Kathy Griffin the Cockroach: 'I'm Just Going to Outlast Everybody'
By Nicki Gostin Posted Dec 22nd 2010 10:00AM
Kathy Griffin is back hosting CNN's New Year's Eve show with Anderson Cooper, which is a wee bit surprising seeing as she was unceremoniously fired from the gig after last year's F-bomb drop. The flame-haired comedienne dished to us about working with "the world's Anderson Cooper," why she hopes Miley Cyrus has started a salvia trend and yes, her nemesis Bristol Palin.
Weren't you fired from CNN's New Year's show?
Yes, I was fired. They issued a statement. I was banned from CNN and then as Anderson Cooper says, "There was a change in management," which was great because the guy who fired me got fired, so being the cockroach that I am, I'm just going to outlast everybody. That's my career philosophy; it's not a very deep one. I basically have the survivor moniker in my life which is, outlast, outwit, outplay. That's what I've done with the management at CNN.
Weren't you asked embarrassingly late?
I'm always asked embarrassingly late. My career is built on being a glorious afterthought. I've gotten so many jobs when they fire somebody else and at the eleventh hour they say, "OK, our backs are up against the wall, darn it, we have to hire her." It's just years and years of basically painting people into a corner so they have to hire me whether they like it or not. I think CNN probably doesn't think its biggest priority is its New Year's Eve broadcast, however, they're wrong. It should be their biggest event every single year and I will do whatever it takes to make it their biggest event and as usual I have a simple goal, which is to get Anderson Cooper fired by the end of the night.
Kathy Griffin Snapshots
UNIVERSAL CITY, CA - DECEMBER 16: (L-R) Kathy Griffin, Jane Lynch, and Lisa Kudrow arrive to Kathy Griffin In Concert at Gibson Amphitheatre on December 16, 2010 in Universal City, California. (Photo by Joe Scarnici/WireImage)
Yes. In fact, that's one of Anderson's main jobs. He's known for his work in Haiti and the Gulf crisis, but probably his most difficult job is just blotting between my upper lip and nose every commercial break as if it's the old Studio 54 days with the silver spoon and I've just done a line of cocaine but I haven't, it's just the cold weather.
Very upset about Oprah leaving?
I'm devastated. I'm not taking it well. I'm in a grieving period. I am crying about it as much as Oprah cried about her love for Gayle. I thought that was fantastic -- that was the one thing that brought Oprah to tears.
Didn't you just love her staunch lesbian denial?
It wasn't as much fun as her denial of even being a partial lesbian. I don't know any partial lesbians. All the lesbians I know are full-blown lesbians and very loud and proud. I think if she's reaching out to the partial lesbian community then I support her.
Were you upset when you were booed at VH1's concert for the troops for your Bristol Palin comments?
Not at all. We had it in the prompter. I did it at dress rehearsal. In the prompter it said the joke and it actually said, "audience boos and then Kathy says, 'Go ahead and boo me, war is hell.'" I had a range of jokes that I knew would get a range of reactions from gasps to boos to cheers and that was the one they chose to leave in the show and it was, of course, what they like to call a "water-cooler moment." That whole show was such a fun show.
Were you outraged that Bristol reached the finals in 'DWTS'?
Yes, of course, that's got to be the Palin Army mobilizing because that made no sense. Brandy was obviously better. I don't know what the Tea Party has to do with its time; I guess a lot of texting and voting.
Have you been asked to be on the show?
Yes, [but] I'm way too big and far too famous. Also I can't touch my toes. Those two things would make me a very bad contestant.
If you were to do it, who would you want as your partner, Maks, Derek?
I would want to be in a partial lesbian team with Bristol Palin. I know that's shooting for the stars, but I'm an ideas person.
Are you loving the Miley tape?
First of all, it's a dream come true because the tape is riveting and I didn't know what salvia was so it's nice to learn a new drug and to see our pop stars imbibing and how they take to the drug. I'm hoping the Jonas Brothers have a salvia tape, Justin Bieber. I would like to see as many pop stars doing salvia as possible.
Are you watching 'Real Housewives of Beverly Hills'?
The most compelling thing to me is the things they get super obsessed with. It's all about them missing the big picture. There's Camille, who's obsessed with whether or not she was called insecure, which to me is not that much of a pejorative, considering your husband left you for an airline stewardess, knocked her up and then she miscarried. I would say that's what I would focus on. The other woman who has what I call a "beak," Taylor. She no longer has lips; she just has a full beak. It seems like she might want to take the focus a little bit away from the lip plumping and a little bit more on her husband, who does not seem to be very nice to her and I think we all agree she can do better.
Have you been watching Sarah Palin's Alaska show?
I watched the first one, and then I had to have someone hold my hair because I was vomiting the whole time and so I didn't feel it was good for my health because I thought if I'm just going to projectile vomit every time I watch the show then I'm just not going to keep any nutrients in my body.
But I do enjoy watching Sarah Palin's interviews because they have so much thinly-veiled contempt. She's so easy to see through, which makes her such a great target for my act. She acts like she's not ever heard of anyone who has ever criticized her in any way. Aaron Sorkin, who obviously has a history but is obviously a pretty brilliant guy, made a disparaging remark about her and then she spent a very long time in an interview acting like she didn't know who Aaron Sorkin was and then saying, "Golly gosh, is it Alan? What's his name again?" And I'm thinking, I don't think that makes you look great that you've never heard of Aaron Sorkin or pretended to never have heard of him.
Well, he is one of those Hollywood (and Jewish!) screenwriters.
I was waiting for that to be her next sentence; that would have been great. Anyway, I think that's what is so much fun, that she's still so bitter and she's got a hit show, she's got a whole army of support behind her, she's got mountains of money behind her and yet she's always sort of unhappy and whining and paints herself as a victim. For a comedian, that's just a dream. She's a little bit delusional, a little bit silly, she's sort of dorky, she's clearly fiercely driven and competitive in a way that is bordering on vicious and that's just a funny combination. That's where I come in.
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