The ''My Life on the D-List'' star visited Washington DC to rally for the repeal of ''Don't ask don't tell''

By Jess Cagle
Updated July 23, 2010 at 04:00 AM EDT

The potty-mouthed genius Kathy Griffin has had a stellar season so far on her Bravo reality show, My Life on the D-List, soliciting acting tips from Liza Minnelli, ice-fishing with Levi Johnston, etc. And then came the ”Kathy Goes to Washington” episode on July 13, in which Griffin rallies in D.C. for the repeal of the ”Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy banning gays from serving openly in the military. It’s an amazing hour of TV: vulgar, shocking, hilarious — and a surprising symphony of outrage and compassion. Amid her usual bawdy zaniness, Griffin conducts brief, graceful interviews with several gay soldiers; one eloquent, unassuming young man talks about feeling suicidal after being fired from the military, and his desire, still, to serve in Afghanistan. Griffin hides the faces of some active soldiers; her self-deprecation and obvious admiration for the troops make their stories even more shattering. You can see clips and rerun times of the episode on, or download it on iTunes. Whether you agree with Griffin’s politics or not, you’ll marvel at the show’s subversive power, and the evolution of a comedian whose humanity and humor get sharper every season.