Kathy Griffin On Taylor Swift, the Kardashians, and (Some) Fashion Police
This weekend the Borgata invited several of us from G Philly down to their launch of OUT at Borgata, a new initiative that aims to bring the gays down to AC. One of the incentives for the weekend, was a ticket to see comedian and gay icon Kathy Griffin in the Casino’s main show room.
Entering, we were all waiting with bated breath as Kathy Griffin took the stage on Saturday evening: What was the dirt behind her sudden departure from Fashion Police just two days earlier? What kind of shit was she going to talk on Giuliana Rancic and some of the other hosts of the show?
Truth be told, the story Ms. Griffin shared during her nearly two-hour performance wasn’t as juicy as you’d expect from a woman who is known for baring all on stage. She made some vague references to being a feminist and how making fun of a woman’s body image isn’t her style of comedy, yet several minutes later she proceeded to call Michelle Dugar’s hairstyle a “fucking ’80s Jheri curl blow-out.” She did mention that Cher called to show support—the funniest moment in her bit about Fashion Police—yet you could tell Ms. Griffin wasn’t comfortable talking about what really happened.
And thus, we are still in the dark.
The Fashion Police nonsense aside, Ms. Griffin, 54, gave a memorable, genuinely humorous, performance at Borgata, and really, in the tradition of her sets, no one was spared. She heavily poked fun at Taylor Swift (aka “that self righteous bag of bones”) throughout the show, claiming that she needs to stop taking herself too seriously, and if she’s upset that John Mayer played her, move on, “because he’s a male whore who has fucked everyone.” On the entire Kardashian clan, she had one thing to say: “I still do not understand what their skill set is.” She went on to talk about her fascination with the show The 600-Pound Woman and how she randomly showed up to a high-profile fashion party wearing jeans and “lesbian rain boots” after the invitation claimed it was a “girls’ night in” (she had to compete with the likes of Gwyneth Paltrow wearing a Gucci dress).
If there was one quasi-meaningful and insightful bit about her performance, it was a clear sub-theme about the dangers and power of social media. Ms. Griffin discussed how Twitter fans of several celebrities who fell victim to her jokes literally threatened her via tweets, one going to far as to saying that he’d “rape” and “kill” her. She also was staunchly opposed to anyone in the audience using their cell phones to record her. In fact, she stopped the act numerous times and demanded that people quit using their electronic devices. She used her Twitter run-ins as an example of how quickly misinterpreted information can be spread via our phones. This was about as serious as I’ve ever seen Ms. Griffin, and it truly humanized her in a way that many in the audience weren’t expecting.
There were some very touching moments about the late Joan Rivers, and you could tell Ms. Griffin was still mourning her death. At one point, she said that there was no comparison between Ms. Rivers and herself, that they both had completely different stylings and deliveries, and that Rivers paved a pathway for other female performers. But Ms. Griffin has indeed paved some interesting groundwork herself: In December 2013, she received a Guinness World Record for “most standup comedy specials by a comedian.” She, like Rivers, also clearly has many of the same sensibilities when it comes to their sets, by bringing down the facade of Hollywood and celebrities.
No one will be able to replace Joan Rivers, but Kathy Griffin is damn well close it.
For more on OUT at Borgata, including upcoming shows (ahem, Margaret Cho) and package rates and details, go here.