Didn’t you have four comedy specials on the TV this year? Last year I did four in one year which has never been done. Do you worry about maybe being a little greedy with the four comedy specials in one year? Can’t you leave some for the other comics? No, I think it’s because I’m a female comic. I have to jump higher and work harder. I still think it’s pretty damn impressive what you’ve done. You’ve changed a lot of minds about the viability of women in stand-up comedy. When you have a landscape that is so saturated with everything from social media to a million cable channels, you can get comedy or drama from so many different sources. I find what I do is the one thing you really can’t change [and that’s] who you are. My comedy comes from my own embarrassing life first, and then my own take on celebrities and I make it very personal. I don’t just talk about
Speaking of politics. Is it just me or the Republican Party just getting more and more regressive, retarded and plain ol‘ batshit crazy? We are pretty much rolling back the clock. I think that’s been happening . . . a little bit with Regan but definitely with Dubya, even more than his father. And now people are refighting the separation of church and state and they’re trying to rewrite the constitution and teach creationism and all this stuff which is completely antithetical to what I grew up with. My mom and dad worked hard to send me to a school where education was paramount. I tease the nuns because they tried to make me a Catholic but it didn’t stick, but certainly not for one minute . . . did those nuns try to teach me about creationism. They never tried to convince you that Darwinism is just a “theory,” and Jesus was riding dinosaurs 5,000 years ago when the Earth had just been created. No! I would have gotten in trouble
It’s just a little hypocritical that people can go and get as drunk as they want. —on those who criticize cannabis use
Well there’s a whole lot of people in jail right now—casualties of our expensive, never ending Drug War, I guess I’d call them. Roughly half of our ridiculously high per-capita prison population is there because of drugrelated offenses. So people getting arrested for smoking a plant or for just possessing a baggie of dried leaves seems to be a pretty big problem to me. I’m much more interested in
Flying the Multicolored Flag
Besides her notoriety in entertainment circles, Kathy Griffin is also a bona fide LGBT activist who often uses her television soapbox to stump for gay rights, such as same-sex marriage. Two years ago, she helped organize a “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” rally in Washington, D.C., and has supported the nonprofit Aid for AIDS (AFA) annual fundraiser. She won a Vanguard Award during the GLAAD Media Awards in 2009. But considering Griffin’s candid, usually brazen style, it should be no surprise that the comedienne described her advocacy in this way, in an interview with the Washington, D.C.-based Metro Weekly: “I’m building bridges between hot guys, the LGBT community and women everywhere. And isn’t that what’s important?”
random celebrities. I talk about celebrities I have had a personal run-in with. I find that people really like having that mask ripped off. I think it’s great. And it’s proved to be very entertaining. Doing live standup is my favorite thing ever. I really love it. I’m on the road pretty much every weekend. There’s nothing like live entertainment. It is completely no-holds-barred. It is the last bastion of a censorship-free comedic environment. In the live shows I really can and do say things that I can’t even do in my specials. 32 CULTURE • DECEMBER 2012
for that because it’s factually incorrect! Let me ask you about medical marijuana. I don’t even know if it should be just medical. I guess there are issues about it—you don’t want to do it around kids, and I’m not sure I want to be driving behind someone who’s really high. It’s just a little hypocritical that people can go and get as drunk as they want . . . And it’s typical of the conservatives [who] would want to distract you with that conversation.
the lady umpire from the U.S. Open who allegedly killed her husband with a coffee cup. That’s a story I can wrap an act around. Do you partake of the medicine yourself? The last thing I need is something to help me loosen up. Good point. What would happen to you if you did smoke some herb? Spontaneous combustion? What goes on? That’s the thing . . . you know, I’ve never had a drink in my life.
I’ve heard this, yes. Everyone I know who drinks or smokes pot—they do it to loosen up in some way or relax or feel more confident or whatever . . . “Liquid courage,” I think they call it. I’m actually trying to get less courage. Liquid or solid. I’m a little too heavy on the courage side of the scale. What do you do to relax? How do you chill out? What do you do in your spare time—if you ever actually allow yourself some spare time? I actually work out a lot. I hang out with my friends a lot. Shoot the breeze. I love a dinner party. I love smart conversation. And then I love really ridiculous television beyond control. I mean I can watch TV 12 hours a day, no problem. What are your favorites right now? Everything from The Newsroom and Political Animals to Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, and everything in-between. I watch all the news cycles and then I’ll watch everything from 24/7 Mayweather [vs. Cotto] to every single one of the Housewives franchises to Bridezillas to Boardwalk Empire. How much time do you spend on the show? Is it a full-time job when it’s on? Well the whole thing is full-time. It’s either the Kathy show or it’s prepping for one of the specials or it’s going on the road or its doing something crazy like a dance mix of the theme song from Kathy. Do you spend time working on ideas that never happen? Not with me. I’m not really in movies so I’m not somebody who auditions for movies or TV shows. It’s my own show or nothing! So you’re not spending a lot of time pitching ideas to studios and stuff like that? No. They come to me! That’s what I’d call an “A-List” attitude, Ms. Griffin! [Laughs] Thanks, Todd! c kathygriffin.net V I S I T U S AT i R e a d C u l t u r e . c o m