DONALD TRUMP CAN SUCK MY DICK!
In fight mode, Kathy Griffin is a thing of beauty and terror. Her refusal to play nice and be polite leads to dark places – like the decapitated Trump picture that saw her abandoned by Hollywood and TV networks. But the furore has inspired her current world tour, Laugh Your Head Off, and she’s ready to roar. Interview by Andrew Creagh.
DNA: Welcome to the DNA interview!
Kathy Griffin: I’m so excited to be talking to you because I was just thinking… if only I knew someone who could tell me where to find pictures of hot gay guys. I love your website menu. It goes from Men to Not Safe For Work-ish. Ish! I’m also Not Safe For Work-ish. I should get that tattooed on my body. Donald Trump has advocated violence on many occasions, and now appears to be condoning new-Nazism and all the violence that entails. Do you feel you apologised too soon for the severed head image?
Yes. I take it back. In light of all the shit he’s done – especially to the LGBT community with this transgender military ban. That guy can suck my dick and I’m donna go around the world saying that. And that whole piece-of-shit family –not the kid, I’ll leave the kid out of it – but the grown-up sons with their Nazi haircuts and, you know, after Charlottesville, that guy might be an actual Nazi. Fuck him, no. I’m not apologising for shit. People were dying in Houston and he said, “Good luck.” Now look, I’m all about the plebiscite and the gay marriage vote. How are you guys feeling about it? It’s a shit fight but it’s one we have to have and we’re feeling really positive about all the support we’re getting.
I know we aren’t loving Malcolm Turnbull right now but we have to give him credit for making fun of Trump.
Any other world leaders you’d like to decapitate? There are many I have issues with but here in the States we’re learning what a kleptocracy is, what an authoritarian government looks like, what a Fascistic government might look like. I just can’t wait to get to Australia and tell everybody we know Trump’s crazy
and how dire and dangerous this is and we’re kinda screwed. But, comedically, I will take him on.
That fight has already started, hasn’t it?
Never in the history of this country has a sitting president used his power, the authority of the Oval Office, his family and the Department Of Justice to put a female American comedian under a federal investigation and, yes, I’m absolutely implying that he went for me because I’m a female and over 50. I have to get out there and tell my story. Luckily, a lot of it is funny.
We’ve seen you in tears at a press conference. It’s hard to imagine how there’s much that’s funny about the situation?
Well… I got a consolation note from Billy Bush.
Er, what did it say?
That I should try meditation. I’m sure he was trying to be nice but, look, I don’t grab pussy. I wasn’t on a bus with the future president saying, yeah, let’s go grab some pussy. So I don’t want to be in the Billy Bush basket.
Trump has made Australians watch American politics closer than ever. Do you think his presidency has turned politics into entertainment?
Yeah, and I think it’s disgusting. We, Americans, know that we’re under the microscope and are realising that we need to pay more attention, too. Part of the reason I take back my apology is because I don’t think a lot of Americans knew how bad he was going to be. He brags about a lot of things that he hasn’t actually done, because he lies all the time, but of the things he has done…
Like, for no reason, pardoning Sheriff Joe Arpaio, a man who basically ran sanctioned internment camps in Arizona and was convicted of a federal crime – convicted – and Trump put me under federal investigation for two months because he didn’t like that I made a picture that embarrassed him. You should be watching us! There’s a lot of politics going on here [in the USA] and we’re doing a lot of things for the first time. No one thought that someone this nuts could get in – he lost by nearly three million votes.
You have a great relationship with the gays, how do you think the gays are feeling in Trump’s USA? Women have never been more frightened and the LGBT community has never been more frightened and Trump and his cronies like that. Trump is attacking the LGBT community for no reason other than to appeal to his base of psychos. That’s not going to stand on my watch. I’m 56 years old so I don’t give a fuck anymore. After what I’ve been through with the President and the Feds and his sons coming after me constantly on television every fucking day…
People are questioning his state of mind.
He’s crazy. He’s lost his mind and he’s probably a Nazi – in The White House. Every day he takes actions to hurt people. He doesn’t know what the Paris Accord is. Our country is playing catch up now because he doesn’t know what he’s doing. And he’s got this cult-like following, the Deplorables… these people made death threats against me and my 97-year-old mother in her retirement village, and my sister who’s going through chemotherapy. These serious Trump folks are hardcore.
Do you like being on stage?
I love it. I’ll probably be doing two hours a night. I’m so excited. I can’t wait to hit the stage in Australia. I fucking love “the church”, the Opera House. But I’m performing more in Australia than I ever have, not just Sydney. Because of this photo the President has made me more famous than I’ve ever been. Louis CK called me and said, “You’re the most famous comedian in the world today, you better make the most of that.” He said, “I would give my right arm to have the act you’re gonna have after this ordeal.” I have it now and I’m ready to talk.
Is doing stand-up a liberating experience?
It is. The nice thing about stand-up is that I don’t need a network executive or a studio executive or any of these middle-aged, ugly white guys who’ve been telling me my whole life that I’m not pretty enough, not fuckable enough… I don’t need their permission to do it. As long as I can sell tickets. Jerry Lewis just died. He was an old misogynist who didn’t think women should do comedy… did he mean anything to you?
Guys like that, I just give them a pass because of their age. I’ve spent my whole career dealing with sexism and misogyny, working out how to overcome it, finding ways around it. Even in this day and age people think there’s gender equality – there’s nothing resembling it. Not in my business, anyway. There aren’t that many female comedians who are 56 years old and just out there doing it. Let’s play Kill, Marry, Fuck: Chris Hemsworth, Chris Pine, Chris Pratt.
I’m gonna kill Thor. He’s got too many kids. If I’m going to start a new relationship it’s gotta be just the two of us. I’m gonna fuck the younger brother just to piss off Miley. And I’ll marry the last guy, Chris Pratt from Guardians Of The Galaxy. I’ll marry him because he’s single now. I know him. He’s been to my house.
Are you neighbours?
No, but I happen to live next door to Kim Kardashian and Kanya Kardashian-West. They’ve come over. We wave across the fence. My mum babysat the kids and they put it on Instagram and now she’s a mini celebrity.
What do you think makes a man sexy?
Well, speaking as a woman whose boyfriend is 18 years younger – and don’t you dare judge me…
We would not judge you. You go, girl!
That’s right! This cougar will roar. What makes a man sexy? You’re gonna laugh… if you can get yourself a genuine, honest, nice guy that’s it. That’s sexy. Now let me amend it for the DNA reader… he better have a six-pack and if he eats one carb I’m gonna punch him in the face! And if I have to shave his back myself I will. If I could be a gay man I’d be a bear so I could eat more. I’m more of an otter.
MORE: Kathy Griffin’s Laugh Your Head Off Tour. Go to KathyGriffin.com or livenation.com.au
(TOP) THE LAUGH YOUR HEAD OFF TOUR POSTER, INSPIRED BY THE TRUMP PIC. (ABOVE) THE TEARFUL PRESS CONFERENCE FOLLOWING TRUMP’S DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE RETALIATION.