Tampa Bay Times
Kathy Griffin’s new show will ease up on celebrities … sort of
May 30, 2012
If you know Kathy Griffin at all, you knew it couldn’t last. So, despite starting out with a widely heralded “no celebrities” rule for her new Bravo talk show, Kathy, Griffin now admits the guest lineup will soon include big names such as old pal Anderson Cooper, fellow in-your-face comics Whitney Cummings and Chelsea Handler, along with film star Jane Fonda and talk show host Jimmy Kimmel.
“They started calling me,” protested Griffin. “At first I kept saying no. Sharon Osbourne said, ‘I can tell you that Simon Cowell has …’ ” – oh, we can’t tell you more in a family newspaper, but Griffin says Osbourne will spill it all on her show.
Watch an episode of Kathy, and you get the sense that’s exactly how this program comes together, unfolding with the jagged, attention-deficit energy of a Real Housewives fan after downing a case of Red Bull.
Kathy stitches together segments from the 51-year-old comic’s previous showbiz lives like a televised Frankenstein monster, opening with a bit of standup comedy, moving on to conversation with friends and relatives once featured in her My Life on the D-List series and featuring interview panels with self-proclaimed “Bridezillas” or hunky Chicago firemen seemingly grabbed off the street.
Before her seventh appearance in Clearwater on Friday, Griffin spent a few minutes chatting about why she’s trying to break into TV’s Zooey Deschanel Mafia and why her mom swoons over Petri Hawkins-Byrd, the bailiff on syndicated court show Judge Judy.
You’ve said that your 91-year-old mom Maggie will be part of the show. Do you have to withhold her infamous box of wine until the end of the show?
No, she drinks more on show days because she knows I’m going to make fun of her. And then last night ”¦ you’re not going to believe this, but we actually had ”¦ do you know this guy Byrd from Judge Judy? No. Well, apparently you’re not 91 because he’s the bailiff on Judge Judy. So he just showed up to our taping and my mother was crying like in those pictures like, you know, when you see Help or A Hard Day’s Night, the girls are sobbing? My mother lost it because Byrd, the bailiff from Judge Judy, came to a taping and she held his hand ”¦ that is her Brangelina.
How did you get the idea to do this show this way?
Well, you know, after doing My Life On the D-List for six seasons, Bravo came to me and they said, ‘What if you did a show that had a little element of the D-List and then a little standup?’ I really learned how to talk to everybody on the D-List, from Bette Midler to my mom to strangers on the street.
So did your celebrity friends get upset you wouldn’t have them on your show?
Anderson called me and he said, ‘I’m going to be in L.A. Why can’t I just be on your show?’ And I said, no, I don’t trust you. You’re going to be too protective of the news. And then he was hurt and insulted, and then texted me and said, ‘Are you mad at me?’ So I was like, okay. And then I ran into Chelsea Handler at Whitney Cummings’ house and she said, ‘I’ll be on your show.’
Wait. You were at Whitney Cummings house?
There’s a girl mafia that I’m trying to crack.
Shouldn’t you be leading that posse?
My posse is like Suzanne Somers, Jackie Collins”¦that’s my posse. So I found out that those girls actually are in some sort of Zooey Deschanel mafia. I actually volunteered to host the next party at my house.
Kathy Griffin appears at 8 p.m. Friday at Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 McMullen-Booth Road, Clearwater.
Tickets are $52.50, 72.50 and $103. (727) 791-7400. rutheckerdhall.com. Her show Kathy airs at 10 p.m. Thursdays on Bravo.
For more photos of Kathy and Bette: Click Here