Kathy Griffin (born November 4, 1960) is an Emmy Award-winning American stand-up comedienne, producer, and actress. She has also been a voice actress and a red carpet commentator. Griffin is a self-proclaimed "D-list celebrity." She is arguably best known for her role on NBC's Suddenly Susan. She is also known for her reality show, Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List, and for guest co-hosting on The View.
Griffin began performing in the early 1980s with the Los Angeles improv comedy troupe, The Groundlings. In an E! True Hollywood Story segment, she stated that she often went to see shows at the Groundlings before she joined. She said one time she was there she went backstage and talked with a Groundling member (Phil Hartman) and asked him what The Groundlings were all about. This led to her taking classes there and eventually being asked into the Main Company. She went on to perform stand-up comedy and teamed with fellow Groundlings alum Janeane Garofalo on the comedy act "Hot Cup of Talk," later the title of Griffin's 1998 solo HBO special. She did some acting, breaking into film with the supporting role of Connie in the horror movie The Unborn (1991), starring Brooke Adams.
Griffin gradually amassed such TV and film credits as a role in comedian Julie Brown's Medusa: Dare to Be Truthful (1992), a Showtime parody of the backstage film Truth or Dare (1991); two appearances as the character Susan Klein, a reporter, on NBC's The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, her TV sitcom debut; fellow comic Bob Goldthwait's movie Shakes the Clown (1992); and an episode of ABC's divorce-attorney series Civil Wars, Griffin's dramatic-series debut.
After starring in an HBO Half Hour Comedy Special, Griffin's first consistent public exposure came in 1996, when she was cast as the acerbic colleague of Brooke Shields' title character on the NBC sitcom Suddenly Susan. In 1998, Griffin starred in her first one-hour special, HBO's Kathy Griffin: A Hot Cup of Talk. She honed a comedy and television career that poked fun at her relatively modest place in the Hollywood hierarchy in a self-deprecating manner. She frequently appears in such self-consciously tacky projects as the reality show competition Celebrity Mole Hawaii — in which she won the 2003 edition after undergoing such experiences as walking over hot lava with her bare feet. She identifies her victory as the moment she became a "D-list" celebrity.
Griffin also has a secondary career in voiceover work, and has been featured on a variety of projects such as the Dilbert animated series and one of the Spider-Man animated series.
Griffin's TV production company is called Inappropriate Laughter, a reference to her sometimes shocking form of humor.
Solo reality show
2005 saw the debut of Griffin's solo reality show Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List, on the cable network Bravo. The show was originally developed as a scripted sitcom for NBC after her popular appearances on Seinfeld, where she played a version of herself, landed her a development deal with the network. Although that sitcom never materialized, NBC chose to develop a similar version as a reality show on its sister channel, Bravo. The show also featured then-husband Matt Moline, her parents, her dogs, and her personal assistant Jessica. The first season of the program was nominated for a 2006 Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Reality Program, non-competition.
The second season, which premiered on June 6, 2006, brought Griffin the 2007 Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Reality Program, non-competition, on September 8, 2007. She received it during the Creative Arts Emmy, which was hosted by Carlos Mencia and aired on E! on September 15. Griffin stirred up controversy with her acceptance speech, saying that "Now a lot of people come up here and thank Jesus for this award. I want you to know that no one had less to do with this award than Jesus. He didn't help me a bit. If it was up to him, Cesar Milan would be up here with that damn dog. So all I can say is..." Then she went on to hold up her Emmy and finished by saying, "...Suck it, Jesus, this award is my god now!" Griffin claimed she meant this remark not as a slight on Jesus but rather as a satire of celebrities who thank Jesus profusely and nonsensically for their awards, especially artists who themselves are controversial.
Her remarks were quickly condemned by the Catholic League which urged the academy to "denounce Griffin's obscene and blasphemous comment." The Academy said that her "offensive remarks will not be part of the E! telecast on Saturday night". Griffin later responded, "Am I the only Catholic left with a sense of humor?" The editing was condemned in two consecutive episodes 1 2 of Freethought Radio, the latter containing the deleted material. Annie Laurie Gaylor in particular objected to the comment being described as "hate speech".
