Kathy Griffin swears she will get down and dirty

Originally filed June 15, 2012 by RODNEY HO/rho@ajc.com on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog

The Kathy Griffin you see on TV is the bleeped-out version.

Censors on the Bravo network, where she has a new weekly talk show, have to work overtime to make it presentable to a TV audience, she said.

"We shoot twice as long as we have to," Griffin said in a recent phone interview. "I say so many offensive things they have to cut out. We tape it a day in advance and I get texts and emails all day from the editors. They have to figure out how to make sense of my [bleep]."

But if you can tolerate the cursing and frank dishing about celebrities and celebrity life, seeing her live is the way to go. She comes to the Fox Theatre on Saturday for two stand-up comedy shows.

"On TV, you get a little taste of the filth," Griffin said. "You can get a full bite of it when you see me live. And you guys in Atlanta have some of the greatest food. I'm not afraid to go to some of the sketchiest parts of town for good barbecue! I can't remember the place but there were cops and [expletive] dogs on chains. It was next to a gas station."

She was referencing Daddy D'z BBQ Joynt, a little Grant Park spot recommended to her on Twitter last year while she was in town to shoot a guest role on the Lifetime dramedy "Drop Dead Diva."

 Griffin often goes off-topic. She does it during her live show as well. She said her talk show monologues are limited to stories in 30- to 90-second increments.

At the Fox, she can expound significantly longer, and eagerly wants to offend.

"I haven't done my job," she said, "until I get a walk-out."

From 2005 to 2010, Bravo aired her Emmy-winning reality show "Life on the D List." But the fame that show generated ironically killed her ability to even act like she was on the D list. So the show, she said, became more and more contrived.

"Toward the end, I was trying to act like I couldn't get booked anywhere --- when I was selling out Madison Square Garden."

So Bravo offered her the weekly talk show, which airs Thursdays at 10 p.m.

"I am having the time of my life. Bravo didn't know what they were getting into. They have lost all control of me. I just had a show where I had three hot Marines on. They asked me what I was going to do with them. Who cares? I made three hot Marines talk about 'The Bachelorette' and Justin Bieber!"

When "Kathy" debuted in April, she vowed to keep celebrities off the stage. "I don't trust them. Most of them won't talk smack about people."

But she broke her rule on June 6, inviting two fellow trash-talking female comics, Whitney Cummings and Chelsea Handler (who has her own 11 p.m. talk show on E!).

The floodgates have opened, Griffin said.

Future guests include Jimmy Kimmel, Jane Fonda, Sharon Osbourne and Anderson Cooper, Griffin's CNN New Year's co-hosting buddy.

"I told Anderson, 'You're scared of me! Now you want to be on my show?'"

Concert preview

 Kathy Griffin

7 and 9:30 p.m. Saturday

$63.55-$73.55 after fees. Fox Theatre, 660 Peachtree St. N.E., Atlanta. 1-800-745-3000, www.ticketmaster.com.

Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.

Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.

About the Author

Rodney Ho
Rodney Ho
Rodney Ho covers radio and television for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.