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CNN Larry King Live

Interview With Kathy Griffin

Aired July 10, 2006 - 21:00   ET


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ladies and gentlemen, here she is the one and only Kathy Griffin.

KATHY GRIFFIN: You guys came on a good night. We'll get to Larry King in a minute, so uh...

LARRY KING, CNN HOST: Tonight, Kathy Griffin, way down on Hollywood's D-list this outrageous comic tosses A bombs at the A-list and no one is safe.

GRIFFIN: Yes, celebrities love me, so anyway...

KING: No one and she'll open up about her divorce for the first time anywhere. The Emmy-nominated Kathy Griffin is next on LARRY KING LIVE.


KING: Good evening.

While everybody else in show business fights tooth and nail to make the A-list, comedian Kathy Griffin has proudly settled atop what she calls the D-list, as in three lists below the A-list.

She's here to talk about how she's making that list of life at the bottom of the Hollywood heap. She'll also share war stories from her patriotic visits to U.S. troops in Afghanistan and Iraq.

It's a great pleasure to welcome to LARRY KING LIVE the first of what we hope is many visits, Kathy Griffin, not many girls...


KING: ...become comics.

GRIFFIN: Yes, the ratio is still probably about 10-to-1.

KING: How did it start? Were you a funny kid?

GRIFFIN: I was a funny kid, a funny teen and a funny lady.

KING: People laughed at you?


KING: Usually funny girls are not treated well, oh she's the funny...

GRIFFIN: No, I was abused and tortured all through grade school and high school.

KING: Always wanted to be in the business?

GRIFFIN: Always, ever since I was a little kid. My dream was to be Rhoda, right? I watched Mary Tyler Moore and I thought, well, Mary's funny but Rhoda really gets the good lines. So, I thought even if I get my own show, I'd hire a pretty girl to be the lead and I'd still be the sidekick.

KING: So, do you want to do a sitcom?

GRIFFIN: Well, I've been on a sitcom. I love that work but I also love touring and doing standup and doing standup specials and it's kind of fun doing my reality show, whatever comes along.

KING: You were on what Suddenly Susan?

GRIFFIN: Suddenly Susan, yes.

KING: That was fun?

GRIFFIN: Really fun.


GRIFFIN: I know I'm going to hell. I've got a hand basket all picked out.


KING: Hard work though?


KING: OK, what -- how did this D-list start?

GRIFFIN: OK. I'm obsessed with lists in Hollywood because Hollywood is list obsessed. So, I was inspired when I heard about the seating chart at the Golden Globes, right, because you have all the super famous people, you know, Jim Carey and Brad Pitt and they're in the very front tables.

And yet the second tier is people that I consider giant stars, maybe the Kelsey Grammers and the Ray Romanos and I thought, oh my gosh, are they B-list? And then I read somewhere that someone said Paris Hilton was B-list. I thought if Paris Hilton is B-list, I'm not even C. I'm D. I'm sitting in the parking lot at the Golden Globes just trying to get a diet soda.

KING: And there are others make the D-list right?

GRIFFIN: Yes, but they don't know it, Larry. I'm the only one who knows. KING: You're proud of it?

GRIFFIN: I love it. It's a great life.

KING: Because?

GRIFFIN: Because I get to make a living in the field that I love and yet, you know, nobody's going through my garbage. Nobody is following me to In and Out Burger.

KING: You don't get written up in the Enquirer?

GRIFFIN: Every so often and I live for it.

KING: You do?

GRIFFIN: Oh, I laminate them and put them on my fridge.

KING: What was a thing written about you in the Enquirer?

GRIFFIN: Usually there's a lot of stuff about my potty mouth, which I have, and I enjoy bad language and negativity of all kinds. And, let's see, fights with Brooke Shields was good because when I was on Suddenly Susan, you know, Brooke is, of course the darling of the tabloids. And, oh I'm always on the worst dressed. "Would you be caught dead in this outfit? What was she thinking" column. So, I blow them up. I laminate them.

KING: What was your break?

GRIFFIN: Well, let's see, in one year I did a bunch of guest spots. I did a couple Seinfelds and Ellen and E.R. and, you know, that kind of led to me getting the job on Suddenly Susan. And then, at the same time, I got my first HBO special, so then I started doing standup more seriously.

