Kathy Griffin doesn’t make fun of audience members during her shows like fellow comedians Jeffrey Ross and Lisa Lampanelli. The self-proclaimed “D-List” star feels she and the audience are “one and the same.” She is too grateful to poke fun at her fans.
Media trying to interview Griffin, on the other hand, are fair game.
In a span of 20 minutes, Griffin insulted my hometown (“You’re from money. Go [expletive] yourself, Highland Park”), told me I should leave the Tribune (“You have to jump ship and go to In Touch”) and questioned why the newspaper had me interview her (“How could the Trib send me a straight guy? You mean to tell me there weren’t 17 gay guys clamoring for this interview?).
All in all, I’d say it went pretty well. And besides, I can think of one Chicagoan who has gotten it a hundred times worse than I did.
“I wrote this book called ‘Official Book Club Selection’ and it’s going to be chosen for Oprah’s book club,” Griffin joked in her downtown Chicago hotel on Saturday. “You’re not going to fact-check that, right?”
Griffin, who was in town for four shows Thursday through Sunday at the Chicago Theatre, claimed she hurt her chances of being a guest on “The Oprah Winfrey Show” even before her tell-all autobiography came out in September.
“I think I hurt my chances with the harmless yet loving material that I’ve consistently put in my act about Oprah,” Griffin said.
Griffin’s frequent jabs at celebrities have made her a hit with celeb-gossip junkies.
Kathy cover The Oak Park native has gone from being the redhead on “Suddenly Susan” to a two-time Emmy award winner (both for her Bravo reality TV show, “Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List”) and now a best-selling author. Griffin was scheduled to sign her book at Borders on Michigan Ave for two hours on Wednesday but ended up staying for about four hours.
It was just three years ago that Maxim called Griffin one of the 12 worst comedians of all time. The men’s magazine listed her at No. 9, right behind the watermelon-crushing Gallagher.
“Have you seen the Greek gods that work at Maxim?” Griffin asked. “You should see those male models. Let them take their pot shots at me. I can buy and sell all of them. That’s what it’s all about at the end of the day…me giving a middle finger to all of them.”
Griffin said many of her male fans are gay, mainly because they can relate to her outsider status. She feels like they can identify with her uphill battle as a 48-year-old “D-List” star in Hollywood.
Straight men are fans too, according to Griffin. But they didn’t start coming around until the reality show became popular.
“A lot of guys come to the show and say ‘My wife dragged me to show, and I have to admit, you’re pretty funny for a chick,’ ” Griffin said. “That, of course, is the highest compliment I can get from a straight guy.
“There’s your title. ‘Kathy Griffin: Pretty funny for a chick.’ ”