She went there. She started making fun of the venue’s name. The Sleep Train Pavilion located in Concord, California. Yep, it is named after the Mattress Company that is the official sponsor of the amphitheatre. It was her dig about corporate sponsorship and the requirement that venues be named after the company.
So that was how it started, my first ever Kathy Griffin live comedy show. I absolutely loved it!
Knowing Concord’s close proximity to San Francisco (about 30 miles east), she surveyed the audience and asked how many of the group where gay men? A large majority cheered and stood. She asked how many were women, lesbian and straight? Again, a fairly large number cheered. Then she asked how many in the audience where straight men. Surprisely, a good number of brave souls shouted out. She said it sounded like they were about 8% of the entire audience. She also teased that some of them were on the down low.
If anyone knows Kathy Griffin humor, it is biting and raunchy. No celebrity is off limits. She has been in hot water for saying things that has gotten the ire of some of the biggest names in the industry. However, she has survived it all and is getting more popular by the minute.
Her act at Concord was no different. She commented on everybody from the photos of Miley Cyrus and her dad, the Lohans, the Kardassians, the Hills, Tom Cruise, Barbara Walters, Oprah, American Idol, and the list goes on. She also picks on herself and on her family. She pokes fun at her mother’s drinking.
Even when she exclaims glee at Oprah’s battle with the bulge, she acknowledges her many contributions to entertainment and to the community. She jokes about Barbara Walters and gives her a back handed compliment as being “ghetto,” meaning despite the outward appearance of sophistry , Ms. Walters can hold her on against anyone.
Kathy Griffin picks on the Rich and Famous for the rest of the us to show that they have human flaws. Despite all of the hype, their lives are really not as wonderful as the media or they would like us to think. She equalizes the playing field.
There is definitely a wink, wink to the audience. Her way of reassurance that she is going there but it is also in the name of comedy. When asked if she would make fun of religion she said “Oh Yea, all of them are on the table.” She includes her own Irish Catholicism.
She is now receiving invitations to return back to shows to where she once was banned and hopefully the industry now understands her true marketability as a modern court jester of sorts. In a world saturated with political correctness, Griffin fills in a needed comedic niche.
I believe she has received far too much undeserved criticisms concerning her humor considering her humor especially since her male counterparts have gotten away with much, much worse. She is a trailblazer.
By the way Kathy…. I hate to tell you tell this. You have crossed over to the A List.
There is a great interview with Kathy Griffin conducted by Fausto Fernos and Marc Felion on my favorite podcast, the award winning Feast of Fools at: http://www.feastoffools.net/gay-fun-show/2005/12/08/fof-205-d-list-diva-120805-2/