Interview: The Queen of the D List talks politics

Tony Grew June 1, 2007
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Kathy Griffin is mad. In that good way that makes for great comedy, but still, manic.

Her new series, Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List, which is premiering this Sunday night at 10.30pm on E! Entertainment Television, will be a chance for UK viewers to get a peek at the inside of life on Hollywood’s lower slopes.

Kathy has always been popular with gay audiences, and this fly-on-the-wall documentary series demonstrates why.

Bitchy? She makes Joan Rivers look like Esther Rantzen.

Camp sensibility? She acquires an interior designer, allows him to move into her palatial home, and demands everything for free.

Oh, and that is before she has started the networking – brashly turning up to the opening of an envelope if there is even a sniff of an actual celeb.

We see the struggle, the heartache, the drama, the car journeys in between the drama.

The woman’s entire life is on camera, to the disturbing extent that when PinkNews.co.uk went to speak to her, THAT was filmed too.

Kathy is a strong supporter of gay rights, and that is where we began our discussion:

We are pretty advanced with gay rights in the UK – how far behind is America?

Bush has put us pretty far behind. It is looking pretty bleak at this time. Also, America has got very Jesus-y. And you know Jesus.

Jesus didn’t like homosexuals! Religious people want to say that is what he would have thought.

Well he hung out with prostitutes, so I don’t know if he would have had a problem with the gays …

Well these Christians, they gotta twist everything, its how they are, craaaazy fundamentalists!

There is this theory that Bush has pushed America so far to the right, that its time for it to bounce back. Are you hopeful for the 2008 Presidential election?

I am hopeful for 2008 but I am also very worried because people forget that Clinton was really a moderate President and everyone acts like he was this crazy far-leftie.

The truth is Bush is so much further to the right than Clinton ever was to the left.

So I get nervous when people say ‘well you know we are really in the middle’ and I am thinking, OK, John McCain isn’t the middle. I don’t know what middle you are talking about but McCain isn’t it.

You know what word I don’t like when they talk about gay people? I don’t like when we have candidates say ‘we should learn to be tolerant of gay people.’

We need to raise the bar a bit higher than that. ‘Oh, thank you for tolerating me! As I pay my taxes and go to war.’

Four or five American states have gone for civil unions. Is it a West Coast/East Coast thing?

It’s a blue state/red state thing. I am very nervous right now and disheartened because a lot of people just don’t think a woman can win – period.

That a woman is unelectable. I personally would love a Hillary/Obama ticket but a lot of people are saying ‘are you kidding – a black guy and a woman – never.’

It is a point of embarrassment for us.

And then they start talking about compromise like, what if we had a pro-life Democrat.

Well first, they are mutually exclusive, so I am very nervous that the Republicans really want Hillary to run so they can beat her so badly.

You don’t do much political comedy?

I do from time to time, when something enrages me. It is good that Bush is now so despised that I can do Bush jokes.

After 9/11 people were just appalled if I even made fun of anything about him.

In the good old Clinton days you could make those Monica blowjob jokes as much as you wanted. Then it became so un-American to make jokes about the President its ridiculous.

The way the Republicans in this administration took advantage of us is criminal. The way they spin it is if you are against the war you are anti-American.

You must know how scorned he is in the rest of the world?

But it is also that he would turn to an entire nation and say ‘It’s not us it’s them.’

This is a President of the United States literally trying to turn Americans against every other country.

Rosie O’Donnell is always getting in trouble on The View. (an American chat show)

She got in trouble a few weeks ago for implying that Iranians are human beings. She said that before we want to go to war in Iran, lets remember these are people, these are women and children and normal people just like here.

And there was this silence and this attitude: ‘but we are better than them’

Are you hoping to bump into Madonna when you are in London?

Yeah, well, I don’t know if I can understand her.

Her accent is very very thick right now and she will probably be eating a crumpet and visiting the Queen.

She is as British-y as it gets and so that is a great thing about her.

Has anyone ever busted her about it? I wouldn’t I am terrified of her but I just thought someone might.

Is that an American thing? Wanting to better herself?

Yeah but she does not just want to be British, she wants to be royalty I think.

It is funny when Americans relocate to Europe – you know Tina Turner is German now? She has got a German accent that came out of nowhere!

You describe yourself as a relentless self-publicist. Aren’t A-listers just relentless self-publicists who are more successful at it?

Eh, yeah! Yes! And they lie about it, they lie through their teeth! Those Desperate Housewives, claiming they have not had any face work? Terri Hatcher is just Korean, for no reason? Come on!

But that is the best part, they look you right in the eye and say ‘I have never had anything done’ or ‘why won’t the paparazzi leave me alone?’

Because you called them! Before you got into hair and makeup and took out your trash.

Does that actually happen?

I believe so yes. Because people do not go to pick up their dry cleaning in full makeup and heels.

I have people do that for me – and I’m me! So there is no way that Posh Spice needs to go to the dry cleaners for herself.

This reality TV thing with cameras following you everywhere. Doesn’t that put a strain on your personal life?

Yeah. 100%

And that’s a sacrifice you are willing to make?

Yeah. (Laughs uproariously)

I decided my personal life was really overrated. I don’t need it that much. I only need my professional life and my false persona.

So what are you doing with the rest of your time in the UK? Apart from scanning the streets for Madonna

Well tonight I am spending the evening with Graham Norton. That’s my gay wet dream!

Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List premieres on Sunday 3rd June at 10.30pm only on E! Entertainment Television

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