The third season premiered on June 5, 2007, to an all-time ratings high for the Bravo Network, with over 1 million viewers, a 77 percent increase in viewers aged 18 to 49, and a 57 percent increase in overall viewers. The new season introduced Tom, who was hired as a dog walker but was promoted to Griffin's housemate and tour manager, and Tiffany, Jessica's assistant; it also covered an emotional period of her life during the death of her father.
At Griffin's Costa Mesa performance on November 23, she explained to the audience that she signed on for the fourth season which will begin taping in January 2008. It will air during the summer of 2008. At her performance, Griffin hinted that one of the episodes would be set at an army hospital post-Emmy acceptance speech.
Style of humor
At a time when some stand-up comedy was turning from punch-line orientation to humorous social commentary and satire, Griffin established her career with candid observations about her dating life. Later she began to focus on mocking celebrities, and her act currently consists of recounting embellished stories involving celebrities. Her favorite celebrity topics are plastic surgery, Scientology, drunkenness, substance abuse, snooty attitudes, eating disorders, and stars whose sexual orientation is disputed. Among Griffin's staples are Clay Aiken, Barbara Walters, Whitney Houston, Celine Dion, Gwyneth Paltrow, Star Jones, Oprah Winfrey, Britney Spears, and Lindsay Lohan.
While Griffin paints herself as a Hollywood outsider, she has a group of close celebrity friends that she only speaks positively about in her acts, such as Rosie O'Donnell, Joan Rivers, Brooke Shields, Whoopi Goldberg, Jennifer Coolidge and Lance Bass. Griffin's longtime friendship with Bass was the catalyst for a feud between her and gossip blogger Perez Hilton, in which Griffin expressed anger over Hilton's "outing" of Bass on his website, calling Hilton's attacks on Bass "mean" and "unfunny". Hilton responded by saying that Griffin's anger was hypocritical, considering all of the gay jokes she makes about Clay Aiken in her stand-up routines. In 2007, Griffin commented on her aversion to making fun of celebrity friends by saying, "There’s nothing I won’t do, but on the other hand I’m full of shit because that changes. For example, you know Lance Bass from 'N Sync and how he’s gay now? All those years that I knew he was gay, he and I were friends, I would never say, ‘Hey, by the way, did you know that Lance Bass is gay?’" Griffin and Hilton ended their feud after the death of Griffin's father, and Hilton appeared on an episode of her show in 2007.
Griffin is sometimes the butt of her own humor, particularly with regard to her D-List status. Her style has led to a number of controversies. Griffin has claimed to be banned from appearing on The Tonight Show, Late Night with Conan O'Brien, Live with Regis and Kelly, Late Show with David Letterman, and The Ellen DeGeneres Show. She says Ellen's producers told her they can't have her on "trashing celebrities." However, Griffin appeared as a guest on The Ellen Degeneres Show on September 11, 2007. One of the most notable controversies occurred when she made a joke during a 2005 E! televised event that the child actress Dakota Fanning had entered rehab. This incident got Griffin fired from hosting duties on E!'s red-carpet award show coverage. Nevertheless, E! purchased rights to air My Life on the D-List for its British channel, a fact she noted in an episode of season 3.
Posted on Tuesday, October 27, 2009
In: Famous Female Comedians, Kathy Griffin, American Comedians
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Comments about Kathy Griffin
How do I book Kathy Griffin? 951-236-2772
posted @ Thursday, February 17, 2011 12:26 PM by cherie russell
Anyone who has the uneducated view that they don't need Jesus in their life and then goes as far to mock the religion of millions of Americans needs to have a real interpersonal review of who they really are. I like your comedy up to the point that i saw your award ceremony tirade on how Jesus didn't have anything to do with it. Good luck with the rest of you life, your out of mine.
posted @ Sunday, August 7, 2011 10:08 PM by Larry Campbell
I saw many shows and i must say all the shows are awesome and the comedy role they play is really to good.
posted @ Wednesday, April 10, 2013 3:32 AM by Allenethan
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