There are certain things that my husband will never agree with me on. To name a few -- that tofu is an acceptable main ingredient, that it's our responsibility to buy recycled toilet paper, that a girl can never have enough purses ... and that Kathy Griffin is hilarious.
I've been elated to see that feisty redhead's mug on subway posters and the sides of city buses recently, as part of the advertising campaign for Bravo's A-List Awards, which she's hosting. Still, my hubby visibly winces at the sight of these ads, 'cause they signal to him that Griffin will be on our TV soon enough: the fourth season of My Life On The D-List premieres the same day that the A-List Awards airs, on Thursday, June 12.
As Bravo's merry-go-round schedule of reality shows goes, Kathy Griffin's program is the one that's funny -- purposefully funny. I'm sure many people found Hey Paula and Being Bobby Brown to be laughable, but only because of how desperately those has-beens want attention and how desperate their lives are. But Griffin's apparent desperation for fame is the joke at the heart of D-List. And it's precisely this Comedy Central-style dose of irreverence that makes this the only celebreality show I actually enjoy. From her campaign to get press, which has her calling the paparazzi to show up at her dates with other celebrities as a running joke (absurd as the dates may be, with the likes of Andrew WK, Nick Carter and Ron Jeremy) and trying to become the "Red-Headed Oprah" by handing out money to people on the streets (who are too busy talking on their cell phones to accept), to hiring an assistant for her assistant and to calling groups of said assistants "Team Griffin," the make-fun-of-the-cult-of-celebrity pranks abound.
The irony, of course, is that with each new season of D-List Griffin inches her way closer to the B- or even A-List. At least some of Hollywood's heavy hitters must agree she's more important than she claims to be, as Griffin's show was awarded the 2007 Emmy for "Best Outstanding Reality Program." Although her acceptance speech got her more attention than the fact that she won the accolade. As yet another celebrity-bashing joke, she alluded to the fact that unlike most awards recipients she was not going to thank Jesus for her hard work; her speach included the line, "Suck it Jesus, this award is my god now!" This was much to the chagrin of the Catholic League and the Emmys producers, who ultimately bleeped out the sacrilegious parts of her speech.
One of Griffin's recurring jokes is that as a D-Lister she's banned from A-List Hollywood parties and TV shows. When in reality her ballsy comments are what make people fear her. She was supposedly re-banned from The View for making fun of Barbara Walters recently, and just last week she was apparently "fired" from a scheduled guest spot on Hannah Montana, 'cause of the "Suck It, Jesus" comment.
Comments about these mini-scandals and slights for Griffin's unrestricted attitude will undoubtedly find their way into the new season of D-List.
Some other highlights from the upcoming season include a stand-up performance on an all-gay flight to Sydney, Australia; rumored boyfriend and Apple creator Scott Wozniak's help in starting an Oprah-style leadership academy in Mexico; an afternoon spent with Adnan Ghalib (Brit Brit's paparazzo boy toy); and Kathy recording a comedy CD "... expressly for the purpose of trying to get a Grammy nomination." Also on the schedule is a visit to and performance at the Walter Reed Army hospital in D.C.
Okay, this brings us to the other reason why Griffin gets my DVR's attention. For all the celebrity-crazed silliness, the comic ultimately shows moments of meaning and courage: from the upcoming season's visit to see Iraq War veterans at Walter Reed hospital to letting last season's viewers into a storyline about her dad's health and her guilt over not seeing him enough as he was dying from heart failure while she was on the road, to her trip to Baghdad (in season two) during the height of the war. These heart-tugging moments could possibly be craftier ploys to get press coverage, though I chose to believe that Kathy Griffin just isn't that cynical.