It’s the bright-haired loudmouth vs the bright-haired loudmouth. Although our money is on Kathy, not Donald…
Comedy legend Kathy Griffin is taking things into her own hands. Well, that’s what got her into this whole mess in the first place. But after a somewhat turbulent start to 2017, she’s taking on Trump and the whole world in her brand new tour...
Doing a fierce about-face on an apology she shouldn’t have had to make in the first place, Kathy Griffin screams: “It’s on, motherfuckers! It’s on!” It’s a battle cry against those who reckon Kathy should just do one after she posed for photos holding an effigy of Donald Trump’s severed, blooddrenched head and posted a video of the shoot on Twitter and Instagram.
But the motormouthed redhead tells Gay Times she won’t be silenced. In fact, she’s turning the whole effed-up thing into the meat and bones of her first-ever world tour, the brilliantly titled Laugh Your Head Off, vowing to tell all about the photo and the fallout from it.
Apology aside, which we’ll get to shortly, Kathy was baffled by the reaction to what was clearly a scabrous comedy skit, not a calculated act of treason. There’s genuine incredulity in her voice when she says: “There were many Americans who genuinely thought I’d joined ISIS. Me! My poor drunk mother calls me once a month and asks, ‘Are you out of ISIS yet?’ I’m like, ‘Ma, I don’t think ISIS is recruiting me, I’m not their type.’”
Down the phone from the US, where we can’t see her but we’re pretty sure she must be tearing at that famous fiery mane, she sighs. “That’s how crazy everything has gotten. We’ve been nuts here for a while but we’ve never been this nuts. The idea that Trump would come after me, the most fearless woman who is beholden to no-one... I mean, Johnny Depp makes that threat, right, and they fucking clean it up for him in two fucking seconds. He’s a hot mess and he was making jokes about assassinating a president. I don’t know him but I don’t think he’s really going to kill a president, but they didn’t even question him.”
To the 56-year-old comedienne it’s a case of blatant sexism and ageism. “How dare I have the audacity to still be working at this age?” she yelps. No stranger to controversy and indeed a close friend of it ever since she began performing on the LA improv circuit in the early 80s, the woman who has been banned from chat shows for her outrageous comments adds: “They’re like, ‘Be silent, bitch!’ That’s something I’ve heard for so many fucking decades.”
Even though she lost endorsement deals and TV jobs and venues pulled the plug on US tour dates, Kathy has no regrets. “I should have done it more!” she yells. “I should have been harder on him. My God, it was just a mask with ketchup. News agencies were saying that I held up Donald Trump’s severed head. I was like, ‘Really? I think he’d be dead if I was doing that.’ Come on! I don’t think they’d have let me leave the White House with a fucking human head.”
She recorded an apologetic video, saying she’d gone too far. “But then I realised people were just using my apology against me. The Trumps upped their campaign even more and my tour was cancelled, which you know came from the President directly. On stage I will tell you all the details of my investigation and then he’ll probably start tweeting about it and they’ll all come after me again, but I don’t give a fuck anymore.”
She’s on a roll now, saying she was under a two-month investigation for conspiracy to assassinate the President of the United States. “Then he started a campaign to, in John Jr’s words, decimate me. But this is not a family we should be listening to in any way, shape or form. The idea we have this accidental president – and that’s what I call him because it’s an accident; Hillary was supposed to win but didn’t – and now we find out he’s a Nazi. Here’s the deal: We have a Nazi in the White House, he’s coming for me, and I don’t give a fuck anymore. In the show I’m going to talk all about the federal investigation, who was naughty, who was nice, the campaign that’s been mounted against me by the Trump Deplorables.”
Kathy claims the Deplorables, thusly named by Hillary Clinton, have made death threats against her 97-year-old mother in her retirement village and also against her sister, who is going through chemotherapy. “At a certain point it got so crazy it started being funny, like the idea that Donald Trump Jr is going on news networks multiple times a day and saying things like, ‘I think our family was too measured against Kathy Griffin.’”
