Kathy Griffin On Small Town Gays, Vegas Pride and Holding on to Grudges

Kathy Griffin

“Where my gays at?”

Kathy Griffin has been asking that question for years to a resounding reply at her typically sold out concerts across the country and she shows no signs of stopping anytime soon.

As she gears up to be a part of Fabulous Las Vegas Pride next week alongside her pal Margaret Cho, Griffin called us from the road recently to talk about how she handles touring in less progressive parts of the country, why Vegas performers are getting sick and whether we’ll be seeing another book from her in the near future.

Kathy GriffinKathy Griffin at the 2013 Young Hollywood Awards.

TheBacklot: You travel to so many cities, big and small. Are you surprised at what you get in small-town venues, even in the more grassroots areas of the country?

Kathy Griffin: Okay, so right now, I am in Tennessee and last night I did a show in Huntsville, Alabama, and I say, ‘Where my gays at?’ at every show. I’ve been saying it for years, and especially when you’re in a market like Huntsville, which I’m just going to say, there are parts of this beloved country that may not be quite as forward-seeking about LGBT issues as other parts. I’m just going to leave it at that.

I will say I was protested, and the signs included the F-word, and I don’t mean ‘f**k’ so let me just say that when I gleefully shout ‘Where my gays at?’ and then I get a loud cheer, it makes me feel very good, because I’m thinking maybe it’s not the easiest thing in the world to be a member of the community in Huntsville or nearby Huntsville, Alabama. So, I will say it tonight in Nashville. I will say it tomorrow night in Grand Prairie, and I will say it the next night in Biloxi, Mississippi.

I actually find that, often, when I travel to these regions, the LGBT fans are more enthusiastic, because I’m very cognizant of the fact that many of these men and women are living lives where they’re closeted by day, and let me tell you, if they are out of the closet for the Kathy Griffin show then I say ‘let your pride flag fly, get a Kathy Griffin T-shirt that says, ‘Everybody can suck it,’ throw your finger in the air, flip ‘em the bird, and enjoy it.’

TBL: I’ve never done Pride in Vegas but is it a different experience, just because Vegas is such a different experience on every other level?

KG: Oh, honey, it’s the best. First of all, all the Celine [Dion] dancers call in sick, so I don’t even know how anybody that sees this can even do a show. I don’t know how Cirque can do a show. I don’t know how anybody from Jubilee shows up. Let’s just say they’re all going to start to get the sniffles around September 6th, and then they’ll definitely have a cold for Margaret Cho (who performs at The Mirage on September 6th), and then they’ll have a full-blown flu for me, but somehow they will rise from the sickbed and somehow be able to attend The Mirage (on September 7th), see me, and I will be the panacea for whatever has made them have to call in sick from their back-up singer or dancer job that day.

Kathy Griffin, Margaret Cho, Joan RiversGriffin at last year’s Vegas Pride with Margaret Cho and Joan Rivers

TBL: You’re going to guest on Kirstie Alley’s new TVLand show. Congratulations.

KG: Oh, this was a coup for me, because I have really been teasing her a lot in my act forever, and so, I have to say, I really love and respect a celebrity that can take a joke on the chin. They wrote the part for me and I’m very much looking forward to doing it. It’s always fun, for me, I throw in a sitcom every so often. I started on Suddenly Susan in the late 90s, then did My Life on the D-List and then my talk show for two years. I don’t know if you’re aware of this, but I’m very proud of this, I have recently shattered the record for the most stand-up comedy specials ever recorded by any comedian, male or female, ever.

TBL: No way! That’s great!

KG: I know! And nobody gives a shit because I’m a girl, but the point is I’m actually going to break my own record when I do my next Bravo special in November. I’ll start to try out material at the Mirage, although my material changes every time. Every time you see me, I promise you’ll see new stuff, because these celebrities and politicians and just news items in general are just giving me so much material. I can barely get off the stage.

TBL: I’ll say, it never stops, does it?

KG: I mean, who knows what little baby North West will be wearing by September 7th?

Kathy Griffin, The TalkEarlier this year on The Talk with (l-r) Sara Gilbert, Sheryl Underwood,
Julie Chen, Sharon Osbourne & Aisha Tyler

TBL: You’ve had an on-again, off-again relationship with The View, and I’m wondering if that is changing at all now that Barbara’s retiring and Margaret’s trying to get a spot on there.

KG: I don’t know. I have a love/hate with Barbara, which is that I love Barbara and she hates me, so usually I would say a love/hate is sometimes you love the person, sometimes you hate them. With Barbara, it’s really just I love her and she hates me, but I really, really love Whoopi Goldberg and get along great with her. You may not remember this, but Sherri Shepherd was actually on Suddenly Susan for the fourth season, so Sherri and I used to work together every day for a year.

TBL: That’s right!

KG: I don’t know about going back on that show. It’s not a Barbara thing, it’s just like, “Ugh, so many rough times on that show,” but I’m glad Hasselbeck’s gone. That’s good. She’s at Fox where she belongs. She’s perfectly suited.

Next page…. Kathy on The Backstreet Boys.

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