Kathy Griffin was dragged after posting that photo, but now she’s ready to reveal all as part of her tour down under. Matthew Wade spoke with the fiery comedian about sexism, her bond with the gays, and the “accidental President”.
Kathy Griffin was dragged through the mud after posting an image of herself holding Donald Trump’s decapitated head – at least, a mask covered in fake blood – but the fiery 56-year-old comic is still holding her own head up high.
She got fired and had her 50-city tour cancelled. There was a two-month federal investigation on her, where she was questioned by the U.S. Secret Service. And a handful of people even thought she might be a member of militant group ISIS.
Despite this, the jokes still come hard and fast.
“I don’t think ISIS are hiring many red-haired comedians,” she says.
“But seriously, comedy’s the most appropriate way to deal with situations like our accidental President.
“I miss the days I could talk about Monica Lewinsky’s jizz stain. Thank God that when Obama came in we had more creative freedom, but as soon as ‘45’ started his campaign, it was all over.”
Given current American President Donald Trump was the primary cause of Griffin’s recent and quite widespread backlash, it makes sense that she refuses to refer to him by name, and instead as either the “accidental President”, “45”, or “that cow”.
She adds that in the immediate aftermath of her posting the photo, Trump and his conservative supporters were quick to mobilise.
“No-one cares if you have a whole lifetime of work, if you do one thing that’s not popular, that’s it,” she says.
“Honey, I couldn’t go anywhere – I had 24/7 security.
“It’s an intense thing, because there are so many of these deplorables and they mobilise, they’re nazis. And if there’s one thing they know how to do, it’s organise.
“The reaction’s been quite hypocritical, and it’s because I’m a woman going through this. Ted Nugent threatened to kill Obama, and Trump invited him to the White House. If I wasn’t a 56-year-old female this wouldn’t have happened.”
In light of Griffin’s cancelled tour in the States, she’ll be heading on an international tour instead, including a stint in Australia this month.
“I can’t wait to talk all about the incident,” she says.
“I’ll be putting my middle finger up and saying every heinous thing everyone who fucked me over said.
“I even got a consolation letter from Billy Bush, who grabs pussies. He thinks we’re in the same club, but I don’t want to be in the Billy Bush club. I’m going to have to read that letter on my tour.”
Much like many other outspoken women in comedy like her predecessor Joan Rivers, Griffin has been in a long standing and close knit relationship with her gay fans.
She says she’s always had a special bond with queer people.
“I’m a freckly, freaky, redhead who says inappropriate thing, and I was the five-year-old in the corner trying to make people laugh, where I met the shy gay kid in the corner,” she says.
“I even went to my school dance with my gay bestie.
“I think that the gay community and me realise we’re in this for the long haul – I’m a woman in a man’s world, and I think gay folks relate to that.”
Griffin even used to perform at AIDS hospices, where gay men on their death beds would ask her to make fun of them.
“Humour is a place you shouldn’t keep out of serious events, and I think the gay community really understands that,” she says.
“Your postal survey in Australia is obviously bullshit. But I want to ask ‘45’ how the fuck he’s going to take trans people in the military from their posts.
“At least Malcolm Turnbull’s not that nutty and thoughtless. Actually here in the U.S. we kind of like Turnbull because we’ve heard the tape of him mocking the accidental President.”
Kathy Griffin will be bringing her Laugh Your Head Off tour around Australia between October 19 – 31. For more information and to buy tickets visit: www.livenation.com.au/artists/kathy-griffin.