(Has nothing to do with this blog entry.)
I wish I didn’t like Kathy Griffin so much. It’s such a cliché – me and my boyfriend, Corey, on our way to the foreign country known as Orange County, to see Ms. Griffin perform at the (and how’s this for a cute name) Orange County Performing Arts Center’s Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall (I think I’m naming my kid that, you know, if it’s a girl).
It was Friday and Corey picked me up, fresh off a typical eight-hour shift in the soundtracks department of your favorite record store. It took about fifteen minutes before I realized that the man sitting next to me was my boyfriend and not someone hoping for a restroom, a wall-item, an “Amoeba buck”, or the “I’m Not There” soundtrack. I relaxed immediately and we discussed matters that are none of your business in amorous tones. Also I ate gum.
Have you tried this stuff yet? The Orbit “sweet mint” flavor? It tastes exactly like chocolate-mint ice cream and is so sumptuous it makes me barf a little, spiritually. Don’t ever try it unless you like being weirded out by deliciousness. I wish it had never been born. I need a piece now. Excuse me…
(That's me there, next to the dude with the thing.)
…Okay, so we made it to the Orange County Performing Arts Center’s Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall in plenty of time, despite getting lost a while (we were distracted from following directions by a heated conversation about thantophobia and Scrabble). We saddled up to the uncozy Orange County Performing Arts Center’s Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall bar for cocktails and a quick trip to the Orange County Performing Arts Center’s Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall restroom for men.
Because Corey is press, we got fantastic seats. The venue itself reminded me of a much cheerier version of that auditorium in “Dark City” where the evil dudes with bad dental hygiene gather to be wicked. And exchange recipes.
"Can you help me find row F-8?"
Kathy exploded on stage to an ovation. She performed for over two hours without a break, her material never dull, her energy never diminished. She is the Bruce Springsteen of stand-up comics.
Since you weren't there (I know, I looked for you) here's footage from an earlier tour. You can pretend you're sitting next to me. And I'm totally pulling that "yawn, stretch, put my arm around you" move.
At one point she made a joke about kids with MS that caught me so off-guard that I choked on my own spittle and almost asphyxiated. If I had been chewing gum I would surely have perished… in the Orange County Performing Arts Center’s Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall.
After the show, confused staff sent Corey and I from the green room to the lobby and back again before we were finally rescued by Tom, Kathy’s assistant, famous in his own right for appearing on the TV show “My Life on the D-list” as Tom, Kathy’s assistant.
We filed in, along with about fifteen other people, into the Orange County Performing Arts Center’s Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall green room.
Now, it’s not often I get to say this, but the green room of the Orange County Performing Arts Center’s Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall is actually smaller than my apartment. Wow.
When I read the listing for my place, it boasted “New York-style apartment”. I thought this meant it had high ceilings and a wall of exposed brick – which it did – but it also meant there was about enough room for me, a small bed, and… maybe a Cheeto.
Not a whole bag. Just une Cheeto.
Kathy entered the green room and graciously spent time with individuals; each one smiling so big and tight in anticipation to meet her you’d think we were a support group for people with bad face-lifts.
Corey seemed to be the only one there in any kind of work-related capacity. Others were either friends/employees of Kathy and their friends, contest winners, and, as one confessed, an actual stalker.
Kathy looked great and was personable – pretty much exactly what you’d expect. She’s attractive up close, but don’t tell my boyfriend I said that.
What is it about her that I love? Much of it is because I feel like celebrity culture is deconstructing – pop will eat itself, right? – and Kathy is this kind of “celebrity middle-class”, taking us by the hand as she ascends the ladder to greater stardom, exposing the folly and effort involved. She is the Eva Perón of stand-up comics.
"Did you hear the one about two nuns, a Jew, and Courtney Love?"
Celebrities tend to be alienated from the rest of us (I’m assuming, dear reader, that you are not Sharon Stone or Larry King) and sometimes they’re separated from us in a way that feels unfair. Movie stars especially are the U.S.’s royalty. Is it any wonder then, when they’re treated with such privilege for sometimes no greater feat than looking pretty, that we delight in seeing them led to proverbial guillotines?
Honestly, wouldn’t we rather see Britney slosh around stupidly on the VMA’s than see her give a great performance? (I’m assuming, dear reader, that you are not Britney Spears.)
Anyway, seeing Kathy both on and off stage was swell. For those of you who don’t appreciate her comedy, I hope you can at least appreciate her impact. I, for one, am ready for our Revolution.
Kathy Griffin's stand-up performances and TV show "My Life on the D-List" are available at Amoeba Music. Orbit "sweet mint" gum is not.