Is there a more polarizing performer in American comedy today than Kathy Griffin? Some people love her rapid-fire, merciless approach to celebrity destruction. (Yes, even some straight people). Others would rather be waterboarded than listen to her abrasive voice for even five minutes. (Yes, even some gay people). She appears 8pm tonight (Fri Jan 6) at Verizon Theatre in Grand Prairie.
I contend that when she’s working with worthy material, she is genuinely witty, observant, and one of the best storytellers out there. The audio version of her 2009 memoir Official Book Club Selection contains an account of Griffin opening for a completely wasted Andy Dick at a Florida university show: The story is so well-paced and sharply detailed, it’s hilarious and harrowing. (Apparently the audience didn’t care for Andy, dressed in drag as a go-go dancer, pretending to get raped onstage).
But Griffin seems a little trapped by her own celebrity anecdotes these days, and she’s taken to performing silly stunts (stripping for Anderson Cooper, crawling across a desk to kiss Piers Morgan) that just aren’t funny. Few comedians get better as they get older, and she’s probably no exception. But as long as the Kardashians continue to earn publicity, Griffin will be performing “the Lord’s work” — as she would put it – by savaging them onstage every chance she gets.