Though Kathy Griffin made a name for herself on the Bravo reality show Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D List, she's anything but a D-lister. The actress and comedian has won two Emmys, had a book on the bestsellers list, acted in more than 40 films, and even hung out with Ke$ha's mom.
Isthmus asked Griffin about her Sept. 14 show at Overture Hall, how Gov. Walker will be in the act, and just why Justin Bieber should move to Madison. (Bonus: Griffin's mom chimes in, too.)
Isthmus: You grew up in a Chicago suburb. Any memories of Wisconsin?
Kathy Griffin: Would you like to hear my mother's brief thoughts on Madison?
Maggie Griffin: What I hear is Madison is a lovely town, has wonderful vibes and everybody loves it and... it's a bit on the... radical side. But a lovely place.
Kathy Griffin: What she said before was "not as bad as Berkeley." So congratulations.... That's my mother, halfway through her box of wine.
I remember Madison being known as a college town, or if you had a band, you would want to play at one of the bars. Let me be honest, all my stories about childhood revolve around my family drinking booze. I'm sure my brother or sister, who went to similar colleges based on their proximity to booze, would know where to do a beer run. I'm more of a food person, so I would be all about a cheese tour.
I'll be talking about Gov. Walker [at Overture]. As far as I'm concerned, if Rachel Maddow is upset with him, so am I.
Are you still a D-lister?
I run with a rock 'n' roll crowd. Ke$ha's mom said, "Can you put me in touch with Pitbull's people?" I was actually able to say yes.
I haven't taken a picture with Justin Bieber shirtless, but trust me, I'll be the one that's shirtless faster. Can you imagine if Bieber had grown up in Madison? He needs to be relocated to the Midwest to get some common sense. I don't think Madison would even allow you to have a cheetah-painted Ferrari.
Unless it was a hybrid. Tell me about your tour.
I'm really excited for my next comedy special on Bravo. And I'm very excited I broke the record this year for the most televised standup comedy specials in history, male or female. Take that, man's world! When you guys see me in Madison, I'll be trying out my material to see what you like, what you laugh at and what offends you the most. Then put that in the next special. I'll be writing the show right up until show time.
As a gay icon, what would you say to Madison gays who haven't bought tickets?
Everybody thinks gays are just in San Francisco, but let me tell you, gays in Wisconsin have a whole underground speakeasy Prohibition-like network.... The gays find each other. There'll probably be a gay carpool lane that night.