Kathy Griffin Is Back: Laugh Your Head Off World Tour Comes to San Diego
Post controversy, the Emmy Award–winning comedian still has a lot to say
Kathy Griffin's new comedy tour comes to San Diego on July 28.
Kathy Griffin’s Laugh Your Head Off World Tour arrives at the San Diego Civic Theater one night only, July 28. Tickets are available at sandiegotheatres.org. This interview has been shortened and edited for clarity.
How is the world tour going?
It really did turn into a world tour, like for real. I couldn’t get work in my home country for a very long time. I was on the fucking no-fly list for the first two months after the Trump photo… Now, I assume you’re gonna get to a certain question. “How do you feel about the picture now? Why’d you do the apology?” First of all, it was a very narrow apology. Rosie O’Donnell called me that day and said, “What if Daniel Pearl’s mother saw this photo?” As you know, Daniel Pearl is the journalist who was beheaded by Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. That was the thing that made me do the apology, which I have never done before in my career. Of course I can’t live with that thought. But then all the Resisters were like, “Why did you apologize? You have single-handedly ruined the Resistance and made Jon Ossoff lose the election.” It came left, right, and center; it wasn’t just the right who turned on me.
What do you make of people who expect comedy to just be lighthearted jokes and pratfalls?
You know, one of the things I kept hearing in the beginning was, “She’s a comedian. She should stay in her lane.” But we’re all watching. It’s all of our lanes. I’m not a comedy snob. There’s so much choice in the world of comedy if you don’t want to hear a vulgar, truth-telling Kathy Griffin telling stories about her various run-ins with the Kardashians and Trump and her own mother and whatever happened that day in the city I’m playing.
So parts of the show will be unique to San Diego?
Every show is different. I don’t care if you came to see me three years ago, trust me, this is all new material. I have a few anchor stories, and then I mix it up with whatever the audience seems like they’re into. Some audiences, I can tell they’re into stories about celebrities, some might be more into stories about my mom. What’s cool about the Laugh Your Head Off Tour is I’m very clear about what I want everybody to hear, and I think I’ve found a way to tell the story through my comedy prism and make it accessible. I actually take the audience inside my under-oath federal interrogation… It’s not gonna be a big lecture, but I’m still kind of blacklisted in Hollywood. I’m still considered scary and toxic.
You just played Carnegie Hall and Radio City back to back!
Sold out! I’m having the time of my life doing it, but I know I can’t do this show everywhere. I don’t feel it’s safe for me in casinos or in many parts of the country, but I’m still a stubborn bitch, so yes, I’m playing three markets in Texas. I’m playing Charlotte… Obviously not everyone coming to my shows is a Resister. I get it. Sometimes people have a passing view of the news, or they’re busy, they have lives.
I saw that for every ticket purchased for your shows in June, you donated $2 to The Trevor Project. Can you tell us a little about them?
Of course. I love them; I’ve been working with them for a gazillion years. It’s an LGBT-focused suicide hotline. In these times, stress and suicide are up dramatically. Frankly, I decided to do the donation the week of Kate Spade and Tony Bourdain, but also as a longtime ally. You know, I met with them and said, “What happens when a heterosexual person calls? Let’s say I feel like calling and you guys are the only one I’ve heard of.” They said, “We take it. We don’t turn a single person away.” I was like yeah, sold. I’ve been there and seen their operation; they really walk the walk and do the real work.
You were at the White House Correspondents Dinner, right?
I was so happy to be in that room. Michelle Wolf killed. She did a great 20-minute set. I got so much juicy stuff from going; I love telling the story. It’s a very popular part of my current show, which, I admit, is now three hours with no intermission.
I’m now the Nicholas Nickleby of comedians. I just want your readers to know: Make sure the sitter is hired for an extra hour, because I have a lot of shit to say and I even have updates. I cannot wait to hit the stage in San Diego.
Kathy Griffin’s Laugh Your Head Off World Tour arrives at the San Diego Civic Theater one night only, July 28. Tickets are available at sandiegotheatres.org.