Remember that suspiciously chipper girl in school who'd always wave and say hi to you in the hall? "I really like what you've got on today," she'd beam, looking you up and down while leaning by your locker. You'd mumble a cautionary "thanks" and make your way to class -- just in time to hear her turn to her friends and say, "Oh my gawd what is up with that outfit?"
What ever happened to that girl? She became comedian Kathy Griffin.
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Given her propensity to shit-talk nearly every performer she's ever worked with, how could Griffin not have been pure hell in high school? The feisty wiseass will be stopping by the Improv this week, hot off the red carpet at the Grammy Awards. "I should have a lot of fresh dirt for Houston," she promises. This is, after all, a woman who while working the recent Golden Globes, cracked ten-year-old Dakota Fanning, saying the actress had recently checked into rehab for drug and booze abuse.
Originally from Chicago, Griffin leaped into showbiz via guest spots on sitcoms like Mad About You and Seinfeld and later as Brooke Shields's catty colleague on NBC's Suddenly Susan. "It got to me more than I thought it would that the scripts were so shitty," she'd later tell Time magazine.
7620 Katy Freeway, space 431
8 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, February 18 and 19. For tickets and information, call 713-333-8800 or visit www.improv.com. $25.
Now the stand-up comic has become a reality-TV fixture, having hosted the NBC series Average Joe and won it all in ABC's Celebrity Mole. She released her stand-up DVD Allegedly last year ("it's full of scandal," she says) and is now in the midst of filming yet another reality series, this time for Bravo. It follows her from day to day as she tours the country, dissing and dishing on celebrities.
"I think Jesus is probably the most overrated celebrity," she says. "I don't think he was that great. He's a little culty, I gotta say. And he's really overexposed this year. His publicist must be exhausted."