KING: When you get an HBO special how much does that mean? That must be enormous in a career.

GRIFFIN: It's huge, especially for a woman because at the time they were doing them regularly and yet they would still only do one woman a year and now they only do them semi-regularly and it was a big deal. I'm proud of it.

KING: A-listers get invited to all the Oscar parties.


KING: What do D-listers get invited to?

GRIFFIN: I can barely get invited to a party that I have at my own house. I just invite the gays over. We get a bowl of popcorn and we watch the shows. I'm not invited to any parties, Larry. Oh, I need to tell you this. I crashed your party. OK, I went to your party at Spago, your anniversary party.

KING: You went to our 20th anniversary party at CNN? I saw you.

GRIFFIN: Larry, you're implying that you didn't even know I was there.

KING: I saw you there.

GRIFFIN: Because you don't care, Larry.

KING: But I thought you were invited.

GRIFFIN: No, I crashed.

KING: You weren't invited?

GRIFFIN: Yes, but get this, so I'm at a table. It's me, Morgan Fairchild, and Josh Groban. That's my dream table. By the way, Groban was looking at my ass the whole time and I don't care who knows it, yes.

KING: OK, that settles things about him then. That's good to hear.

GRIFFIN: Yes. I'm hooking him up.

KING: Place the stars on the appropriate list from the A-list to the D-list. Here we go, Anna Nicole Smith.

GRIFFIN: OK, interesting, you would think as a D-lister and yet with all the scandal I say it's a solid B with the pregnancy and the craziness and the show she's what I would call a list jumper.

KING: Farrah Fawcett?

GRIFFIN: That's tough. I would say B.

KING: Used to be A.

GRIFFIN: Used to be A, of course, and I would say D-ish and yet we're still fascinated by her, you know. We still want to see her what she's -- what crazy thing she's going to say, what fight she's going to be in next. Maybe there's a little woo-hoo. I don't know.

KING: Paris Hilton really where does she belong?

GRIFFIN: OK, that's what's interesting. We're in this...

KING: What does she do?

GRIFFIN: Hum, well she is -- learning to read, I'm not sure what she does with her days.

KING: What list is she on?

GRIFFIN: OK, well that's what's interesting is you'd think she should be a D-lister and yet we're in such celebrity crazed culture and people are so famous for being famous that what's ironic is she's as A-list as Meryl Streep, meaning if you're throwing a big Hollywood party and you want lots of press coverage you're as excited about Paris Hilton on her red carpet as you are about Meryl Streep which is a crime. But that's the main thing, right, that sex tape actually really, truly catapulted her onto the A-list unprecedented.

KING: Now where on the list is the girl who was here last Thursday?


KING: Star Jones. Has she gone up?


KING: Down?

GRIFFIN: She had a bad week.

KING: But more paparazzi will follow her now.

GRIFFIN: Maybe, we'll see. We'll see. But, you know, it's interesting. She's kind of become famous by just being a pain in the ass, you know, just annoying people, which, you know, I really do which is great. But, you know, I think she screwed up with Barbara. I really do. I think it was a bad call. It was a bad -- I think that was a great job for her.

KING: Because Barbara is like an icon right national (INAUDIBLE).

GRIFFIN: Of course, of course.

KING: You went on The View?


KING: Did you have a tough time with them?

GRIFFIN: I did. I had a tough time with Barbara.

KING: With Barbara.

GRIFFIN: But I respect her tremendously, yes.

KING: What was it about?

GRIFFIN: Well, I made a joke that she didn't care for and then she got offended and said something. By the way I think you should know that this was a fight that was all in my head and whenever I talked to the other girls there they said "Well, Barbara doesn't even remember that or know who you are."

KING: So, you're not banned?

GRIFFIN: Oh, I am banned from The View but I think I was banned because of Star, so I think I might be back in because I'm friendly with Rosie. In fact, next week I'm going to do Rosie's lesbians and their kids cruise, you know, they are family.

KING: They're doing another one?

GRIFFIN: Oh, yes, lesbians love kids. They can't stop having kids. And so although that's a mystery to my mother how they do but I won't get into it. So, yes, I'm going to go do standup on her cruise and I might get back in.

KING: Well, when you go on -- when you've gone on The View do you argue with Star?

GRIFFIN: Yes, of course I do.

KING: About?

