Kathy Griffin wants you

A paradox: As a rule, comics tend to be easy interview subjects — they do all the work, buffeting you with promotional agenda, funny bits, opinions, and complaints. However, a huge percentage of comedians aren’t comfortable talking one-on-one. Put another way, they’re dudes with social issues. (One such guy at a comedy open mic told me, “I’m nervous. I can’t wait to get onstage and relax.”)

So while being interviewed, a comedian can safely recite his or her material. But if you go off the grid with a question, a comic can turn on you. Knifey pendejos.

Thus, in the bizarre social shadow world of comedy, Kathy Griffin’s completely weird: Chatty, cheerful, adept in the back-and-forth of conversation. And she likes to interview people. I really wanted to hit her with the “Gay Icon Question” that we usually ask (well, we’ve asked Peaches and Richaed Lewis. It’s, “How you would prioritize the following ‘club members’ for a girls’ night out or a quiet evening at home: Sandra Bernhard, Donna Summer, Madonna, Grace Jones, Ellen DeGeneres, Barbara Streisand, Rachel Maddow.”)

But the bitch was in charge.

Kathy Griffin: Sarah, are you gay?

Current: No.

Are you gay-friendly? Yes, I am extremely gay-friendly. I know relatively few str8 men, which is kind of a problem.

Yeah, you’re like me. We’re what I like to call “gay-adjacent.” But I’m trying to get more str8 men to go to my live shows. Why?

I’m trying to broaden my demographic. My mother, who likes to yell at me once or twice a week, says “Goddamnit, it’s all your fault. You’re always talking about how horrible men are. Your father was wonderful.” And I say, “My father was wonderful … but unless you dig him up and plant him in a seat for all my live performances, you’re not helping.” … Are you coming to the show? Yes. This will be the third time I’ll have seen you live.

I’m so excited! Wait until you hear the shit I’ll talk about Mel Gibson. Oooh, Mel Gibson!

Texas, though? That whole Bush dynasty. You all, all of you living in Texas, are living one step away from that Bush dynasty, you know that, right? We’re not all like that. Look at the people who go see you.

I picture you like that, though. Actually, like Dynasty dynasty. You’re sitting there like Joan Collins with the big hair and the eyeshadow and a huge ruffled dress in a Southern mansion (affecting Southern accent) takin’ mint juleps on the porch ... `Pretending she didn’t conflate Dynasty with Dallas` No, no! For one thing, I promise you there’ll be a big contingent of gay Latino audience members.

The Gaytinos!? … Yes.

Oh, my God, I love them! A big percentage of the art world here is gay and Latino.

They love me in the art world in San Antonio? It’s because they’re subversive and I’m subversive. We’re a big military town, too.

Oh, my God, see … str8 men should give me some fucking credit for going to Iraq and Afghanistan. C’mon. I don’t care if they find me annoying, they don’t like my voice, whatever the fuck it is. But, two things: When they see how supportive of the military I am, and how many cuss words I use in my act, they’d be totally impressed. … I’ve talked to these guys and women in the military a lot, and they’re not nearly as conservative as some people think. Plus, any person in any branch of the military has heard every swear word imaginable, so they will not be offended by me. Sometimes, just visually, I get gay men and men in the military confused; buff, groomed, often wear the same hairdos … “Am I looking at a perky top or a staff sergeant?”

Yes, there will be buff boys, some gaytinos, some military guys at my show. … Well, I was gonna say something about eyebrow-waxing, but actually, str8 guys do that, too. Manscaping. OK, can I ask you something? Yes.

Do me a favor. I’m gonna make my job in San Antonio easier, and your job at the newspaper easier: People who walk around all day with Bibles? Should not come to my show. San Antonio, if you think you’re going to go to the Majestic Theater hoping to catch a production of The Lion King or Jersey Boys, you will be very upset … and even if you hate me, even if you don’t care about the Lohans — though if you don’t care about the Lohans I consider you barely human — come in support of my mother. Who can resist my mother? Nobody! She’s a cottage industry.

Thank you! Why is she a Republican?

`Sighs.` I know. Listen, you raise your 90-year-old mother, you send her to good schools, and now she loves Bill O’Reilly. Sometimes you just have to let them go. … And where else in San Antonio can you buy a T-shirt that says “Suck it”? Probably a couple of places down here.

Really? Well, what about a T-shirt that says “Tip it!?” in honor of my mother and her box wine? I think you’ve got the market cornered. •

Kathy Griffin
8pm Fri, Aug 6
$60 - $80
Majestic Theatre
224 E. Houston

Scroll to read more Arts Stories & Interviews articles
Join the San Antonio Current Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state.
Help us keep this coverage going with a one-time donation or an ongoing membership pledge.


Join SA Current Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.