Kathy Griffin, ladies and gentlemen. When it comes to life, the 27-year-old (read: 50 year-old) prides herself on having no shame in self-promoting — the main focus of her television show My Life on the D-List, documenting the constant struggle of clawing her way to the top of the Hollywood food chain. A feat which appears to have ironically been achieved based solely on her celebrity scandal tattle-tales and never apologizing for it.
The not-so-D-List-anymore comedienne took the stage at Toronto’s Sony Centre on Sunday night, stirring up a riot of hilarity and laughter. The sold-out crowd was a majority of gays — Kathy’s loyal followers and main demographic, their friends, a spattering of husbands most likely forced by their wives to attend, and anyone else with a good sense of humour and an open mind.
The show began with a montage of antics from various television appearances and Kathy prancing onto stage after video introductions from the likes of Paris Hilton, Rosie O’Donnell, and Betty White. Opening with a summary of what the evening’s sporadic ramblings were to bring, her set would include Lohans, Madonna at TIFF, and backstage dirt from last week’s Emmy Awards. Having just flown in from a show in Windsor, Kathy ratted on their mullet policy and the city being “Detroit with an accent”. She paints a detailed retelling of events and interactions, incorporating spot-on imitations, dramatic facial expressions, and gesticulating wildly. The feel to Griffin’s stand-up act is that of a night out with friends, listening to your BFF go on about how hopped up on medication Carol from Human Resources was last Friday during Happy Hour. But it wasn’t Carol from Human Resources, it was Paula Abdul… “Allegedly”.
To really understand and appreciate Kathy Griffin’s material, one must possess a high caliber of knowledge of celebrity culture and the latest tabloid gossip. With today’s fame-obsessed society and idol-worshipping ideals, Griffin’s take on all that is trivial balances out the overly contrived, all the while being a part of what she eye-rolls at most. It is the ultimate in irony that delivers a most hysterical outcome and truly enjoyable comedic entertainment.
That’s Kathy Griffin, the fiery redhead who voluntarily, in the name of television, has been filmed being Vajazzled and getting a poolside Pap smear while wearing a bikini and simultaneously conducting a press conference. She is also a huge supporter of repealing Prop 8, rallied against “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”, and has performed in Iraq on a military base for the U.S. Troops. As well, telling Jesus to “suck it” during a 2007 Emmy Awards acceptance speech is just one of her many own intentional headline-grabbing shenanigans of past, present, and future.
An evening with Griffin would not be complete without mention of The Bachmanns and Palins. Material you may think would be stale at this point is presented in such a way that it remains funny. Alongside Celine Dion impersonations, a fan favourite is Kathy’s mother Maggie Griffin; a 91-year-old, Kathy-proclaimed alcoholic who loves to drink and has seemingly unknowingly coined the term “tip it” — referring to pouring every last drop of drink out of her precious box of wine. Kathy also draws from her own experiences, such as “eye-fucking” the border patrol officer and a retelling of her recent first late-night hotel room encounter with pot brownies and subsequently watching Suze Orman, not realizing she was high, and thinking Suze Orman herself was sitting next to her. Then, the reciting of a text from “Cher, motherfuckers. Cher”; A gay hush fell over the audience as Kathy read a received text message from The Cher. Kathy and Cher are friends and she will make sure you know it. And, of course, being in Canada, Toronto got blamed for raising Justin Bieber, giving him a lesbian haircut, and sending him off into the world. Kathy Griffin is a Belieber. Her act also featured an array of genitalia jokes — something intertwining old Tim Horton’s donuts and her vagina.
The solid two-hour chat fest finished off with Nancy Grace as a topic, a standing ovation, and KG strutting back-and-forth to The Black Eyed Peas’ The Time before being pulled off stage.
Permanent smiles exited the building. Kathy Griffin Hollywood domination in full effect. Suck it, Oprah.