Kathy Griffin: loving her Emmy, hating the VMAs
''D-List'' comedian Griffin lets loose about her shocking Emmys acceptance speech, peeing with her statue, and, yes, Britney and the VMAs
Kathy Griffin is all about awards shows lately: At the Creative Arts Emmy Awards on Sept. 8, everyone’s favorite ”D-list” celebrity took home her first Emmy, an Outstanding Reality Program statue for Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List. And when EW caught up with her two days later to chat about it, Griffin’s awards weren’t the only ones that had her fired up. The comedian whipped out her razor-sharp tongue to give Sunday’s sad Video Music Awards telecast a much-needed lashing.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: How excited are you to have won the Creative Arts Emmy?
KATHY GRIFFIN: I am absolutely over the moon. I was absolutely convinced I was going to lose. I had a bit planned and I was very focused on my bit, and so when the camera was in front of me, I didn’t think that I won. This is how D-list these Emmys are: three nominees didn’t even show up! It was me and Caesar Millan. Yeah, it was me and the Dog Whisperer all day.
What’d you have planned if you didn’t win? A Faith Hill-type outburst?
Well, you know what I did last year when I lost, which I’m very proud of: I stood up, I flipped off the winners from Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, and I screamed, ”I was robbed and you all know it! Everybody can suck it!” and stormed off. I got in trouble, but I still thought it was funny.
What was this year’s plan?
One of my friends said, ”I think it’d be funny if, when Extreme Makeover wins, you run up on stage anyway as if you won.” I was going to run up on stage and I’m not kidding, I was planning it. I was in the front row and I thought, I’m going to run as fast as I can up there and thank all the people that’ve been there for me and supported me and all that s—, and that was going to be my bit, and then I was going to try to grab the Emmy and go back to my seat until security took me away. It would’ve been sort of like a Kid Rock-Tommy Lee before the Kid Rock-Tommy Lee incident even happened.
And when you did win, you pointedly did not thank Jesus in your acceptance speech, right?
Here’s what I said exactly: ”A lot of people get up here and thank Jesus for helping them win this award, but I have to say nobody has been less helpful in getting me to this moment than Jesus. I don’t know what I ever did to him, I just think he doesn’t like me that much, and if he had his way, Caesar Milan would be holding this statue right now, but he’s not and I am! So I guess all I can really say is, ‘Suck it, Jesus! This statue is my God now!”’
How’d the crowd react when you said that?
They actually laughed! So that’s been so great about the D-List show. It’s so great that people know, like, I’m actually kidding. So it was great to not get booed off the stage and have people throw burning crosses at me. I don’t think you can bring a burning cross to the Emmys. It was like, ”Oh good, they’re finally getting that I’m just kidding.” [Apparently, not everyone outside the room was laughing — following complaints about her speech by Catholic League President Bill Donohue, the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences said in a statement Monday that ”Kathy Griffin’s offensive remarks will not be part of the E! telecast” of the Creative Arts Emmy Awards, scheduled for Sept. 15. Responded Griffin in a statement sent to EW.com via a rep: ”Am I the only Catholic left with a sense of humor?”] I’m looking at that statue right now and I just…I carry it everywhere. I take it to the bathroom when I pee. It’s always in my hand.
NEXT PAGE: Kathy Griffin on the VMAs (”a disaster”) and Britney (”She was looking to the girl to her right, like when I was in dance class in high school and didn’t want to be there”)
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Let’s talk about some other awards: the VMAs. What’d you think?
KATHY GRIFFIN: Oh. My. God. Here’s the thing: What can you do? As a comedian, what am I supposed to do? Am I supposed to walk out on stage and say, ”Britney sure was great, everybody! Good night!” What? My hands are tied! My hands are tied! I have to go there. First of all, she looked like she was f—ed up. She didn’t know the words to her own song. She didn’t know the dance steps and she was looking to the girl to her right, like when I was in dance class in high school and didn’t want to be there.
What about that outfit?
I am not going to buy that sparkly bikini because I did not find it flattering, and that’s not to say she’s an unattractive girl. Of course, she’s a beautiful girl, but was it me or did it start with a shot of her greasy extensions? Like, I wanted to put her in a shampoo bowl and re-shave her head, put the lights out, and start over.
I thought the best part was when she announced, ”It’s Britney, bitch!”
Which was a tape! When the AP is even saying she’s lost the fine art of lip-syncing, then that’s bad. So I thought the whole show was a disaster. MTV should be ashamed of the show. That show used to be really exciting and done well in the days of the Mariah and Whitney coming out in matching dresses and Marilyn Manson bringing the house down and Kid Rock singing ”Walk With Me” with Run-DMC and Aerosmith. Really, like, great performances. But now I felt like Kanye West couldn’t get a very nice room and so he had to perform in somebody’s double room, and I felt like the Foo Fighters couldn’t get a suite, so they had to perform in some closet somewhere in the hotel. It was a disaster.
Any more thoughts about the show? You’ve been holding back!
Why can’t Rihanna sing? Why does she have to lip-sync ”Umbrella,” which my 12-year-old niece can sing, and she wasn’t even dancing? She was in some sort of unitard. It wasn’t even like Janet Jackson, who’s like dancing so hard that maybe she can’t sing or whatever, but that’s what it’s come to is we’re actually trying to figure out why couldn’t they lip-sync better? As opposed to, why isn’t it a great show? How about Justin Timberlake not singing? Every time they cut to him he was either clapping in a balcony or beat-boxing like Blake Lewis from American Idol.
And he dissed MTV two times.
”I issue you a challenge.” Ha! I issue Justin a challenge too: How about if you sing? Why don’t you sing and stop beat-boxing? Okay, Blake? I mean, come on!
And what about Sarah Silverman?
I loved Sarah Silverman.
Some people were saying what she did was tasteless.
But that’s what that show is supposed to be. It’s supposed to be, somebody’s going to come out and say something outrageous. Don’t you remember the year Chris Rock hosted and what a giant show that was? I mean, they’d cut to J.Lo and P. Diddy in the audience. There was nobody to cut to in the audience, and there were all these paid extras playing fake blackjack. It was cheesy and lame. Ever since it was on the boats in Miami, I’m like, Why are people arriving in boats? No! There should be great performances with great sound and they should discourage the lip-syncing. If somebody’s lip-syncing, they better have a g–damn python!