Her tour, which takes in Australia and New Zealand before hitting Europe, won’t just be about the photo and its aftermath. There’ll be riffs on other stuff too, like having Kim and Kayne for neighbours. She laughs about seeing Kim up a tree, naked, at night, taking a selfie with construction boots on. “I texted her and said, ‘Put some clothes on and get out of that tree.’ She just texted back with emojis because they’re not so into talking, the Kardashians.”
They’ll also be regional variations, like a riff on the fact Trump didn’t know what Brexit was. Kathy does and she’s a staunch Remainer. “I don’t know if that will lose me ticket sales, I’m just saying,” she declares, very much a woman who couldn’t keep schtum if she wanted to.
She’s psyched about playing the London Palladium, where her idol Joan Rivers performed. And she’s genuinely shocked that, her Brexit views aside, the tickets have sold so well. “And I’m not being an asshole when I say that but I felt like ‘everybody’s abandoned me’.”
Kathy found herself with no publicist and no agent, with her boyfriend now also her tour manager. “So I’m back to bare bones, I’m back to my roots, and there’s nothing like a mouth and a microphone. I’m fully censored here in the US so to be able put an international tour together and for it to sell so well is thrilling.”
We gays, of course, will be there in droves. “I’m insisting on it. I have a gay quota and I expect it to be met. I think Grindr should write me a cheque at the end of the tour because I’m bound to have boosted their business. My shows are like a gay mixer. I’ve heard the line for the men’s room is very long and the line for the women’s room is very short. What are you gays doing in there? Just wrap it up and come hear the rest of my jokes for Chrissakes. You can give each other hand jobs after the show.”
Kathy’s embrace of the gay community isn’t just lip service. She’s always stood up for LGBT+ rights and her gay fanbase is something she’s thought about a lot, tracing her affinity with us back to when she was a six-year-old school kid standing up for other kids who were getting picked on for being shy or different. “I’ve always gotten along with disenfranchised folks. The reason the community and I have always been together is because it’s a natural relationship. For as
“Here’s the deal: We have a Nazi in the White House, he’s coming for me, and I don’t give a fuck anymore.”
long as I can remember my friends have been gay. In high school I was the girl who never got asked to the dances, then when it was the dance where the girls got to ask the guys that’s the only one I went to. And guess what, two years ago I officiated his gay marriage! I’m a gay-maker. I don’t know which came first, the chicken or the egg, if he was born gay or I made him gay. It’s open to debate.”
As for her gay mates now, she says: “I can’t even tell you the things we say behind closed doors. It’s so vicious, but it’s an act of love. We call it ‘throwing each other under the bus’. We’ll say vicious things about each other for no reason, just making stuff up or taking one little thing and exaggerating it. One of the gays will clutch his invisible pearls and all of a sudden you’ll hear a gasp. When I’ve gotten the gay gasp I’ll know I’ve succeeded.”
Having done a chat show on Bravo a few years back, her dream guest should she get another stab at the format (maybe in the UK like Joan Rivers did for a while) would be Meryl Streep because she’s a big fan and Demi Lovato for combative reasons because of their on-going Twitter feud. And if she could interview herself what would be her lead-in question? “I’d ask, ‘How could you survive with a mother who has given you such bad advice?’ I love her but her advice is always horrible. And she took Trump’s side over the picture. She threw me under the fucking bus.”
As for Trump himself, she screeches: “He’s underestimated me. I will do fucking anything for a laugh. I will always go the extra mile.”
She’s not, it’s blatantly obvious, a Trump fan. She calls him President Orange Face Cheeto Fat Fuck and states: “He needs to be taken down. He’s tried to take me down, but that’s never worked. This old bitch will still be standing with the cockroaches after the apocalypse.”
The apocalypse might not be too far away, but at least we can have a laugh with Kathy before then.