On Friday night (July 10th) I made the drive to Tulsa, Oklahoma to catch the performance of Kathy Griffin on her most recent tour. For those of you that have little or no knowledge of Kathy Griffin, you have probably seen her at some point. Currently, Griffin has an Emmy award-winning series on Bravo titled My Life on the D-List which chronicles her attempts to move up from her current “D-List” status to become an “A-Lister” by any means necessary. This usually includes networking and becoming friends with established “A-Listers” such as Paris Hilton and Cher to name a couple. Previous to that she was a regular on the Brooke Shields series Suddenly Susan. Although not well known in mainstream, Griffin has made a name for herself by touring almost non-stop for years and amassing a large following.
Griffin’s comedic style can be best described as “pop-based.” She covers a variety of topics that are all current fodder for news and entertainment sources. She does so with a sometimes scathing, sarcastic wit. Griffin does not hold back is unapologetic for her views and statements, which are often considered controversial due to their lack of tact and discretion. Griffin has actually been banned from many of the talk show circuits due to statements she has made or refusal to stay on pre-determined topics and just talking about whatever pops into her mind. Griffin is a self-proclaimed hypocrite in that she both loves and loathes the Hollywood lifestyle at the same time. She provides scathing insights and backstage stories about her interactions with celebrities while at the same time has made it her goal to become part of that scene herself. She could be likened to a person that harshly criticizes a celebrity and then asks for an autograph when she meets them.
The July 10th show was loaded with fresh material that covered most of the topics currently in the mainstream news. She started off her show my moon walking onto the stage as Michael Jackson music played. Yes, the recent death of Jackson was her starting point and would set the tone for the evening that there was nothing off limits to Griffin. During her 2 hour performance Griffin discussed Michael Jackson, his doctor, his children and the surrogate mother of Jackson’s children. Other topics discussed included Jon & Kate and their divorce in which she placed most of the blame on Jon and went through a checklist of his uselessness and eventually led to riff about how upset Octomom must be about this for stealing her limelight. She continued on to a story about Joan Rivers, a close friend of Griffin’s, and her backstage happenings while helping Rivers on an episode of The Apprentice. This led to an interesting discussion of Trump’s comb-over implying that he has comb-overs in other places too.
While it would be nearly impossible to go over all of Griffin’s material it is safe to say she covered just about everything in the news. She talked about a meeting with Heidi and Spencer in which Spencer referred to her as a “media whore” just like him. She also talked about her meeting with Gayle King (whom she has in the past referred to as Oprah’s husband) which ended with Griffin being terrified and she recounted spending an evening at an event with Suze Orman that indicated that the hyper Suze Orman on TV is the real Suze Orman and she is never “off.” One of the funniest bits was about working with Paris Hilton in which she revealed that Hilton’s real voice is not the affected baby voice the public sees but is actually much lower on the scale, described by Griffin as the voice of a man in drag. She also told the story of a phone call with Justin Timberlake in which he shifted from a hip-hop type of talk to an uptight white guy voice depending on to who he was talking. Unfortunately, he wouldn’t sign a release for the phone call to be on her television show.
Griffin’s comedic style is likely a perfect fit for anybody that has an interest in pop culture. If you are the type of person that follows current entertainment news and likes to discuss things like movies, celebrities, and the any general strange behavior that comes out of Hollywood. She says the things that people are thinking but are afraid to say. As a plus, her style is very conversational. The way she speaks feels like an intimate conversation with a close friend that is just exchanging gossip. She doesn’t speak down or act like people are dumb. She just acts like you were a friend in her home. Also, her use of pop culture gives her a contact source of material to keep her routine fresh.
Conversely, her comedic style is not fir for everybody. She is somewhat vulgar and unedited in her comments. Although, in reality, she is nowhere near the vulgarity of comedians like Andrew “Dice” Clay or Redd Foxx. She does not use it for shock value, but the same way people might use profanity in a personal conversation. The most likely cause of people’s reactions to her is probably a response to her lack of political correctness rather than vulgarity. Another element that audience members might dislike is that her stories are all based on current pop culture. For example, she had a large bit on the Real Housewives series, which I have no familiarity with. So I was somewhat lost, but still understood a number of the jokes. A cursory knowledge of pop culture is at least needed.
Overall, the performance was very good. Griffin performed for a solid 2 hours with no pauses or breaks. She went from one story to the next and closed the show on a high note involving Justin Timberlake. For those that are not easily offended and have some knowledge of pop culture this would be a great show to watch and is highly recommended. However, if you tend to be easily offended or are a person that does not keep up with the latest celebrity news you might now enjoy Griffin as much.
On a scale of 1 to 10, I would rate the performance an 8.
Written by: Jacob C.