Live review: Kathy Griffin @ the Buell TheatreBy Candace Horgan | November 23rd, 2009 | No Comments »
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Within five minutes of taking the stage, comedian Kathy Griffin had the crowd eating out of her hand Friday night at a completely packed, beyond sold-out Buell Theatre. After quickly apologizing to the “four straight guys” in the audience, she told two quick canned jokes, one about the last time she was in Denver, “Jay Cutler was the quarterback,” and one about dating Pat Bowlen. She also said she hopes the Broncos win the Stanley Cup.
Griffin started her routine with a long bit about Richard Heene and the balloon boy hoax, relating how she’d followed it with rapt attention.
Griffin skewers the rich and famous like nobody else in show business, and she manages to project a gleeful, yet playful, sense of schadenfreude over all the misfortunes of celebrities.
The key to her comic prowess is her ability to make herself the stand-in for the audience at all the Hollywood events and parties she attends. Somehow, a Kathy Griffin show becomes like a long gossip session with your more successful best friend, who can’t wait to dish on the latest news. At one point, she said, “This cannot leave the Buell,” adding to the sense of gossip.
Griffin has built quite a career in recent years with her “My Life on the D List,” which will start shooting its sixth season in January. Live, Griffin is considerably rawer and more foul-mouthed than she is on TV, yet it never seems to cross the line to the point of the profanity being a bludgeon.
Those looking for shock certainly got their share of it. Griffin at one point compared Oprah to Hitler and called Glenn Beck a “Mormon ex-heroin addict.” Oprah, in fact, was peppered throughout her act, and she could even turn a return to Oprah into a joke, as when she said, “Speaking of lesbians, back to Oprah…”
One thing that keeps Griffin from going over into the merely catty is her willingness to shine her acerbic wit on herself and her family. She talked about her mom being offered an opportunity to endorse a box-of-wine company, and talked about how her own political views were “to the left of the Sandinistas.”
She also is willing to rip into anybody. At one point, she said, “People ask me, ‘Would you make fun of kids?’ Yes! ‘Religion?’ F**k yeah!” She then suggested that the government should make heterosexual marriage illegal, which led into a long rant about Carrie Prejean.
Griffin reserved the brunt of her wit for Prejean and Sarah Palin, joking about how Levi Johnston may have brought about the downfall of the Palin empire and joyously ripping into Prejean’s hypocritical damage control on her (now eighth) sex tape.
If laughter is the best medicine, Griffin’s joyous, 90-minute set should have easily cured even the most grave of illnesses.
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