A word with Kathy Griffin…

August 14, 2012

ImageKathy Griffin has made a career out of speaking her mind. The veteran comedian and actress started out in Los Angeles with the improv troupe the Groundlings and has since been one of the busiest performers on the comedy scene.

She’s won two Emmy Awards for her reality show “Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List,” participated in several USO tours and in 2009 released her autobiography “Official Book Club Selection: A Memoir According to Kathy Griffin.”

This spring, she launched her late-night talk show “Kathy” on Bravo and became the first comic to release four television specials in the same year.

A longtime activist for gay rights, Griffin will take the stage tonight at the Durham Performing Arts Center to kick off the North Carolina Gay and Lesbian Film Festival (NCGLFF).

She recently spoke by phone from her home in L.A. about comedy, same-sex marriage, and the trouble with Ryan Seacrest.

Q: So this performance that you’re doing in Durham, is this specific to the gay and lesbian film festival, or is it part of the stand-up tour that you’re doing?

A: I want to be clear – I’m here to offend everyone. I’m not just here to offend gay people, I’m here to offend the random heterosexual who walks in with his wife. I am an equal opportunity offender.

I might turn a couple straight guys gay at the show. I might ask a couple of gay guys to reconsider.

It’s a wide-open community in this day and age. We really are in a time of pop culture where all this stuff is intermingling.

Q: I don’t know if you’re aware, but there was a ballot initiative in North Carolina back in May to amend the state constitution to ban same-sex marriage.

A: That is a shock. You mean to say that in Durham, North Carolina, they’re not having gay weddings in the town square in front of the Chick-fil-A?

Look, here’s what I think. I think that people – the majority of people in America – don’t really care about who marries who. I think these votes are reflective of a small group of people mobilizing a small army. Certainly the polling shows with “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” – and I know from performing in Iraq and Afghanistan – that the majority of the members of the military really don’t care. It’s just not their highest priority.

The majority of Americans don’t feel strongly against gay marriage at all. Every poll shows the normal American’s No. 1 concern is the economy.

I think you have a small group of people that are extremists, and they’ve kind of made this kind of their cause

You know, we’ve just got to keep perspective, we’ve got to keep hope alive. Because I really believe the average American has no desire to stop two people from coming together and getting married, and not harming anybody.

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