Kathy Griffin’s huge gay following is her bread and butter, as she’ll be the first to admit. But she’s always got a surprise or two up her sleeve, as last night’s season 5 premiere episode of Bravo’s ”My Life on the D List proved: Griffin was perfectly happy to let a gay icon of a previous generation, Bette Midler, hang herself with her annoying behavior.
The talented but largely forgotten Midler – who’s been fulfilling a long contract in some Las Vegas hotel or other — starts off trying to ingratiate herself with the cameras. But Bette can’t hide her impatience, disdain, and general boredom at doing a basic cable “reality show.” Griffin stands back chuckling and lets the not so Divine Miss M deal dismissively with Vegas employees and tourists. The evening culminates with a long-haired, crazy-looking, possibly homeless woman crashing a shot of Midler irritatedly singing “Happy Birthday” to a passerby. Catch the rerun. It’s laugh-till-your-sides-hurt stuff.