“I believe I did a Hamptons one other time—for recreational purposes.”
Lest one think Kathy Griffin is referring to some new designer drug, the comedienne clarifies that while she’s performed in the Hamptons before, her upcoming performance is part of a fundraising benefit. Griffin will perform at the Guild Hall Season Spectacular Benefit on Saturday, July 2, and she can’t wait to stir things up.
“Alec Baldwin asked me to do [the show],” Griffin says. “We’re going to be inextricably linked now. He’s a walking bed of material with arms and legs!” Griffin, whose comedy focuses heavily on the lives of celebrities, has often come face-to-face with her subjects out and about in Hollywood. But the biting humor, according to Griffin, comes from a place of love. “I tell the people who are upset with me that it’s an honor! I say, ‘oh my God, you didn’t know? I’m honoring you!’” Griffin says with a laugh.
Griffin, who is making a whopping 80 stops on her current comedy tour, can’t wait to play Guild Hall. “I’m very excited to be playing a theater, and I’ll tell you why—a theater is special. When you do a theater instead of [an arena or coliseum], it’s a pleasure,” she says. “I only do theaters now, because I’m snobby!” She also believes there’s a wealth of comedy to mine from the Hamptons. “The Hamptons market is the perfect area,” she begins. “Hopefully it’s new stuff that’s intriguing. I’m just here to be hilarious. We’ll start at DEFCON 5 and go from there.”
While this will be Griffin’s first performance at Guild Hall, she’s familiar with the Hamptons thanks to good friend Anderson Cooper. Griffin and Cooper, who together co-host CNN’s annual New Year’s Eve countdown, are known for their witty back-and-forth banter, as well as Griffin’s constant attempts to make the straight-laced Cooper crack-up on camera during the broadcast. “They fire me every year, then think about it, the ratings come in and I’m hired again,” she chuckles.
With so many current events to choose from, Griffin can’t wait to get down and dirty with her storytelling. She’s particularly excited to skewer Presidential hopeful Donald Trump, whom she started using in her act long before he entered politics. “I can tell my Trump stories, and now people will know they’re real!” she says. “They weren’t relevant before, and nobody cared about him until eight months ago.” Griffin likens the controversy and media circus surrounding Trump to another time a star became an unlikely politician. “Mr. Arnold Schwarzenegger!” she exclaims. “Our Governor [of California] basically ignored the drought,” she sighs. “Thing is, it’s not really a joke once [Trump] is elected.” Griffin also notes that she’s totally over the whole “politically correct” movement. “When I started doing standup, people had a better sense of humor,” she explains. “I miss the days where you could make fun of Monica Lewinsky’s dress.”
Another hot-button issue Griffin loves to tackle is transgender Olympic medalist Caitlyn Jenner. “I’m so grateful that Caitlyn is an insensitive airhead,” she laughs. “It’s a gift from the gods. She turned out to be this ignorant, rude, narcissistic woman and doesn’t seem terribly interested in learning.” But as an LGBTQIA activist, Griffin notes that the comedy doesn’t go after Jenner’s experience as a transgender woman. “I support her journey, though—that goes without saying. I know many trans people, and none of them have the opportunities or financial means to live in a mansion atop a hill in Malibu. This is a community with a lot of struggle and discrimination, and you’ve gotta be able to laugh while still shining a light on it.”
Griffin can’t wait for the Guild Hall show. “This is a fundraiser, so I’m going to ask the audience to be present and come in the gutter with me,” she says. “I’m not going to stop until I have a walk-out. I love a good storm-out. People tend to walk out sometimes…or they might just be going to the bathroom.”
Kathy Griffin performs at Guild Hall on Saturday, July 2. For tickets and more information, visit guildhall.org.