Marshawn Lynch and Macklemore also make it into the book. The comedian performs Saturday, Jan. 14, at the Moore Theatre in Seattle.
Kathy Griffin has made a career out of pestering and making fun of celebrities, and now she’s put those stories in a new book.
Even though the 56-year-old comedian paints herself as a “D-List” Hollywood outsider, Griffin’s candid demeanor has earned her some powerful “A-list” friends, including Cher, Anderson Cooper and Jerry Seinfeld. It’s also gotten her banned from a few shows and made her some powerful enemies, including talk-show host Ellen DeGeneres.
Much of her current act is pulled from her latest book, “Kathy Griffin’s Celebrity Run-Ins: My A-Z Index,” which the feisty and outspoken comedian will share stories from when she performs Saturday, Jan. 14, at the Moore Theatre.
7 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 14, Moore Theatre, 1932 Second Ave., Seattle; $42.50-$72.50 (800-745-3000 or ticketmaster.com).
“I pride myself on not making fun of people to their face. I actually prefer to wait until they leave the room and talk (expletive) about them behind their backs,” Griffin said in a recent telephone interview. “The nature of my brilliant and yet underrated art is that, typically, I’d rather watch something crazy and then be like how can I make this funny?”
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Sometimes those situations just present themselves to Griffin in a manner that’s impossible not to share, like when she attended a dinner party with Woody Allen, who announced his arrival by declaring: “I’m Woody, and this is my child bride!” Later Griffin was shocked to hear Allen say, “And now I have to watch my friend Bill Cosby get railroaded by the media.”
“I tend to point out things that were said when other people are present. It’s not like someone calls me and tells me something really, really was private, and I just go, ‘Screw you I’m gonna go say it on stage!’ ”
When talk-show host DeGeneres labeled her comedy as mean, Griffin took offense.
“I was on her show one time years ago and she spends the whole monologue talking about how mean I am,” Griffin said. “I don’t think I’m mean. When you do stand up in a war zone like Iraq or Afghanistan, which I’ve done, guess what they don’t want? They don’t want squeaky-clean knock-knock jokes, they want something that will shake them.”
Close friend Joan Rivers, who appeared on a season of NBC’s “The Celebrity Apprentice,” warned Griffin to not make an enemy of the host, now President-elect Donald Trump. Griffin remains proudly defiant.
“Not only am I not afraid of him, but I think it’s important that comedians aren’t intimidated,” Griffin said. “It’s definitely dangerous to be a comic because everyone is trying to conflate what’s politically incorrect versus what’s funny, but luckily I’ve been doing this a long time, I know what I am doing the minute I hit that stage. I wouldn’t let anyone have that kind of influence on me. Certainly not him.”
Two Seattle celebrities also made it into her book — Marshawn Lynch, whom she met while hosting a charity event, and Macklemore, whom she interviewed while hosting New Year’s Eve on CNN.
“It was really cute because CNN didn’t know who he was, they were like ‘who’s that guy? Send him away,’ ” Griffin said. “Luckily, my boyfriend was like ‘nope’! That’s Macklemore, send him up!”
5 controversial moments
Kathy Griffin is not one to pull punches or shy away from speaking her mind. Here’s a look back at six quotes that caused controversy.
1. “Now, a lot of people come up here and thank Jesus for this award. I want you to know that no one had less to do with this award than Jesus. He didn’t help me a bit. If it was up to him, Cesar Millan would be up here with that damn dog. So all I can say is suck it, Jesus, this award is my God now” — Griffin said while accepting her Emmy in 2008.
2. “Did you hear that little Dakota Fanning entered rehab today?” — Griffin’s joke about a then 10-year-old Fanning fell flat while working for the E! Channel covering the red carpet at the 2005 Golden Globes. E! quickly issued an apology. Griffin remained defiant.
3. “I don’t go to your job and knock the [expletive] out of your mouth” — Griffin responding to hecklers while live on CNN covering New Year’s Eve in 2008. Ironically, this episode would be one of the highest-rated of the show’s 10-year run.
4. “(She’s) the only contestant in the history of the show to actually gain weight ... She gained, like, 30 pounds a week. I swear to God, it was fantastic. She’s like the white Precious” — Griffin said of Bristol Palin, then a contestant on ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars.” The joke, performed while Griffin was hosting VH1’s “Divas Salute the Troops,” received boos from the audience.
5. “Were you born a bigot or did you grow into it?” — Griffin asked congresswoman Michele Bachmann in 2010, after the politician refused to lend her support to help repeal the U.S. military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy.
Don’t expect Griffin to tone down her act anytime soon. In her book, Simon Cowell says being a rabble-rouser is in her best interest.
“I never want to see you watered down in any way. Keep being fearless, and don’t worry about being in trouble, because the people who are successful are always in trouble,” Cowell told Griffin.
Don’t miss these 5 comedy shows in 2017
1. Sarah Silverman: Feb. 7 8 p.m., Paramount Theatre, 911 Pine St., Seattle; $41-$51 (877-784-4849 or stgpresents.org).
2. Ali Wong: March 17-18 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. Friday, March 17, 7 p.m. Saturday, March 18, Moore Theatre, 1932 Second Ave., Seattle; $32.50-$52.50 (877-784-4849 or stgpresents.org).
3. Patton Oswalt: March 24 8 p.m., Paramount Theatre, 911 Pine St., Seattle; $35.50-$45.50 (877-784-4849 or stgpresents.org).
4. Marc Maron: March 25 8 p.m., Moore Theatre, 1932 Second Ave., Seattle; $27-$32.50 (877-784-4849 or stgpresents.org).
5. W. Kamau Bell: May 20 8 p.m., Neptune Theatre, 1303 N.E. 45th, Seattle; $23.50 (877-784-4849 or stgpresents.org).
Fans of her stand-up comedy should prepare for no less.