Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List
Kathy at the Apollo

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I Find That Offensive!
s all right with me. Kathy tries to make him sing "Ebony and Ivory" with her, but he doesn't seem into it.

Kathy is now going to be on Al's radio show, "Keeping it Real." She vows to keep it so real you won't even believe it. She's doing this interview on the sidewalk, and a passing pedestrian tells her she's great. She immediately plugs the Apollo show.

Kathy's in the studio with Al and claims that she's doing the Apollo to find out if comedy is colorblind. Her main goal is to make the audience laugh. She's done corporate audiences, gay audiences, female audiences, and prison audiences. Al asks a nice leading question about whether Kathy feels succeeding at the Apollo would be a personal achievement or a societal achievement, and she answers it correctly ("It would be the greatest achievement in history. Of all people.") Then Al's phone rings and Kathy kind of gets on his nerves insisting to know if it's an Obama calling him. During their commercial break, there is an awkward pause while they wait for a call to come in. Kathy asks Al to do an impression of Jesse Jackson, but he says he doesn't do impressions. Kathy does her Paula Abdul impression ("...and then she just falls down.") although Al doesn't watch American Idol. He does, however, know Paula personally. Kathy claims that she could see Al and Paula "getting it on Abdul style". That apparently involves Vicodin. Al describes the Apollo show as being a baptism of fire, and we're out! Kathy's supposed to get a blessing from Al's friend the Bishop, but no noticeable blessing takes place.

Midcommercial: we're still with Al. Kathy is now attending one of Al's speeches or something at Medgar Evers College. Kathy mingles with what I guess is the student body and begs everyone she sees to come see her at the Apollo.

It's one hour before show time! Kath is still worried about the stuff she's been worried about all show long. In the limo, she instructs Tom and Tiffany to be ready to come out and sing backup while she starts singing Dreamgirls numbers. Her dressing room has an actual star on the door. It's construction paper, but it's a star! And now it turns out there might be a bunch of children in the house doing some kind of drum-based show. Not children! They're like Kathy's kryptonite! Kathy asks her minder if there will be gay people in the audience, and her minder isn't willing to commit one way or the other. Kathy figures there will be some "on the down-low". I don't know if the down-low lifestyle includes Lohan jokes. Also, it turns out that this is "Amateur Night featuring Kathy Griffin". Ouch. Kathy drops a reference to Drumline, which is a really fun movie.

Now the Executive Producer of Amateur Night comes in to talk to Kathy. The kids in the drumline will be going first, and he assures her they'll all be in the garbage can before she comes on. She asks about the Executioner, who is the person who gets losers off the stage. Kathy's friend Wayne Federman is there for moral support, and he advises her to leave off the "Suck it, Jesus!" material. At least, don't open with it. "Suck it, Allah!" is fine. Al Sharpton comes from across to hall to tell Kathy to calm down. She does not.

The stage has kids playing drums. And a kid in a silly outfit dancing. Basically, there are kids. Then Al Sharpton takes the stage. The crowd seems to like him. And when he mentions Kathy, the crowd applauds pretty enthusiastically. She's delighted that he calls her his friend. And now Kathy's hitting the stage. Showtime!

Kathy does her "Where my gays at?" bit and gets a pretty good response. She talks about T.I. and machine guns and gets laughs. She has some material about the Octomom ("How happy are you guys that she's white?") and Whitney Houston (really just shouting "BOBBY!" but everyone enjoys that) and things are going well. Then she goes too far, comparing collagen lip implants to "looking like you've got a pussy on your face". Hmm. The audience does not care for that joke. Now it is dead silent. Some people in the audience cough uncomfortably. The music starts and Kathy realizes she's being played off. She gets off stage, where some guy tells her she has "completely disrespected this house". She agrees, and this angers him further. "Oh, and that's good for you, right? With twenty kids sitting out there, and you talk like that out there?" Kathy is stammering apologies but the guy will have none of it. Kathy interviews that she's never been played off stage before. Outside, Team Griffin flees for the limo. Al hugs her outside the theater and tells her it'll be okay and that they're used to that in Harlem. Kathy reflects that she's been thrown out of the Apollo for being too foulmouthed.

Limousine! Tom tries to assure Kathy that it wasn't her ideal venue, but she's gleeful in her despondency. She calls Katt, who doesn't believe she got thrown out of the building for swearing. "Apparently, you're not supposed to do your pussy jokes on kids' night!" she explains. Katt is not entirely sympathetic, commenting, "That is the greatest shit ever." Then he laughs at her pain. The subtitles say "Ha ha haaaa!" Kathy interviews that for her, swearing is like a crutch. And she's a crippled person. "You would not make a crippled person walk without a crutch, would you? It wouldn't be nice. So I think to tell me not to swear is the same as beating up a handicapped person. It's just not nice." I think she's got a good point. Crutches get a bad rap!

One full moon later, we're at Kathy's home. And Kathy is reading a letter she got from the Apollo:

"How disappointing that our hospitality was abused by Kathy Griffin last night. I'm appalled that she chose the consequences-be-damned approach to her material and did not feel she could balance her material to our house. She is not welcome at the Apollo. Not now and not in the future. If I get refund requests, I will compile them and forward an invoice to you forthwith.

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Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List

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