Kathy Griffin is used to having the biggest personality in the room. But during Pride weekend, even she knows that she has work cut out for her.
“Doing Pride, I’m out there trying to compete with boys in thongs,” she says. “But that’s what makes gay audiences the best; you can’t shake them.”
This week, Griffin will be a part of the massive Pride festivities when she brings her #LikeABoss tour to Orchestra Hall.
“This is going to be such a different tone for what that place is used to,” she laughs. “You’re going to be able to spend a night in this beautiful Orchestra Hall and listen to me talk shit.”
With more than 20 standup specials to her name, a slew of TV hosting gigs, reality shows, and a Grammy, it’s safe to say that when Griffin talks shit, people listen. She’s made a career out of being unapologetically raunchy, raw and real, but even she says that the Pride crowd can put her on her (likely fabulous) heels.
“Let’s talk about the Minneapolis gay community, shall we?” she says. “Pride weekend is all about gay boys dancing all over the place, it’s too hot outside, and they’re drinking all day. It’s fucking treacherous. Then, you get people heckling and passing out. I actually had to stop my show one time and tell the crowd to help some guy who had passed out standing up.”
Always a pro, however, Griffin says she is prepared for whatever this weekend throws at her.
“Let me tell you, I’ve been on 10 gay cruises. I’ve seen almost everything,” she continues. “I’ve seen hot tubs that looked like egg drop soup, so you can’t scare me. And not I’m not holding back, either.”
Additionally, Griffin is a rare breed of performer who is able to absolutely decimate celebrities while maintaining her charm and likeability.
“When celebrities are talking to me, they’ll ask me, ‘Are you going to put this in your act?’ Of course I’m going to put it in,” she says. “Sometimes they (celebrities) will see me coming and everyone goes, ‘Oh shit.’ I get that a lot.”
Her new show, she promises, will include all-new anecdotes and good old-fashioned gossip.
“I’ve got a bunch of Donald Trump stories,” she says excitedly. “I’ve known him for 20 years, but I never bothered telling any of these stories because they were never relevant before now. I’ve also got new stories about Wayne Gretzky, Sean Penn; it’s a comedy bonanza of new stuff.”
Never one for keep a good story under wraps, Griffin insists that she hasn’t showed all of her cards just yet, as she is preparing to release a new book this December that will be packed with tales of her celebrity run-ins. This includes her “New Year’s Eve Live” co-host Anderson Cooper, who she has helped ring in the New Year for the better part of a decade.
“My book is going to have a lot of behind the scenes dirt, including what Anderson Cooper is really into when the cameras aren’t rolling,” she insists. “You know I’m not holding anything back.” When asked if there has ever been a celebrity who she has pushed too hard, or who had the guts to push back, there’s one name that immediately comes to mind.
“I was somewhere once and Maria Shriver—who I’m thinking hates me—sits down right next to me and says, ‘Do you think I give a shit about you and your jokes? You’re sitting with me.”
As for her plans for when she’s in town this week, Griffin has some words of advice for Pride first-timers.
“You’ll never find a better place for people watching,” she says. “I’m not one to hide out; I’m known to walk amongst the people. Pride really is the only place I want to perform.”
If You Go
- Kathy Griffin
- Orchestra Hall
- Thursday, June 23, 8pm
- Tickets and more info