In an emotional statement, comedian Kathy Griffin says she thinks President Trump ‘broke her.’
You thought a little backlash was going to shut up Kathy Griffin?
The defiant, abrasive comedian is back and louder than ever, just a year after posting a graphic photo of herself on Twitter holding a fake decapitated head resembling President Donald Trump. The incident, and an ensuing uproar, serves as the inspiration for her 23-show Laugh Your Head Off comedy tour, which kicks off Thursday in San Francisco.
The irreverent new material mines her tumultuous past year as she weathered the fallout from her bloodied Trump head, a Halloween mask doused in ketchup. She was fired from CNN’s annual New Year’s Eve telecast, dropped as a Squatty Potty spokeswoman and risked facing charges of conspiracy to assassinate the president.
Despite Griffin’s tearful apology and disastrous news conference last summer, she now says she’s no longer sorry for the grisly image. In fact, she believes that more people would have supported her had she shared it today.
“Every day that passes, more people realize not only was my photo literally harmless, but completely legal,” Griffin says. “The nice thing is that, after a year, several folks who were afraid to support me are (doing so) now, and that obviously signifies a real sea change. I have people like Mark Hamill tweeting, ‘Go see Kathy Griffin.’ I barely know Mark Hamill – I only met him one time. That’s a big deal for me.”
Griffin, 57, says she’s “humbled and grateful” to be back on the road, where she’ll take audience members inside her year of self-imposed exile. Over the course of her 2-hour-plus set, she’ll talk about her time on a no-fly list while under federal investigation, and the grammatically challenged death threats she’s received. She’ll also recount stories about her own run-ins with Trump through the years, one of which, she promises, “is worth the price of admission alone.”
If the tour’s title and her outspoken liberal politics didn’t give it away, Griffin wants to make you cringe-laugh with jabs at the Trump administration, its policies and the first family. (She calls Donald Jr. and Eric Trump “Eddie Munster and Date Rape.”) While she doesn’t want the show to feel like a “lecture series,” it’s also not for people looking for easy laughs.
“I do feel like this is such an anxiety-ridden time for everyone that there is a thirst for all kinds of comedy,” Griffin says. “And look, if you want to not hear about Trump at all, go see Kevin Hart. He doesn’t even mention Trump. I personally think that’s a (expletive) move because he’s a black man. But I guess he’s selling more tickets than I ever will.”
The flame-haired comedian, whose Emmy-winning reality show “Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-list” ran for six seasons on Bravo, has not yet announced any follow-up projects. “I wish I had another series,” Griffin says. “TV is really my main job: It made me be able to live in the house I live in and I love doing it.”
But for now, she’s embracing her new role as a political firebrand.
“One of the things that’s great about being a comedian is you really do get to be a whistle-blower. I like to do it through comedy,” Griffin says. “People love to hear these stories, so I’m not going to walk away from it. I have a hell of a story to tell.”
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