‘Ranga’ comedian Kathy Griffin (who’d just discovered the derogatory term for redheads and was proudly owning it) bounded onto the stage at the Sydney Opera House last night to an appreciative, largely gay audience, entertaining for almost two hours with her trademark “pussy jokes” and fame-obsessed fodder.
Griffin’s style is that of a Hollywood interloper who can’t believe she’s been given access to the celebrities — Paula Abdul, Whitney Houston and Paris Hilton among them — she’s so obsessed with, and who gleefully reports back to her audiences about their wacky diva behaviour.
While she did tailor parts of her show to a local audience (expressing shock at the perceived ridiculousness of our recent ARIA Awards, a ceremony that bestowed equal honours on Kylie Minogue and the Wiggles), some of her US reality show-focused material tended to fly over the audience’s head. Case in point: the various extended riffs on the Kardashian family and their various enterprises perhaps didn’t translate as well as Griffin expected (her jokes about the Kardashian patriarch, Bruce Jenner, were met with little more than a few bemused chuckles).
She was on safer ground when lampooning genuine Hollywood celebs — like whiter-than-white Gwyneth Paltrow, earnestly insisting that she and rap mogul Jay-Z are “BEST friends” — or political figures like Michele Bachmann, who she blithely referred to as a “crazy bitch”.
Griffin saved the best for last, though, with a hilarious extended anecdote about her apparently very genuine friendship with Cher. It was one of the few moments of the night when she lost the (always welcome) snark to pay tribute to a friend and icon who’s had a number one hit in six consecutive decades but doesn’t know have a clue how to order a pizza: “Honey, honey – how does pizza happen?”