Kathleen Mary "Kathy" Griffin (born November 4, 1960 in Oak Park, Illinois) is an American stand-up comic, actress, and televison host known for her crass, story telling like-humour which focuses on celebrities and her self-appointed status as a D-list celebrity.
At the beginning of her career, Kathy landed small roles in movies and regularly performed on the comedy circuit. However, her first "big break" was on the TV show Suddenly Susan, where she played the sassy restaurant critic Vicki. This however was not enough to make her a household name, and after the finale of the series she reverted back to semi-obscurity, landing small roles in TV and film.
In 2003, Kathy participated and won on the third season of the The Mole, Celebrity Edition, She claims this was the moment in which she officially became a D-list celebrity (meaning, she felt she was just barely one) and in 2004, she officially claimed the title naming her 3rd comedy special The D-List, this comedy special was popular enough to land her an Emmy award-winning reality show My Life on the D-List which followed her attempts to gain stardom in Hollywood, and lasted six years. She would go into host her own Talk show called Kathy (which lasted 2 seasons) and is currently the host of E!'s Fashion Police, after the passing of Joan Rivers.
She had co-hosted CNN's New Year's Eve coverage from 2007 to 2017 with best pal and frequent humiliation target Anderson Cooper (why he agrees to do it with her every year is a mystery to everyone, up to and including Anderson himself). Every successive broadcast requires her to go to even further lengths to kill him from embarrassment; fortunately, she has yet to succeed, despite (among other antics) spray-tanning his face with no warning, painting stripes in his hair, and getting her kit (mostly) off on live TV. Repeatedly. Though its ratings are far lower than that of the famous "New Year's Rockin' Eve", it did have a loyal fanbase. She was fired from the show however in May 2017 after she released a graphic publicity photo that depicted her holding the decapitated head of Donald Trump.
Griffin's comedy is mainly based on celebrities, whether it's the ones she come in contact with in real life or the ones she sees on TV. While this has gained her some admirers, many celebrities actively avoid her (Such as her former Suddenly Susan co-star Brooke Shields). She's also an outspoken LGBT activist, has marched against and helped fight Prop 8, and in recent stand-ups has read hate mail she receives from people opposed to gay rights.
Kathy currently holds the world record for the biggest number of comedy specials by a man or woman in history, with (as of 2015) 20 comedy specials aired. She's also a Grammy winner, and is known for her shameless attempts to get nominations for awards shows, such as the previously mentioned Grammys (with her Album "For your Consideration") the Tonys (with her one week Broadway show Kathy Griffin Wants a Tony and even an attempt to get in Oprah's Official book club selection with her autobiography "Official Book Club Selection"
She also hosted The Roast of Joan Rivers on Comedy Central. Oh... and she has a blink and you'll miss it moment in Pulp Fiction; the scene where Bruce Willis tries to run down Ving Rhames (in the credits she's listed As Herself).
Some of her TV works include:
- Seinfeld: She had a small role in one episode, and was called back to do another one after she trash talked Jerry Seinfeld on her comedy specials.
- Suddenly Susan: As the snarky Vicki, a role often accused of being a Captain Ersatz of Newsradio's Beth (it certainly doesn't help that Beth was played by Vicki Lewis).
- A semi-regular during the H2 era of The Hollywood Squares.
- Dilbert: as Dilbert's co-worker Alice. Uncredited, as she was starring in Suddenly Susan at the same time and her NBC contract prohibited her from receiving on-screen credit for roles she played in shows on other networks.
- The Mole: She was the winner of the third season of Celebrity Mole.
- My Life On The D List: Her reality show, which lasted 6 seasons over 5 years.
- Fashion Police: She became the main host after Joan Rivers' death, but left after only seven episodes.
This comedian provides examples of:
- The Artifact: Her Status as D-list celebrity. Following her reality show, she (briefly) hosted Fashion police and the New Years Eve show on CNN from 2007 to 2017, she has won several awards, she's a household comedy name and is also friends with very, very famous people. This is one of the reasons why she didn't continue with her reality show, as in her own words "[She's] too famous now"
- Black Comedy: In heaping amounts. She once made a joke of Demi Lovato being a "cutter" and got enough death threats on twitter that police officers contacted her for protection.
- Celebrity Is Overrated: Firmly opposes this, and claims that fame and awards make her feel better than any other type of accomplishment.
- Child Hater: Only as part of her comedy. She thinks babies are selfish and hopes she doesn't have any eggs left
- Cluster F-Bomb: Known for having a sailor's mouth. She can go off in any type of show, and she's often bleeped at least once in her talk show appearances.
- Crosses the Line Twice: She has mentioned in her specials that she moves the line and then crosses it.
- Dark and Troubled Past: In her most serious interviews, she has talked about how as a child she was called a dog and barked at for four years straight during her years at a catholic school, the severe beatings she got from the other girls, and how her brother was a pedophile of whom she was scared until the day he died.
- Evil Counterpart: To Ellen DeGeneres. As Kathy herself has said, Ellen is a comedian who's in the "business" of being nice to celebrities, while Kathy is in the...Opposite business.
- Fag Hag: Self described due to her large LGBT fanbase.
- Hatedom: Kathy revels in this, reading hate mail in her standup act.
- Mrs. Robinson: She is 57 and her current boyfriend is 36.
- Odd Friendship: Would you believe wacky, brash Kathy Griffin was once good friends with straight-laced, stoic newsman Anderson Cooper? It did veer into Vitriolic Best Buds, however, since it seemed a good chunk of their dynamic seemed to be Kathy pushing Anderson's buttons. Fortunately, he seemed to react with bemused affection and mild annoyance as opposed to genuinely being angry about it. Even more oddly, she is also extremely close to Anderson's mother, Gloria Vanderbilt; he inadvertently introduced them by phone after one of their New Year's Eve broadcasts, and a genuine, close friendship was born. They have since become estranged after Cooper criticized Kathy's controversial Trump photo shoot.
- Serial Escalation: Every successive New Year's Eve broadcast requires her to go even greater lengths to try and kill Anderson Cooper from embarrassment. Or so she tells it, anyway. Poor Anderson would beg to differ. Eventually this became the primary selling point for their coverage, which now seems to be advertised as "See what ridiculous thing Kathy Griffin will do next and how Anderson Cooper reacts to it!"
- Shameless Fanservice Girl: It's up in the air as to whether or not Kathy strips down to her knickers and bra on New Year's Eve purely to embarrass Anderson Cooper, or because she has a rockin' body and wants to show it off. Knowing Kathy Griffin, it's probably both.
- The Teetotaler: Kathy proudly claims to be one of these, as her response to growing up in a house with many alcoholics when she was a child.
- What Would X Do?: There was this one time she had to sing right after Kristin Chenoweth on her reality show, so she said in the recap "WWASD: What would Ashlee Simpson Do?"