By Dennis Lynch
She’s coming for Queens.
No holds-barred comedian Kathy Griffin will bring her unadulterated act to the Kupferberg Center for the Arts April 9 — and the borough will definitely be a target.
The self-proclaimed “good and bitter 55-year-old” is known for skewering celebrities and vacuous pop culture in her Grammy-winning stand-up albums and on her Emmy-winning series “My Life on the D-list.” Griffin’s last tour sold out Carnegie Hall in November, but she promised an entirely new act for her Queens show.
“I have to come back because I have even more brand new material,” she said. “It doesn’t matter if you saw me in November a year ago or five years ago, I’m always hanging up my material and I cannot keep up with the crazy things happening in the world — it’s a great time to be in comedy.”
During a rapid-fire conversation, this reporter attracted Griffin’s withering wit several times. Her threats to hang up seemed most real when she extracted a confession that her interviewer prefers organized athletics to the Lifetime network. Griffin, who believes that no human should ever waste time on professional sports, was not amused.
“I’ll hang up on you right now, Dennis,” she threatened.
Enticed to stay on the line, Griffin shared a few details about her upcoming show, promising a bevy of personal stories about her run-ins with Republican frontrunner Donald Trump, the best friend of drug kingpins Sean Penn and recent Oscar-winner Leonardo DiCaprio.
The subjects may be well known, but her material is unique, she said.
“I’m not just making fun of [Donald Trump’s] orange face and crazy hair — I’ve had one-of-a-kind run-ins with him,” she said. “This is stuff you can’t get from anyone else.”
Everything Griffin does is “grist for the mill” she said, so anything that happens to her on the road could end up in the act on Saturday night.
“Everyone gives me new material, including my 95-year-old alcoholic mother I caught watching the Fox channel last week. What am I gonna do with her?,” Griffin asked. “I tell you right now: I’m going to commit voter fraud. I just might have to get her drunk on Nov. 8 and go into the voting booth and dangle her chad for Hillary and just tell her she voted for Trump. Get ready for a Kathy Griffin mugshot.”
Politically, Griffin describes herself as a typical Clinton fan, but she also sees the appeal of Bernie Sanders. What does bother her, she said, is the Democrats are now acting like Republicans when it comes to vilifying their opponents.
“My Bernie fan friends are mad at me, because I’m not mad at them. I’m a 55-year-old woman: it’s harder and different, and when she was first lady and wrote a heath care bill, as a younger woman I had never seen a first lady like that,” Griffin said. “She was doing more than ‘Just say no to drugs,’ and then she became a U.S. senator and then secretary of state. And I love that the Bern-er is moving her more to the left. I also don’t want any fighting, because the possibility of President The Donald is terrifying!”
When I wondered about Griffin’s feelings about the very judgy treatment she got from a rather prudish Bette Midler during one of her TV shows, set in Vegas, she shrugged.
“That’s just because the legends are moody. They’re up! They’re down! They do it all! I just learned there’s a category of my friends –– Cher, Liza, Bette, Fonda –– the legends,” Griffin said. They get a legend pass, so when I’m lucky enough to be in their presence, that’s just the deal!”
I also asked her about her short-lived replacement of the late Joan Rivers on TV’s “Fashion Police.”
“It just wasn’t the right show for me. They asked me to do it, told me I could do what I wanted with it. That didn’t happen,” she said. “Look, I was so close to Joan, and she danced that show in a way that was so perfect for her that I feel it came back too soon. I expressed that over and over, and I don’t even know what’s going on with the show now.”
She will perform in Brooklyn the night after her Queens show, so she may play up the borough rivalry for the crowd at the Brooklyn Center. Either way, she promises to “let the fur fly.”
Even though she hits the Colden Auditorium stage at 8 p.m., some might believe that is still too early for the kind of inappropriate things Griffin tends to say.
“But you know what,” Griffin said, “I’m going to do it anyways.”
Reporter David Noh contributed to this report.
If You Go
When: Saturday, April 9, at 8 pm
Where: Colden Auditorium at the Kupferberg Center for the Arts, 65-30 Kissena Blvd., Flushing
Contact: (718) 793-8080