Roanoke better be ready, because when Kathy Griffin comes to the Berglund Center on June 18, she won't be holding anything back. The show is part of her current tour, "Kathy Griffin: Like a Boss"--named perfectly to reflect the comedian's personality and unapologetic style.
The self-declared "D-lister" kicked off our interview not with a joke but with a compliment. She was looking at The Roanoker web site and commented on several articles I'd written. Specifically the alcohol-related articles, admitting that her "95-year-old alcoholic mother" would love it.
"I've never had a drink in my life," she told me. "I don't feel that I need to loosen up. I'm the last person that needs liquid courage."
Griffin definitely has plenty of courage. And energy. And a take-no-prisoners attitude that has cemented her as one of the most successful female comedians today. The two-time Emmy award winner scored her first Grammy award this year for Best Comedy Album, and she joins Whoopi Goldberg and Lily Tomlin as the only women to win in the category. She also landed in the Guinness Book of World Records for writing and starring in more televised stand-up specials than any other comedian.
But comedy isn't her only gig. She has co-hosted CNN's New Year's Eve special with Anderson Cooper since 2007, and she stars in her own talk show, "Kathy," on Bravo. Add these to a long list of television and film roles--"Suddenly Susan," "Glee," "Law & Order: SVU," just to name a few.
For now, though, she is focused on her 80-city comedy tour. Her favorite part about being on the road--after making the audience laugh, of course--is the food.
"I don't eat at regular times during the day. For the Roanoke show that starts at 7:30, I'll eat at 4:30 and then again after the show." And she isn't grabbing a quick bite at Waffle House, not that she has anything against the breakfast chain. "Kim and Kanye and Chrissy Teigen and John Legend make it a cool place," she said. "The last time I was in there I felt like a super model."
One thing is for sure: You can expect the unexpected--and the completely outrageous--at a Kathy Griffin show. "Every show is different," she said. "Thank God, because just to keep up with Kyle Jenner's lips alone." (Yes, this is quintessential Kathy Griffin.)
"I'm excited to be coming to a city that is nicknamed 'Big Lick.' I'm from Chicago, and it's just Chicago. I wish I was from a place known as 'Huge Tongue' or something like that. I may give the stage at Berglund an actual lick."
She hopes the audience will come with an open mind, although she says no show is complete until someone storms out. "At a show in Kentucky, an elderly couple in the audience stormed out with the line, 'I just don't think I can take this anymore.' I thought it was great. I like to make fun of all the things you're not supposed to: children, religion. I just put it all on the table. I come into town, I lick it, I break the rules."
Don't say I didn't warn you.