Wednesday, 02 March 2016 18:28

No Holds Barred: Kathy Griffin Returns to Grand Rapids with Fresh Celebrity Dirt

Written by  Rich Tupica
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Kathy Griffin performs March 14 at LaughFest Kathy Griffin performs March 14 at LaughFest

Two-time Emmy and Grammy Award-winning comedian Kathy Griffin is a celebrity chameleon. Some might know the 2016 LaughFest headliner for her television resume, including a role on Suddenly Susan, or from her acclaimed reality show My Life on the D-List. Each year Griffin also co-hosts CNN New Year’s Live with her pal Anderson Cooper. 

But Griffin’s diehard fans appreciate her most for her true calling: Stand-up comedy. Griffin, 55, riffs hard on celebrity train wrecks, while also smattering in hilarious tales about her own life, including bits on her wine-guzzling mother: The infamous Maggie Griffin. 

This year Griffin has been especially busy as hell. Her 80-city Like A Boss Tour spans each coast including stops at prestigious venues like the Kennedy Center and Carnegie Hall. As for the high number of performances, Griffin told Revue, “It’s insane. Chris Rock asked me if I owe child support.”

Here’s what else she had to say. 


Eighty shows? That’s a lot of travel. What keeps you going?

I could add shows at this point. 80 shows aren’t enough to take on all the craziness happening right now. Everything from Trump-a-Palooza to the Kardashians — to what I really base my act on: My own experiences with these nut-jobs. I freaking know Donald Trump, so don’t talk to me about Donald Trump. I’ve known him for years. One time, and I will tell this story, I was actually in a golf cart driven by Donald Trump. In the back of the golf cart was Liza Minelli and me. You’re not going to get that from anybody else. And by the way, this is a very impressive LaughFest line-up. It’s diverse and I’m very proud to be a part of it.’

Years ago, in one of your comedy specials, you referred to Bridget Jones’s Diary star Renee Zellweger as a “sweaty, puffy coke whore.” Have you encountered Zellweger since then? 

Zellweger and I have actually become buds. We actually text, I call her Bridget. I’m like, “What’s up, Bridg?” because I know she doesn’t want to be known just for that role. I have to give her shit and be like “Hey, Bridg!” She’s a perfect example of someone who woke up one day and was like “Oh, I didn’t get it at first, but you’re just really kidding.” So we’re friendly now. 

Kathy Griffin at LaughFest
DeVos Performance Hall 303 Monroe Ave. NW, Grand Rapids
Monday, March 14, 8 p.m.
$37.50–$57.50, (616) 735-4242

Who have you pissed off recently?

The singer Demi Lovato seems to be extremely upset with my little jokes about her. I call her Debby because it drives her nuts. Debby has taken to the Twitter personally to hate tweet me. At 55, I’m being cyber-bullied by Demi Lovato and her Lovatics — it’s hilarious.

What can fans expect at LaughFest?

My show will be personal stories and a no-holds-barred look at the events that are happening around us. I’ll cover everything that happens up until two minutes before the show and the stuff that’s front-of-mind for the Michiganders. Being an Illinoisan, I know the Michiganders. I know how they roll. I know that the Michiganders have what my 95-year-old alcoholic mother Maggie would say is “some good goddamn Midwestern common sense.” When I’m playing a place like Grand Rapids, I really feel like I’m home. 

Your material is often based on current events. How does that affect your shows?

My material changes so often that it doesn’t matter if you saw my show a week ago, five months ago, or a year ago — it’s going to be all new stuff because I can barely keep up with what these candidates are saying on a daily basis. So many things are rapidly changing. The thing that I’m so proud of is you cannot replace what happens in a live theater with live entertainment. Ten years ago all my agents said, “Touring is going to end and everyone is going to view everything on their phones and tablets.” But touring didn’t slow down one bit because you cannot replace the energy and the relationship of the live experience. Also it’s 100 percent uncensored. It’s a place for someone like me: Inappropriate and vulgar. 

Since Life on The D-list ended in 2010, how has your life changed?

First of all, I’m busier. I just signed a big, fancy book deal with Flatiron Books, the same editor that’s doing the Oprah book, just so you know. That’s coming out Dec. 27 and it’s tentatively called Kathy Griffin’s Celebrity Index A to Z. It’s going to be a book where I list 100 to 150 celebrities I’ve met or had unusual encounters with that weren’t covered on the D-List, or maybe I didn’t even talk about them on my specials. I’m sure you didn’t know I’m good friends with Sidney Poitier. When you’ve been in the game this long you kind of end up meeting everybody. I keep getting to have these incredible run-ins. The older I get, the more these celebrities realize I am the proverbial cockroach that isn’t going anywhere. 

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