We chatted with actress and comedian Kathy Griffin ahead of her Australian tour, due to take the east coast by storm later this month.
Q: Kathy! Are you looking forward to playing for your Australian fans again?
A: Well, I’m very excited to be returning to the Sydney Opera House, where Oprah tried to kill Hugh Jackman – I’m going to try and survive it. Now, did you see Oprah’s interview with Lindsay Lohan?
Q: We did not…
A: What kind of gay are you? Please tell me you’ve at least seen Oprah’s interview with Tina Turner. I’ll give you the highlights: it’s Oprah sitting down with Tina and the new husband, and at one point Tina gets so flustered that she takes out a fan – ala Karl Lagerfield – and starts fanning herself. It’s amazing. She’s sweating in front of Oprah, because god only knows what Oprah said to her.
Q: We noticed that your Twitter pic is a photo of you with Miley Cyrus – what’s your relationship to her? Are you like a concerned aunt?
A: I’m actually an evil aunt telling her to wear even less clothing. I love my Miley in some rubber panties, although it seems like a recipe for an infection. I hope she has antibiotics. But I enjoy her nudity on both a stripper pole and a wrecking ball. It’s really Billy Ray I have the issue with, what with his mullet. He’s the offensive one!
I have to tell you though, my 93-year-old mother is actually in a fight with Miley and calls her Molly Cyrus, and is upset that she was twerking with – wait for it – Alan Thicke. When you’re with Maggie Griffin and the wine’s flowing, there’s a lot to cover.
Q: Well, Robin Thicke is starting to look a lot like Alan Thicke.
A: Aren’t we all? If I get any more Botox, I’m gonna look like Alan Thicke-Kidman-Minogue.
Q: You recently posted a wonderful Facebook rant calling out Perez Hilton for his constant attacks on Lady Gaga. Why do so many celebs seem afraid to stand up to him?
A: I don’t understand it. The thing about Lady Gaga – and I don’t even know her – is she’s such a fierce advocate of the LGBT community. Whenever you can get somebody at a high level with an actual skill set to help with the struggle – and I consider myself part of that struggle, because I’ve been working with the community for decades – it’s a good thing. I don’t like him pitting women against each other; that’s the oldest trick in the book. My god, make fun of Sarah Palin – make fun of people that have really tried to keep this community down, rather than lift them up and empower them. I mean look, I might tease Miley – or Molly – but ultimately I’m always going to praise women who are successful and stand for something in this industry.
Q: You mentioned Sarah Palin – we’ve just elected the male Sarah Palin, Tony Abbott, as our Prime Minister. We’ve got three years with him.
A: Honey, we had eight years with George Bush! It was a nightmare. You were considered a terrorist if you dared make fun of the president. Let me tell you, I’m gonna make fun of your PM. Nobody’s off limits, and I say that to Tony Abbott as much as I would say it to Kirstie Alley. And I have said it to Kirstie Alley.
Q: We have to ask about your bestie Cher – we love the story about the two of you hanging in her Malibu mansion and not knowing how to dial for a pizza.
A: (Slips into flawless Cher impersonation) ‘I’m fuckin’ Cher, how does pizza happen?’ The first time I ever visited her she told me that Sonny Bono was living in her house as a ghost. I’d hear a creak of a floorboard and she’d say “Oh that’s just Sonny, he lives here as a ghost,” and I was just laughing.
I did a gay cruise in Greece last week and she texted me something amazing, she said ‘You’ve gotta be good to those boys, you know they can be demanding.’ So that’s the advice I’ll be taking with me to Australia – Cher’s given me my marching orders!
INFO: Kathy Griffin, Palais Theatre Melbourne on October 17 & Just For Laughs at Sydney Opera House on October 18. Tickets through ticketmaster.com.au and sydneyoperahouse/jfl