Kathy Griffin Brings Her Raunchy Humor to the Hobby Center
Courtesy of kathygriffin.net
"Did you get my twat?" Kathy Griffin asks me when we start our phone interview this past Friday. "I twatted at you."
It takes me a minute to understand that Griffin is talking about a tweet she had just sent me. Before I can even reply, she jumps right in to congratulate me on Texas's choice in governmental representation. I can tell this conversation is going to be one for the record books.
Griffin has brought up Texas for a few reasons. One, she wants to make fun of Ted Cruz and two, she will be here on tour this week. She will be stopping in Austin, then Houston and rounding this mini-tour out in San Antonio, where she will be taping her 20th comedy special for Bravo. This is a big deal for Griffin as once this special is in the can, she will have broken world records. Griffin is on her way to entering the Guinness World Records for "Most Stand-up Specials by a Comedian" passing the "late great George Carlin." At first this title wasn't a part of any calculated move on Griffin's part, but once it seemed like she was headed in this direction, she thought there was no better place to tape the title-making special than Texas.
"My shows leading up to it [in Austin and Houston] are going to be rehearsals for the special," Griffin says.
So whatever the H-town audience finds funny, will go in. Griffin mentions that perhaps there should be some sort of warning before the shows given that she will be performing at the Hobby Center here and at San Antonio's Majestic Theatre; both theaters often host symphonies and classical music fare. Griffin thinks it's funny that she'll be bringing her brand of "pussy" humor to such venues.
But anyone familiar with Griffin, should not be surprised by her type of funny. Griffin is notorious for speaking her mind and talking smack about anyone and everyone. No one is safe as far as Griffin is concerned.
"I have to comment on people's bad behavior," Griffin remarks. "And I am so lucky that Kayne West just had a meltdown and Chris Brown is a mess..." Griffin has an endless supply of fodder. But she mentions that if a joke feels old, it gets scrapped.
She knows what a joke in need of dumping sounds like too; she's been in the comedy game since the early '80s. But unlike some of her peers, Griffin has carved her niche in comedy on her own terms. With a plethora of television and film appearances, starring in her own reality show, Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List and penning a best-selling book, as well as hosting awards shows and a stint co-hosting The View, Griffin is also the winner of multiple Emmy and Grammy Awards. So, yeah, you could say she's been one busy chick these past few decades.
Moving forward is what Griffin loves to do and has no intention of stopping, especially when it comes to performing stand-up. Just before this Texas run, Griffin played Foxwoods Casino, Carnegie Hall and then did two nights on a gay cruise. She says she thinks she just might be "addicted to stand up."
This works well in her favor, certainly as a comedian, but just as importantly as a female comedian, which Griffin puts a lot of stock in. The ongoing conversation about whether women are funny, Griffin finds absurd.
"Look," Griffin says, "we have to stop thinking that sexism in this industry is over because it's not." She goes on to point out that the industry is still very much run by men: club owners are men, bookers are men and the majority of comedians being pushed ahead are then, not surprisingly, men. But Griffin's response to this is similar to what seems to be her M.O. - keep going, keep working hard and keep talking about the things that she wants to talk about.
"There are so many funny women that are inspiring," she says as she rattles off a host of names in the industry.
And of course, as any fan of Griffin's knows, one of the funniest women in her life has always been her mother. "Maggie," Griffin's 93-year old mom, is one of the stars of her sets, and she always gets requests from the audience as to her mother's latest antics. Don't be surprised to find some new dirt on Maggie at the upcoming Houston show.
If her mother is such a big part of her life, I ask Griffin as we are winding down our chat, where will she be spending the upcoming holidays?
Griffin laughs and says that her philosophy on the holidays has always been to go on vacation or conveniently have other plans - or lie about either one.
Before she will be hiding from her family over the holidays, she will be performing at the Hobby Center, November 23. For more information or tickets visit her website kathygriffin.net
Get the Theater and Arts Newsletter
Exclusive discounts and announcements to Houston theater shows and art events