Monday, August 16, 2010

Review: No one was safe from Kathy Griffin at the Fox Theatre

Posted By on Mon, Aug 16, 2010 at 6:05 PM

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  • Courtesy AEG Live
Driving down Peachtree St. Saturday night, you'd have thought Rihanna was in town. But it wasn't a pop star performing at the Fabulous Fox—no, it was proud D-lister comedienne Kathy Griffin packing the venue for two back-to-back shows on Saturday, August 14. I talked with Kathy before the performance about why she loves Atlanta, and she definitely delivered to us during her nearly 3-hour set.

Kathy's reality show, "My Life on the D-List" on Bravo, has catapulted the struggling comedienne to a household name, and now even her assistants are stars. When assistant Tiffany took the stage to put Kathy's notes on the stool, the audience started to clap. Oh, how reality TV glamorizes even the most mundane of jobs.

A video kicked off the show with clips of Kathy's long, D-listy career, including well-known cameos like her role as a nurse in the "Real Slim Shady" music video as well as forgotten appearances like her trying to steal Justin Timberlake from then-"virginal" Britney Spears at the VMAs (who later became a target of Griffin's stand-up). Kathy came out to Lady Gaga's "Telephone," and the mainly-gay audience ate it up. She was in her typical all-black outfit, saying she didn't wear a weave like normal because she didn't want "to get in any fights" with the wig-pulling ladies of the "Real Housewives of Atlanta," who she surprisingly left out of the act.

My whole family went to see Kathy to celebrate my mom's birthday (don't worry, I won't reveal your age, mom), and even my teenage sister was there. I sat in a different section, but I could just imagine the embarrassment between my parents and my sister during the dick and pussy joke portion of the stand-up. See, Kathy entertains in ways she doesn't even realize.

Kathy famously jokes that her entire audience is gay men and women. "Wake up," she'll yell when she thinks the straight male companions dragged by girlfriends are dozing off. "Girls, you owe your guy a blow-job tonight, like the gays do it." But in fact I was sitting next to a real-life straight guy (he obviously didn't come with me), and he was laughing his head off! Plus my dad loved the show. The whole world, both A-listers and straight guys, are coming around to Kathy.

Kathy's routine started off topical, beginning with ex-JetBlue flight attendant Steven Slater: "Sometimes even the gays have a bad seed," she told the crowd. Then she went off how each of the Lohans provide an endless supply of material for her as a comedienne. "All roads lead to Lohan," she said while talking about her own family. Of course Maggie Griffin, Kathy's alcoholic mother turned international icon, was frequently brought up (and her Maglet was sold in the gift shop).

Some of the material was rehashed, like that about her favorite talking-head Barbara Walters, though she did reveal that fellow "The View" co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck, who represents the conservative viewpoint, actually is handed the Fox News talking points every day before taping.

A sign-language interpreter was at the show, translating Kathy's jokes for one of the audience members. Kathy didn't realize the interpreter was there until half-way through, and once she did, it was dick-and-pussy jokes galore. "Dick dick pussy pussy ass-fuck fisting," Kathy repeated just so we could all see the blushing interpreter act out the words in sign-language in a hysterical moment.

One of the funniest moments of the night came when Kathy was discussing her favorite reality shows of the moment, and "I Didn't Know I Was Pregnant" came up. "I was thinking it was going to be young girls in India who didn't know they could get pregnant," she said. "Instead they're all just dumb bitches from here." Her on-going imitation of a dumb Southern woman not knowing that her "growing midsection" and "sickness in the morning" was actually pregnancy was can't-breathe hilarious.

Kathy has the rare ability to talk to a giant audience as if it's an intimate conversation. She's the hilarious friend recounting day-to-day stories, except she never lets you get a word in edgewise. And as long as she's yelling dick and Paula Abdul jokes, we'll stay quiet.

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