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October 9, 2015

Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List - Season Four Premiere

by Allison Waldman, posted Jun 13th 2008 5:24PM
Kathy Griffin(S04E01) Kathy Griffin is back, or as I choose to call her now Emmy Girl. Yes, the Emmy is on full display. In your face, everyone, Kathy's got an Emmy! Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List won the Emmy last year and if this first episode is a sample of what season four has in store, that Emmy is going to get a companion. This show is riotous. And irreverent and a perfect blend of comedy and celebrity reality which is really unreality because how many of us interact with Anderson Cooper and Michael Moore?

Kathy Griffin has found the perfect genre for her particular brand of comedy. A sitcom wouldn't capture her true character, strict stand-up is not her best venue (although she's gotten very good at it), and a talk show would force her to chat with others and appear interested. The My Life on the D-List format works for her and she's found a way to incorporate stand up, situation comedy and guests into a reality hour that highlights her being funny. She has supporting players -- Team Griffin, Jessica, Tiffany, Tom and Kathy's adorable mom, Maggie -- as her comic foils and partners in crime.

Gallery: Kathy Griffin

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She has stars popping in as guests. She portends that this is reality, but it's her reality, so that means showing her naked ambition to become a big star. Kathy, I hate to tell you this, honey, but you've succeeded. Thanks to your self-deprecating, ribald and outrageous humor and humanity, My Life on the D-List is now an oxymoron. You ain't a D-Lister no more.

The season premiere started off with a bang as Kathy gets a plum gig, co-hosting New Year's Eve in Times Square for CNN with Anderson Cooper. In typical Griffin fashion, she worries that her team will spend New Year's drinking and cavorting, leaving her to fen for herself. When they come up with a drinking game -- every time Kathy calls Anderson "Andy," they down a shot -- you know someone's going to wind up puking. What was really interesting about this segment was that we glimpsed briefly that Ms. Griffin actually works at her craft; she writes material and studies it. Those witty retorts come from not just a quick mind and sharp tongue, but planning. Kudos, K. Kudos, too, for Andy Cooper. He came off looking like a good sport -- which I think he is, and not just because he was nice to me when I interviewed him for TV Week. Great line, Kathy told her mother that Jessica was "Hurling in the new year."

Kathy's life now includes a new man, and what a man he is. Oh, he may look like just another average Joe, but he's not. Steve Wozniak, or Woz as we like to call him, simply created the Apple Computer with Steve Jobs. Depending on whose history you believe, Woz was the brains and Jobs knew how to make things happen (he still does). But Woz is very sweet and it was hilarious when Kathy talked about how he can talk about the most complex topics and she just answers, "I concur."

They go to the Producers Guild Awards, where My Life on the D-List is pitted against Planet Earth, 60 Minutes, and Extreme Home Makeover. Knowing she's bound to lose to Planet Earth because Oprah endorsed it. The producer pays here a house call, fearing that Kathy will say something wrong at the event -- she promises him that she will. I love when she said, "Is Oprah the new Scientology where people are so afraid of her that they could lose their livelihoods?"

The Woz thing is really funny, because he's more of a star to some people than Kathy. At the PGA event, Michael Moore gushed over Woz's contribution to the world. Woz's response, "The world did some good things and I was just there for the ride." Overall, though my favorite Kathy-Woz moment was in the car. He hacks into her IPhone -- completely in his element. Kathy looks on adoringly. Her line says it all: "You really have an aptitude for this. You're a throbbing brain with a tie."

Like every My Life on the D-List, Kathy has filled it with jokes and gags. This is the kind of show to watch again and again -- which is a good thing since Bravo will run it ad infinitum. I'll be watching and re-watching. Welcome back, KG.

Other points of interest

-- Kathy's new fashion look is sexy socialite. Can she be "Sexy socialite every day of the year?"

-- Her opening line to Anderson Cooper: "It's such a treat for you to be here with me, Anderson." Before the broadcast, he warned her that if she said anything outrageous on New Year's Eve, there was no seven second delay. "If you say Suck It Jesus, it's going out there worldwide."

-- When Planet Earth won, Kathy shoots the bird -- with both hands. She complained loudly, "Oprah fucked me again!"

-- While presenting American Idol creator Simon Fuller as the visionary of the year, she riffs on Paula, saying she was propped up like a puppet. Kathy also wonders what vision Simon Fuller had, remaking Star Search?

-- Hilarious moment at the podium, a loud noise like a gun shot goes off. Kathy goes down as if she were shot. As Woz bends over her, she jokes, "Don't ever make an Oprah joke. Those are my dying words."
What would Kathy say if Oprah called her?
I'm sorry for the nasty things I've said4 (2.1%)
Thanks for all the great material71 (36.4%)
I'm really a fan68 (34.9%)
You can suck it, Oprah52 (26.7%)

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This woman is typical of those with no talent who turn to profanity or being outrageous.

June 14 2008 at 12:03 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Good review, you really caught what makes KG and her show special and funny, and not in a trainwreck kind of way like other reality shows. "I concur." :)

By the way, "portends" = predicts or foreshadows. Did you mean "pretends"?

June 14 2008 at 1:49 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I've seen Kathy Griffin do stand-up live (my wife dragged me -that's my story and I'm sticking with it) and she was frakking hilarious, so stand-up is a plenty strong venue for her at this point. I must confess to a nagging suspicion, however, that she is really no different than all the egotistical phonies she lampoons on her show... or maybe that's the whole joke and I'm just too mentally deficient to have picked up on it.

June 13 2008 at 9:21 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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