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The 'K' List: Kathy Griffin Returns
by Richard Knight, Jr.

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Pictured Kathy with a 'K.'

It's impossible to spend more than a minute or two in the company of Kathy Griffin and not find yourself laughing helplessly. As she noted repeatedly throughout her delightful reality show, 'My Life on the D-List,' she doesn't need to do much preparation for a performance other than make a list of topics. Kathy Griffin is a continual verbal zinger machine, riffing on any name or topic imaginable. She's just naturally, hysterically funny. Even better, as perhaps the most gay-friendly celebrity on the planet, if you're a gay interviewer, she's instantly your best friend.

Griffin will be in town this Saturday, Sept. 17 for two shows ( 6 and 9 p.m. ) at the Centre East Theatre in Skokie after which she high tails it back to LA in time for the Emmy's on Sunday. Highlights from our delightful conversation in which we both laughed nonstop:

WCT: Well, there is some good news today, right? The California legislature legalized gay marriage.

KG: Yeah, but I think Arnold's gonna fuck it up. There's nothing Arnold can't fuck up. Look at his plastic surgery and let me just say that I'm sick and tired of taking heat for my plastic surgery, cause he looks like ( Joyce, 'the tiger lady' ) Wildenstein compared to me. He's completely pulled, he's really shiny. You know, you don't need to get a facial every day.

WCT: He does kinda look like a 'girlie man' now.

KG: He's so horrible, just such an embarrassment. I would like to apologize on behalf of the state of California for 'the Govenator.' Don't need to get me started on my liberal anger.

WCT: Because you're preaching to the gay choir here. OK, I have to tell you, I hate reality shows, my partner hates reality shows but your reality show—

KG: You like it?!

WCT: We L-O-V-E your show and we're sad it's over. Please tell us there's going to be a Season Two. Make us happy.

KG: ( laughs ) OK, here's what happened. When we were filming it was a nightmare—it really was because they were supposed to only film for two months and, you know, the cameras are in the house 10 days straight and they ended up going FIVE MONTHS. I kept trying to get Bravo to do 12 half-hour shows instead of six hour-long episodes to let it catch on—like Bobby Brown, except not as much crack. So they were asking me if they wanted to do Season Two and I just said, 'No' because it was so difficult, but I gotta be honest, now that I see the end result, even though a lot of it's humiliating, I do think it's a funny show. They want to do a Season Two but they haven't come up with the cash—and you know me with the cash …

WCT: Gotta have it—

KG: —or you walk.

WCT: We love Tony and Dennis, your Best Gays, but I have a lesbian editor and an avid lesbian readership, are there any Best Lesbians in your life?

KG: Absolutely! Now first of all, you know that the lesbians run HBO, so anything you see on HBO is lesbian approved. Carolyn Strauss is over there heading up the lesbian mafia, a good friend. Also Matt and I are no strangers to the dog park, which is lesbian heaven. So yes, we love the lesbians, too.

WCT: Who's your favorite 'alleged' closeted lesbian celebrity. Emphasis on the word 'alleged.'

KG: Love that word. OK, let me think. I don't buy the Hillary thing. I think people just think she's gay because she's tough. I think if they were able to catch him as the President they would've caught her. That's not a very fabulous example.

WCT: You know, I've always wondered if Tom Cruise was gay … ( big laughter from both of us ) .

KG: You know what I love? Gay people don't even want him now, he's too fucking crazy.

WCT: We don't want him, you can have him!

KG: You know all the years I had to listen to all of you telling me about how you had a cousin that blew him in the bathroom at the Spike and after all those years of hearing, 'I had a friend who had a friend who went to his hotel room and fucked him' and now nobody even wants him. Now, they're like, 'We don't want him either, we've moved on to Colin Farrell.'

WCT: Is that your favorite, 'alleged' gay celebrity?

KG: No, but I just love how the gays only want hot guys to be gay. None of my gays are ever like, 'Girl, you know Miss Gene Hackman is gay.' That never comes up. It's Colin Farrell, Jude Law, all the hot guys.

WCT: OK, because gay is so cool, are there any 'alleged' heterosexual celebrities pretending to be gay that are not?

