COURTESY TOM MOFFATT PRODUCTIONS
Kathy Griffin brings her brand of comedy to the island this weekend.
Her hilariously negative energy
Acid-tongued comedian Kathy Griffin skewers pop culture from a Waikiki stage
Kathy Griffin prides herself on being a "real person." She's not afraid to share the details on one of her favorite vices -- a fairly harmless one or one responsible for the decline of Western Civilization, depending on your point of view.
Place: Waikiki Shell
Time: 7:30 p.m. Saturday
Tickets: $30, $47.50 and $55
Contact: (877) 750-4400 or ticketmaster.com
"I lo-o-o-ve reality shows!" said Griffin with trademark enthusiasm.
She talks openly on the subject, rather than do what her fellow Americans do -- diss 'em in public, watch them in private.
But she has her standards: "I like 'real' reality shows like 'The Osbournes' or the 'Newlyweds: Nick and Jessica.' Not the half-scripted shows like 'The Simple Life' or 'The Hills.' "
Her own reality show, "Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List," returns to Bravo June 12 for a third season. Ten episodes are planned, up from six last season. She called in the midst of completing "pickups" -- production work after filming ends. In this case, Griffin was doing voice-overs to introduce new scenes.
"Can you believe we're still taping?" said Griffin, a "this-is-my-life" note creeping into her voice. "I am standing in front of a blue curtain in front of my gym."
Despite having her own Emmy-nominated reality show, she says her favorite show of all time -- well, one of them -- was a vehicle for Paula Abdul, in which the singer-cum-talent-show judge was captured acting just a wee bit ditzy. No, not "American Idol," but another show, "Hey, Paula," which aired briefly on Bravo.
Would there have been, say, less disastrous results if Abdul had been more hands-on in producing "Hey Paula"? The show, centered on the ex-dancer's professional and personal life, allowed the audience to witness a seemingly vulnerable person lose control of her own image.
"It's more like hands off the drugs," said Griffin. "I've met her -- we met very briefly. I don't think she wanted to deal with me. She was hiding from me. But we had a very nice conversation. 'Hey Paula' is a real show ... it was so great for her. I just wouldn't do it on drugs or when I've been drinking."
Griffin's love of reality shows -- her own or someone else's -- pales only in comparison to performing comedy live. Her show on Saturday kicks off a round of North American dates for the "For Your Consideration" tour.
Show material will focus on "whoever we're all taking about." For Griffin, that usually means pop-culture targets -- "Miley, Britney, Seacrest, Oprah ... Who knows what will happen between now and the show in Hawaii?"
A perennial favorite for skewering is Abdul's "American Idol" colleague -- host Ryan Seacrest -- he of the highlighted hair and especially white-toothed grin. Seacrest's other projects include the "American Top 40" radio show, producing television shows such as "Keeping up with the Kardashians," and hosting numerous award shows.
"It is just me -- or has Seacrest taken over the world?" asked Griffin. "I'm a fan of Paula and Ryan because they provide me with such good fodder ... It's not like I could ruin anybody's career if I tried."
"I love him, too. He's just funny."
Other projects for Griffin include hosting the "A-List Awards" on Bravo June 12, an appearance on FX's "Nip/Tuck" and promoting the comedy CD "For Your Consideration."
On her TV show, she'll visit Rosie O'Donnell's craft room, also pop off with a couple members of "The Bad Girl's Club" and spend an afternoon with Britney Spears' ex, Adnan Ghalib. Griffin's sweet-natured mother, Maggie, also returns.
"I'm convinced Maggie is the reason people watch the show," said Griffin. "I'm pretty down-to-earth because my mom would smack it out of me if I wasn't."
This is actually Griffin's second time on a reality show. She appeared previously on "Celebrity Mole Hawaii," which she won after deducing that model Frederique Van Der Wal was the mole.
Griffin was nearly eliminated early on, but her knowledge of reality trivia during a quiz game saved her. Anderson Cooper hosted the show; fellow participants included kid actor Erik von Detten and a Baldwin brother, Stephen.
Griffin retains less-than-loving feelings toward Baldwin.
"He choked me!" said Griffin of an exchange between the two that made it onto the air. "He's a Baldwin. They're all pretty crazy. But by far, he's the (most) nuts. It just amazes me that while he appears to have this violent temper, which is just vile, he (apparently) loves Jesus. It's just ironic and really ridiculous. You wonder what he gets out of it."
As for her appearance in Honolulu, Griffin said: "Just come see me live. Leave the kids at home. Leave your Bibles at home. You're in for an evening of negativity."