February 7, 2006

There and back: Kathy Griffin spied on Hollywood for years … and lived to tell about it

Taking on Oprah is a brave and daring mission, and very few have succeeded. Just ask someone from the meat industry. But for comedian Kathy Griffin, who has balls of steel, metaphorically speaking, Oprah is just another personality to be conquered — to be publicly called out and stripped of all hypocrisy. And, out of sheer coincidence, it makes a nice bit in Griffin’s comedy show. Kathy GriffinYou see, Kathy is really one of us. The commoners. The unfamous. She’s our spy inside the back-stabbing, fickle world of Celebrity. Slowly climbing the ranks since appearances on “Seinfeld” and a sidekick role on “Suddenly Susan,” she laid the groundwork for her research. She made friends with the famous. Went to fancy private parties, enjoyed the perks of a glamorous life.And now she’s exposing everything. From her stand-up tour (which pit stops in Louisville next Wednesday evening), to her Bravo TV show “My Life on the D-List” (which will be back for new season in the spring), Kathy is burning bridges faster than you can legally yell “Fire!” Call it genius, or call it diarrhea of the mouth. Her insights are not only humorous, they’re enlightening and give us a glimpse into a world we’ll never experience. When Kathy called LEO for an interview a few weeks ago, Oprah and Ryan Seacrest were the first two targets in her sights.“She might as well start nailing her hands to the cross,” she quipped about the recent controversial episode on which Oprah chewed up and spit out author James Frey for lying in his memoir, “A Million Little Pieces.” “I so wish I could have swapped places with James that day — I mean, she was just so vicious. Can you believe that even happened? Who does she think she is?”As for “American Idol” host/Dick Clark-wannabe Seacrest, who some say is responsible for getting Kathy fired from E!’s red-carpet coverage, Kathy simply paused, and said, “Do you know that I have to look at myself in the mirror every day and realize I’ve been done in by Ryan Seacrest? I mean, come on.” Although Kathy very much enjoyed the gig and often joked with the celebs, sometimes at their expense, she chalks the loss up to a network afraid of offending the stars. “Everyone wears the same damn dress — who cares about that?”This will be Kathy’s first trip to Kentucky, a fact that caused her a bit of concern. “I worried about these red states … you know, I do have some lines about the president. My show isn’t for kids. You know, this isn’t a Christian sing-along or anything.”As for what we can expect when she stops here, Kathy said she’ll spill the beans on the Seacrest scandal. There will be a Clay Aiken update and, of course, a discussion of all things reality TV, a soul-crushing, admitted addiction of hers.“Reality TV will definitely continue, but I don’t think there will be as many. For every ‘Gastineau Girls,’ one will come along out of nowhere, like ‘Breaking Bonaduce.’ I’m obsessed.”