On the spot - Kathy Griffin
by Arnold Wayne Jones
The Dallas Voice
Friday Apr 16, 2010
Kathy Griffin owes us big time - and she knows it. She routinely does shout-outs to "my gays," and is attempting to break her personal appearance attendance record not at some mainstream event, but at Milwaukee’s PrideFest.
And even when she appears, as she will this Sunday and Monday at the Meyerson with the staid Dallas Symphony Orchestra ("Nothing makes me happier than to use the F bomb much more than the first cello," she says), she expects her gay following to be the torchbearer.
"I don’t think of Dallas as the Deep South - my next Bravo special will be filmed in Knoxville, so believe me: You guys are like Chelsea - but whenever I play any of those markets, people warn me. But those shows are the most raucous. That’s because the gays will make the drives. They will come three hours to see me. It might not represent the most accurate cross section of Dallas but it’s a good crowd. And let’s not leave out the seven heterosexual men who were dragged there."
Griffin knows where her bread is buttered. And the surest evidence that she’s a true FOG (Friend of the Gays): Even when she’s not obligated to be gay-friendly, she gives us props. For instance, when her house got a room makeover on HGTV’s Next Design Star, she asked for (but did not get) a gay designer. And when she attempted a rare dramatic acting role on Law & Order: SVU, she played gay.
"They told me I was gonna play ’a white Al Sharpton.’ I was so there. I’m actually friendly with Al Sharpton - I love almost every controversial person. I mean, not Ann Coulter - I’m not that nuts."
Griffin even planted a same-sex kiss on series star Mariska Hargitay - though it didn’t make it in he final cut when the aired episode.
"[Executive producer] Dick Wolf ended up cutting the lesbian kiss because they thought it went too far. But it will be the buzz of the Dinah Shore," she cracks. Still, the experience was surreal for her.
"You know the demographics for that show is my mom, who’s 90, and older people. I never had my Twitter blow up until I committed to SVU -they put the gays to shame. It was very exciting," she says. "But the gays are all up in that shit, too. The gays love Chris Meloni and the lesbians love Mariska."
It also made her wonder about the sexual orientation of Hargitay’s character.
"The day we shot the kiss, it was a big deal on the set - you could hear a pin drop. She’s tough and she’s sexy - they almost purposely play her like she’s gay," she opines. "Her character has never slept with the Chris Meloni character in, like, seven years. I personally don’t know any woman who could go seven minutes and not sleep with him."
The guest spot was a departure from My Life on the D List, her Bravo reality show for which she won two Emmys...
"Did you says Emmys?" she gasps. "I didn’t’ know we were switching topics to my favorite subject! I’m on a campaign to get nominated for my guest appearance on SVU ... and to legally change the name of show to SUV. That’s what people call it anyway."
But she hasn’t abandoned The D List. In fact, the day we talk, she’s terribly excited about what’s coming up.
"Please let me tell you my day," she begs. "Of course, we’ll have a joyous interview, but then I’m going to the house where we will be filming the next season of The D List. I will be at that meeting with Levi Johnston and his personal representative, Tank Jones. He’s gonna be on our show! Sarah Palin is supposedly getting a million dollars an episode [for her upcoming show on Discovery]. Nothing would give me more pleasure than to have Levi on a competing network."
Levi is just one peg in a year Griffin enthusiastically describes as "a comedy gold mine. When Clinton was in office you could have fun with anything, including him. Then Bush was elected and we couldn’t laugh at our government in the post 9/11 years. With Obama in office, it’s a nice change. I cannot sit idly on the sidelines."
Griffin can find comedy almost anywhere. "That’s what I love about touring year round. I am like two weekends on, two weekends off. There’s always something new.
But while she still pays homage to Paula Abdul and Oprah - "what I call The Standards," she says - she has some current targets:
About Tiger Woods: "I could listen to Gloria Allred read his sexting all day long."
About Miley Cyrus: "Miley was a mentor - a mentor! - on American Idol. I think that’s what you call jumping the shark. And I don’t hear Miley singing ’I’m a sweet virgin’ much anymore - not now that she has a hot boyfriend."
About Sandra Bullock: "Are you really going go for Sandy Bullock? There’s no comedy there. It’s the Nazi with the whip - that’s where the joke is." (But she must have known before the Oscars that Jesse was cheating on her, right? "She was thinking, Whatever the fuck I’m going through is only going to be worse with every reporter asking ’Where’s Jesse?’ It’s just easier to put a goddamn suit on him, walk down the carpet and just deal with it Monday.’")
But all of this raises a question: With sold-out tours, Emmy Awards, another season of her show and guest spots on mainstream network fare, might she need to change the name of the show to, maybe, The C List?
Never, she insists.
"When you’re on the D list, you constantly have to switch it up," she explains. "It’s not newsworthy for me to me seen at the grocery store or walking my kids. Trust me, I would get a kid if I thought it would help. But I’m not able to get pregnant with Levi’s baby because I don’t have any eggs left."
Toward that end, she granted us this exclusive:
"I tell you first: I am coming out as a Christian virgin. I tell people I am going to become Christian and a virgin and am not doing it for publicity. I am also not a proud member of the Church of Scientology. If that doesn’t get more people to buy my t-shirts, what the fuck will?"
- - - -
With the Dallas Symphony
Symphony Center, 2701 Flora St. April 18 and 19
at 8 p.m. 214-692-0203.