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THE SUNDAY CONVERSATION

Kathy Griffin: Striking fear in the hearts of the rich & famous

The comedian loves dishing the dirt on celebs, and she's been cleaning up in the process. Her Bravo series, 'My Life on the D-List,' begins its fifth season Monday.

June 07, 2009|Choire Sicha

The fifth season of Kathy Griffin's reality show, "My Life On the D-List," premieres Monday. This season Team Griffin soldiers on without oddly famous longtime assistant Jessica. To compensate, Griffin & Co. recruit A-list stars to assist Kathy's noble climb fame-ward, among them Christina Aguilera, T.I. . . . and Salman Rushdie?

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So you are recovering from a full-on wisdom teeth extraction?

Which means I have Vicodin. How much for it?

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I hope you're saving some for you.

Oh, no, I'm of course completely holistic. I would never take a prescription pill and drive like Heather Locklear. Not even if I was driving somewhere to do charity work for children.

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Was it terrible?

I hurled afterward. In the bushes, like I'm Lindsay Lohan.

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I'm so sorry.

Who's going to hold my hair back? My mom? I'm trying to get her to be like Dina Lohan. A mom-ager. Her hearing is so bad -- I was like, "Hold my hair," and she was like, "What, what?"

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The other day, I heard someone screaming "Kathy Griffin, Kathy Griffin!" out my window and I saw this huge pile of red hair bopping down the street. I thought: What crazy tranny is that?

I'm often mistaken for my own drag queen. Here's how you know it was me: if I was having a rough time with my heels. I am a lesbian from the ankles down.

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But is it like that all the time? People screaming out your name?

It's always nice when they get it right. I'm also happy to hear Kathy Griffith. Patty Griffin, I get that a lot. I get Nancy Griffin every so often. I get Kathy Griffiths, plural. Which is odd -- no one says Britney Spear. Oh, that show! Did you go?

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Uh, no!

I don't know how she can dance that hard on Klonopin. Allegedly of course! I'm not a pharmacist! It's a fun show. She lip-syncs to all her hits.

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Yikes.

But I will say, if you're a fan, which I am, of all the levels and colors of Britney, it does deliver. Crazy Britney, the hits, hot male dancers. And when she stopped the show in Vancouver because someone was smoking? That stuff you can't buy. Believe me, the only time they turned her mike on was to say "Goodnight, Phoenix!" But she was in Tulsa. It was a fun show.

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A friend said he'd never seen someone so unhappy to not be home in bed. . . . What's your touring secret?

It's all about making each show in each city a little bit of a vacation or adventure. I'll go online and look for the best homemade stromboli; I'll go on the websites and find a little mom and pop restaurant. And then I'm traveling so much that I have friends, I mean gays, in every city. When I go to Orlando, I have my ex-boyfriend Tom -- and his current boyfriend, David.

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As you get closer to the center of the celebrity industrial complex, do you become more afraid of what you learn?

I can never get close. My No. 1 job is always, always, always stand-up. It has to be a no-holds-barred attitude. Let me give you an example. I met Drew Barrymore a couple times. I went to a party at her house. And she said, "You know, you should come to one of my small dinner parties, we hate the same people." But if I'm sitting next to Courtney Love and she falls over, I can't not put it in the act. I'm responsible to my audience the way most people feel responsible to their Lord Jesus.

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But what if you were secretly friends with Paris Hilton and we didn't know?

I am secretly Paris Hilton's BFF. I can tell you she speaks seven languages; one of them is Pashtun. She actually wrote "A Brief History of Time," not Stephen Hawking. She's going to be so mad at me!

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What are those Bravo people really like? Is it just like you go to the office and [Bravo executive] Andy Cohen is all "Girllll, what is up?" and like that?

The Bravo people are very excited about all the housewives in all the various cities. The good thing is they really leave me alone. They let me do what I want creatively. . . . The good thing about being on a cable net is for someone like me, being 48 and being a woman, I don't think I'd get to do the cool stuff I do on a network show. I love to make fun of my ghetto network, but it's cool. If I was the mom on some family sitcom I wouldn't get to do this great stuff. But secretly I wish I could be one of the real housewives of Chatsworth and be done with it.

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OK. Your assistant Jessica. What is the deal?

Jessica has a whole new life now. She is engaged to a guy and living in Arizona. Believe me, it's going to be weird to watch the show without her. She is very happy. She told me she's happy. I definitely miss her.

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I'm trying to figure out how you work in Salman Rushdie in your show.

So you know I'm penning my memoir -- Sept. 29 -- so now pretty much Salman Rushdie and I have a lot in common. And I spent time with Suzanne Somers and Jackie Collins, and lemme tell you who takes the cake? That Jackie Collins has it all figured out. She knows everybody! You go in her bathroom, there's pictures of her and celebrities on the wall. It is A, A, A, A, A list. Here's why: She's so . . . rich. She has sold 400 million books worldwide. Even if she only got a dollar a book, that's $400 million! She's in a position where she doesn't need anybody, and that's what A-listers love.

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Who knew?

Salman Rushdie would give it all up tomorrow to be Jackie Collins.

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calendar@latimes.com

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