Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Happy Birthday Kathy Griffin. Suck it, Maine.

It's Kathy Griffin day around here! Many happy returns, funny lay-dee. I, like many, first became aware of her rising star from accidentally watching "Suddenly Susan" once in a while, which was embarrassing due to the awful title and the severely pained expressions coming from would-be romantic lead, Judd Nelson. I could not help noticing the tiny, wise-cracking foil to tall, humorless Suddenly Susan. Who is that strange and abrasive woman? I thought. I almost can't take her, yet I cannot turn away. Especially intriguing to me were her perfectly shorn bangs among piles of orange ringlets. It was like I Love Lucy meets your chain-smoking, crazy Aunt Lola from Jersey.

Eventually, she migrated to Seinfeld where, as Sally, she terrorized Jerry in two memorable episodes. She was moving up in the world. Since I didn't have cable until fairly recently, I never saw "My Life on the D-List" until it was out on DVD. And THAT'S when I had my epiphany: This woman is a comic genius and (running to the rooftop to shout), I don't care WHO KNOWS IT!!!

"D-List" is very meta, with an inside view of an outsider looking in. For some people that might be annoying. As in, what is the problem with all these Hollywood people and their V.I.P.-backstage-pass criterias? It all seems very exaggerated and unreal. Yet as someone who has worked as a PA (Peon Asswipe) on numerous film and TV crews, it is MUCH worse than you can possibly imagine. It's crazy, weird, bad, craziness, with occasional flashes of humanity and good humor thrown in. So I appreciate Kathy's take on the whole "enlisting in the fame army" process.

Also, she's not a joke-teller, so a lot of people curl their collective lips and say, "She's not FUNNY." But that's where they're WRONG. Because she's a comedic storyteller--a really good one. Her stories have concise beginnings, middles and ends. She has great timing and the endings are always the most absurd part of her retellings. It's all about the absurdity and her place in the absurd world.

Which is the other reason I like her: she's the court jester to our fame kings and queens. We don't have royalty or multi-gods. We have Brangelina. So I do appreciate her pointing out the big stupidness that exists in that celebrity place of worship. And she always includes her hapless role and desires in the equation; an equal-opportunity offender and holy fool.

Sue Iconolodge's Ode to Kathy Griffin.

Read Griffin's book. It's funny.

And be sure to suck it, Maine. Stop trying to inhibit the legal rights of my friends, you intolerant, old-school bigots. There is no time to waste on these issues, which are simple and straightforward. Take care of your families and let everyone else do the same.


Apuleius Platonicus said...

Kathy is a Goddess. I love it when she talks about her mom, especially. Well, and also when she talks about Lindsay Lohan! She's the kind of comedian who can cause serious laughter induced injury.

mamiel said...

My friend saw her live in SF a few weeks back, she said she was brilliant.

Laura said...

you really need to rent Shakes the Clown. She has a small but significant role as a waitress at The Twisted Balloon.