As a Hollywood fixture, actress and comedian Kathy Griffin wears many hats. But over the years she has settled into the role of a cultural critic taking jabs at celebrities and their public antics, all the while sharing stories of her own life on the fringes of Hollywood with a singular wit. Through it all she's won two Emmy's, been nominated for a Grammy, received a GLAAD Vanguard award, and has become a New York Times bestselling author. She is also the perennial Hollywood outsider, and as the host of Bravo's "Kathy," Griffin indulges her whims with a panel of mostly "civilian" types to create a show that takes her aesthetic one step beyond the realm of traditional talk show fare. When she isn't filming episodes of her show, Griffin gets to indulge in her one true love, stand-up comedy, taking her uncensored act on the road.
This Saturday, June 16, Griffin is making two appearances at the Fox Theatre at 7 and 9:30 p.m. $60-$75.
Chad Radford: So you're coming back to Atlanta?
Kathy Griffin: Oh honey, I am, and I'm all about the Buckhead Diner. I'm all about Daddy D's, too - I'm looking forward to the shows, but I might be looking forward to the BBQ a little more.
There is a lot of good food Atlanta.
Yes there is! You guys aren't afraid to fry something and then refry it and then put some ranch dressing on it.
That's pretty much the South in a nutshell, and I don't suppose you get a lot of fried food in LA these days?
No, you're not allowed. Now that I have my own weekly television show I'm barely allowed to eat anything 'til August. I'm pretty much on an oxygen-only diet. But I'll do what it takes to make this damn show work.
What's great about the live show is, look, I love doing "the Kathy Show," and tonight we're doing my first celebrity show, and I swore I wouldn't have celebrities. But Chelsea Handler and Whitney Cummings called and I went, wait a minute, that's a fun show, seeing the three of us chicks together, so now all of a sudden I have Jimmy Kimmel doing the show and Jane Fonda, Sharon Osbourne and Anderson Cooper. My little show has taken on a life of its own even though I'm still focusing on civilians cause I love me some real people. You don't know what the hell they're going to say! But the great thing is that on the weekends I get to go on tour, which will always be my first love. And I love the Fox Theatre! I love Atlanta, and I can give the behind-the-scenes stuff from "the Kathy Show," the stuff Bravo won't let me talk about. No bleeper, it's not for children - my disclaimer is 'leave the children at home, even the gay-bies.' And God knows I love my gays and their babies. By the way, I think there is an age restriction at the show. I don't know if its 18 or 21 but it should be 90, like my mother, and frankly the live show is where I just let it rip.
How do you separate your live performance from what you do behind the camera?.
Truly, there's nothing like performing live because you can just say anything and, this is going to be corny, but you actually do have a relationship with the audience. Every audience is different in every city, and I'm doing two shows at the Fox that night. Even those audiences can be different. It's constantly doing what I call "taking their temperature," so if they're really into you know, the bath salts face-eating jokes, we'll go there. If they're really into the housewives of Atlanta, we'll go there. If they're into political stuff because there's an election near, we'll go there. My show is highly improvisational and I basically do stand-up until I get arrested.
Yeah. I've been protested, I've had walkouts, I may get protested again. I tend to offend the groups - far right religious groups tend to get upset, and I don't think the scientologists love me either.
I've always thought of you as the Hollywood outsider, which is a clever sound byte, but what does that really mean?
It means I get invited to the Grammy's because I've been nominated four years in a row for best comedy album. I have not been invited to one private Grammy party. Like, Madonna has a Grammy party and you know, all these people have these parties for nominees and I'm never invited to them. So yeah, I get to go because I'm a fucking nominee and frankly they can't keep me out. Same with the Emmy's. I get to go to the Emmy's because I've been nominated and I've won and I get to take part in all of those festivities, but believe me, when some big TV star is having their really cool insider-nominee party, I'm not on that list, because they don't want to be in my act, and I make no promises. My celebrity friends know this - I don't have a lot of celebrity friends, but they know that nothing is off the table, and it shouldn't be.
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