KG: That's a very interesting idea. OK, so get this, I did a day on Days of Our Lives that's going to air like the middle of September or something. I was on with some character named Austin Peck. Of course he's gorgeous and lovely and we spent the day together so I'm like, 'What's your story? Gay or married with kids?' and he says, 'I'm married with kids.' So I said, 'Let me guess, you were or are a model, right?' and he says, 'Yeah, for six years' and then he told me that in the male modeling world it's totally in your best interests to let clients think you might be gay. I thought that was really interesting that he learned the game early on. You know —don't be talking so much about the wife at work.

WCT: Well, that's kind of like those gay-for-pay porn stars.

KG: Really? And in their personal life they're married?

WCT: Yeah—absolutely.

KG: Really? Well, I learned something today.

WCT: So, what are you going to talk about at your show?

KG: Whatever we're all talkin' about. Maybe this: I get an e-mail yesterday from the Enquirer. Now this is D-List—when the Enquirer has your personal e-mail. They're not even going through my people, they just come straight to me. Hold on, I'm going to read it to you.

WCT: This should be good.

KG: It is. ( She reads ) 'Dear Kathy, we have learned from a number of sources that Oprah Winfrey is very upset about the way you have been lampooning and mocking her. She has complained to several people and she is pissed about it. We wondered if you wanted to comment on this.'

WCT: So you're going to be talking about that?

KG: W-e-l-l … I will say this—most of the people I make fun of I'm really a fan of and like I said on the show, I really do watch Oprah every single day and she does do some fantastic work and she has enlightened a lot of the white suburban ladies to a lot of things that we wouldn't know about and that's great. But … she's ridiculous with her, 'I couldn't get an Hermes bag because of racism.' ... She's got bigger fish to fry and she's funny but I predicted she would have zero sense of humor about it. She makes the jokes and that's how alpha dogs are. They are higher on the chain than you.

WCT: You're the alpha dog in your house, though.

KG: Yes I am.

WCT: Which reminds me, is your husband Matt going to be selling DVDs at the show again?

KG: No, Matt is a television star now. Here's the best part: you know Matt lost all this weight during the show, right? He looks great, he lost 110 pounds. So I'm watching with the gays one night and a couple of the bears are over and I find out that all the bears are pissed at him for losing the weight. They're like, 'We want the old Matt, we like big Matt.'

WCT: We want our bear cub!

KG: I know, I was like, 'Why don't you and your hus-bear shut the fuck up because he's my hus-bear!' I thought that was funny that there's a bear backlash against Matt. So, yes, he's much healthier, but the bears have dumped him.

WCT: Maybe they'll forgive him. What do you miss most about the Midwest?

KG: So many things. I miss those Chicago dinner table political discussions about what alderman's on the take, who's in trouble. Mostly it's the people and then it's all the stuff that I'm sure you can predict: going to Water Tower Place and Giordano's and Garrett's. Although, can the people at Garrett's pick one day a year to be nice?

WCT: No, no, get in line! I don't care if you're Kathy Griffin.

KG: I think eventually they're going to take a baseball bat and start hitting people.

WCT: So, what are you doing next?

KG: Well, a week from this Sunday ( Sept. 18 ) I'm doing the red carpet for the E! Channel for the Emmys.

WCT: Oh, that's fab.

KG: No, wait, I've been demoted to the Booth.

WCT: Stop!

KG: No, no, really. Star Jones is in the No. 1 position. Carson Kressley has my old job—who I love and I can see that, he's gonna be great—but I'm in a booth and I'm not allowed to talk to one single celebrity or be on the red carpet?

WCT: Well all you have to do is open the Enquirer and just start commenting.

KG: I know, but I don't want to be in the booth, I want to be on the carpet. I should be on the carpet where if I touch someone I get tased ( taser gunned ) .

WCT: Well, as you sit there in your booth, watching the celebs go by, I have a line for you, maybe your new mantra.

KG: What?

WCT: 'After all the quote unquote A-List celebrities I've encountered, if I'm still on the D-List then the world needs a new alphabet!'

KG: Oh, I like that!

WCT: You may use that, it's your,s because you've given me and the rest of us so much.

KG: Thank you, I just might.

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