to stop at the Jonas Brothers—or the Jonas Sisters, as I call them. What's this talk about the purity rings, for one thing? Let me put it this way: When I was in high school, I dated a lovely, lovely boy called Tom Murphy. He also wore a 'purity ring' because he was gonna save himself until he got married. And then he did, he married someone named David. Now...and he is literally a choreographer at Disney World...So they've got these purity rings and this is such a bag of bullshit, like a bunch of teenage guys aren't gonna get laid? They're like the biggest teen stars. They're probably fucking like chicks, their moms and their grandmas just for fun. And maybe like a dog and a cat and shit."
Jonas Brothers are ear poison: If you saw [the Jonas Brothers] on the Grammys, it was a fucking cringefest. Them with Stevie Wonder? Thank God he's blind. It was a...he should, he should be praying to be deaf as well...These guys are hot? Please! They're no Sean Cassidy..."
Obama has his work cut out for him: "Yes we can! Yes we can! Yes we better! We fuckin' better!"
Jessica's safe from Kathy? Fat chance!
Jessica Simpson dwarfs Ruby: "We'll get to that fat-ass Jessica Simpson in a second. No, she is gigantic! Come on! How dare you disagree with me on Fashion Week? If she doesn't get the gastric bypass, she could die, you guys. I mean, I'm not a doctor, but I'm pretty sure that's true."
Octopussy is insane and dishonest: "Let's just start with the Octo-Mom. That crazy-ass Angelina Jolie-lookin', lip-plumpin, nosejob-havin' insane bitch isn't gonna pull one over on me. You think you're gonna look me in the eye and say you haven't had a nosejob? Oh, no. After having two—although I think it's actually grown back to the original size by now—but the point is I know a goddamn nosejob a mile away and she's got some Naomi Judd shit goin' on her face."
Chris Brown's ass is grass: "Why do I think this ends up with Chris Brown getting, like, a broomstick up his ass from Jay-Z? I know. I...if I was anywhere within the Brown family I would be fuckin' nervous right now. First of all, do you like all the celebrities that are supporting Chris Brown? Isn't that great? 'Stay strong, Chris!' Or go fuck yourself because you are seriously, you are gonna get fisted in prison."
Arnold Schwarzenegger's secret is not safe with him: "Governor Fuckin' Facelift."
Elisabeth Hasselbeck in high school looked like Miss Partial-Birth Abortion.
Elisabeth Hasselbeck should be sent packin': "What are you gonna do? She's in your city. I'm tellin' ya, all the craziest shit...you guys just let Elisabeth Hasselbeck live here and that's okay? I'm now thinking things that I really am not supposed to be saying."
Sarah Palin, straight up: "It would've been almost like having Vice President Paula Abdul...There are some similarities. I don't think Paula Abdul could name a newspaper either. Come on. She could say if it was pitchy."
Suze Orman could save the world: "We need a good, financially-focused lesbian in the White House. Honey, I want a lesbian in the White House. You know those lesbians could move in, caulk the tub, fuckin' remodel the White House, flip it to China for a profit. There is nothing a focused lesbian can't do—nothing on God's green earth, and you know it."
John Mayer is up to no good: "Now let me tell ya who I'm on to and who I do not trust—I do not trust that John Mayer. I'm sorry! I, I don't really have a reason, he's certainly never done anything to me...okay, so I'm a big media whore, right? So when I do a red carpet at one of these events, I'm there—like, the big stars, what they do is they blow by, they do Entertainment Tonight, Access Hollywood and then they pose for photos, they're [in] InStyle and then they're gone. Me, I go for like two hours, I'm talking to, you know, Shalom Israel and Wake Up Chatsworth and How Do You Do, Tulsa?—like, I'll talk to anybody who'll listen. And then I pose and then I'm on the worst-dressed list and I'm like, 'Look! My picture's in a magazine!' So...it's a little different experience for me than it would be for, say, Jennifer Aniston. But, the point is, they all know me and they know I'm just there for hours on end and have to be basically kicked off. And then I go to this Grammy nomination thing and John Mayer is on the red carpet longer than me, and all he's doin' is talkin' about the girlfriend. Now, I think it's weird that Aniston—you can tell she's a little bit embarrassed because he's a fuckin' tool...and so I'm next to him on the red carpet and I'm half-listening, right, even though I'm saying whatever I'm trying to say but I'm sort of, like, wondering what John Mayer is gonna say. And I'm thinkin', 'Oh, how is he gonna handle it when they ask him about Jennifer Aniston?' He wouldn't shut the fuck up! He's like, 'Yeah, I fucked her four times last night...here's the noise she makes when she cums. I don't even know her and I was like, 'Shut up!'"
Celebrity diets are fake: "It's called cocaine and Red Bull."
Cher's texted directions to her palatial home: "Drive to Malibu, turn left, turn right at my house."