The comedian talks with about reality TV, 'N Sync, and the end of ''Suddenly Susan''

By Josh Wolk
Updated July 28, 2000 at 04:00 AM EDT
Kathy Griffin
Credit: Griffin: Kevin Foley/NBC
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Kathy Griffin has been many things in her career: comedian, actress, boy-band molester. But now this Renaissance woman is challenging herself in a new arena: online ketchup pitchwoman. A cartoon likeness of her appears on Heinz’s site (promoting the company’s new dripless dispenser), where cybersurfers can hear her 60-second audio comic riffs on such everyday topics as traffic, batteries, gear shifts, and of course, ketchup. And when someone is promoting burger toppings, there is no better time to subject them to a hard-hitting EW Q&A.

Seeing as you’re working for Heinz ketchup, are you contractually forbidden from discussing mustard?
Yes. Please don’t bring it up. It’s very uncomfortable.

Are you worried that the ”drybuns” name will make people link you with visions of a chafed ass?
Not really. People have linked me with that vision long enough. Why should today be any different? People often associate me with my sweet ass, so I think this website is appropriately named.

You’ve talked before about your FX morning show duet with Hanson. Has that gotten you any more singing gigs?
I just did another Fox morning show, which started out with a harmless interview about the website, and the next thing you know it ended up with me outside of Fox, banging a tambourine on my hip singing backup for Peter Frampton. The song was, of course, the ’70s classic ”Show Me the Way.” He was very friendly and very tiny. He’s one of the friendliest tiny rockers I’ve ever imagined. I put my arm around him once and thought, ”He’s frail and I could break him. He must be a vegan.”

Is there anyone you WOULDN’T sing backup for on a morning show?
I’m not gonna sing backup for O.J., I’ll tell you that right now. Unless I get to kill him at the end of the show. And then I would sing my heart out! Hitler, I wouldn’t sing backup for him. That’s about it.

I assume ‘N Sync would be a go, considering your legendary love of boy bands.
I would [perform with them], but I would be afraid to be bum rushed by the girls and just beaten. When I went to an ‘N Sync show, there were girls that were coming up to me with a mixture of envy and hatred because I kissed Lance on stage one time. They were wanting to touch me, then kill me.

You’re a reality TV junkie. If you were in the ”Survivor” lean-to and freezing, who would you rather snuggle against for warmth: Richard or Rudy?
I want to have sex with Rudy, so don’t even stop at snuggling. He’s got it going on. And I think he’s a one-woman man. I like men that are cranky and have been Navy SEALs. I think he’s really smart, and I think I’m the woman to soften up his rough edges. But if I was gay, I would go for Gretchen, because I just think she’s wonderful. I think she could survive the longest on the island, if it didn’t become this horrible corporate ”Survivor.” That damn alliance. When I start going out with Rudy, I’m getting him out of that alliance first thing. I’m not going to dinner with the alliance. Just Rudy and me all the way.

Was it a shock when your name made ”Big Brother”’s ”Is the Celebrity Dead or Alive game”?
You should know that my mother got a call from a panicked relative saying ”Someone on TV said Kathleen is dead.”

If there was a Kathy Griffin cam online 24-7, what would we see?
A lot of me yelling at my assistant. He’d be the Brittany [the weepy ”Big Brother” housemate], a lot of him crying in the bathroom, just trying to get it together. A lot of me taking criticism from my parents. And a lot of me yelling at the dogs, and a considerable amount of dog pee. I’m not one to do the ”Risky Business” dance in my underwear. But there’d be crazy eating! All sorts of crazy fits of cookie dough and potato chip [eating], and then an apple. A lot of bad food mixing.

Now that ”Suddenly Susan” is over, you can tell us: When you heard Rob Estes was joining the cast, did you say, ”This is the beginning of the end.”
Let me tell you something about Rob Estes, besides the fact that he’s a delightful person. About three episodes into Rob’s stint, we found out he was the reason we got to finish the year. The head of the network was completely in love with Rob and thought he was great, so we praised Rob every day. We’d come this long, crazy distance, and we did want to finish the year. After a while they didn’t even air the shows, but we didn’t really care about that. It was just ”Thank God Rob’s cute.”

Final question: You’re allowed one adjective to describe yourself. Will it be ”sassy” or ”brassy”?
Oh, God. I’m really a hybrid of the two, but it depends on the time of day. I’ll go with sassy. Is ”foxy” completely out of the question?

Suddenly Susan

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