GRIFFIN: Anything. I just like to tick her off. And, by the way, it takes about two seconds and it's fun. It passes the time.

KING: It's a fun show to do for you though isn't it?

GRIFFIN: Oh, I love it. I like those girls a lot.

KING: What do you make of the feud?

GRIFFIN: I love it, are you kidding? It's juicy heaven. You know I mean I've been talking about Star in my act for a while and the husband. I think you know what I'm referring to.

KING: Right, it's Mr. Reynolds.

GRIFFIN: Right or Ms. Reynolds as I lovingly refer to her. No, but anyway, yes I do like going on that show and mixing it up with the girls. But, you know, as you know a lot of that -- once the commercial break happens, you know, a lot of that is kind of for camera, not with Star though.

KING: In other words you really didn't like her?

GRIFFIN: No. Well she's just such a malcontent, you know. I mean my experience working with her was she was just always so unhappy and complaining and I thought "Boy, you have the greatest job in the world. You have a really fun job. You're rich. You're famous. Why complain?

KING: Did you have an incident with her on the red carpet?

GRIFFIN: I didn't have an incident but the last time -- well you know I got canned from the red carpet, absolutely, unequivocally canned, and I wish I could act like I elected to leave but I got canned, Larry. There's no way around it.

KING: Because?

GRIFFIN: Well, they said that it was because the red carpet is a puzzle and while I'm a wonderful puzzle piece, my puzzle piece doesn't fit this particular puzzle. Now what does that sound like to you? KING: I don't know but your hair matches the carpet, the red lady on the red carpet.

GRIFFIN: Of course, of course, but I got in a little trouble.

KING: Dumb.


KING: Kathy Griffin is our guest. We're going to talk about her visits to Iraq and lots of other things.

You're watching LARRY KING LIVE. Don't go away.


GRIFFIN: I couldn't believe it. I'm sitting there on The View trying to get people to turn on the sci-fi channel for the Halloween parade and Barbara is throwing down with me. I'm like "Bring it, bitch! What is going on?"




GRIFFIN: So up comes Thelma (INAUDIBLE), yes, very beautiful, very beautiful and talented. How long has she lived here? Still can't speak English, OK, so...


KING: We're back with the wonderfully talented Kathy Griffin, what a lady, what a funny lady, terrific person and it's great having her with us and we're covering a lot of things.

You've had a few uncomfortable words with some big time stars.


KING: Warning her not to make fun of her for example, Whitney Houston.


KING: What happened?

GRIFFIN: Yes, one time at an award show she came back to me and she said, "You're very funny." And I said, "Oh, thank you so much" thinking, you know, it was a compliment and she put her finger like this and she said "Don't say anything about me," which of course I then had to put into my act for about two years because that's fun.

I mean when someone like Whitney Houston comes up and says something like that I live for stuff like that. I really do. That's like a big gift with a big, pretty bow on it.

KING: How much of your act is free form?

GRIFFIN: All of it.

KING: All of it.

GRIFFIN: I change it a lot. I don't write anything down. My act is more story oriented. I don't really -- like I can't tell a joke to save my life. I don't do one-liners.

KING: There's no routine?

GRIFFIN: No, I have certain stories that I repeat for a while. Once they're on TV I don't do them anymore. But they're from my life and they're my own musings and my own celebrity run-ins and I think that's a little bit different is I have observations like everybody but then I'll talk about the time that I actually personally had a run-in with Whitney.

KING: Do you ever have that dreaded of all words for comics do you ever have a night where you bomb?

GRIFFIN: Constantly.

KING: You bomb?

GRIFFIN: Of course. Corporate gigs are very tough for me. My most difficult demographic is middle-aged heterosexual white men because they don't necessarily care about Nicole Kidman's Botox, I mean her alleged Botox and yet I do, so I do very well with gay guys, couples, women, college kids.

KING: So why do you take the date of the corporate gig?

GRIFFIN: The cash, Larry, the old bottom line because my parents have convinced me that if I don't take every job I'm going to live in my car and eat dog food.

KING: But when you do something and they don't laugh...


KING: ...doesn't that grind?

GRIFFIN: Oh, it's horrible.

KING: An hour is three hours, right?

GRIFFIN: Right, right, and then you get the flop sweat but I just smile like I'm killing.

KING: Renee Zellweger once sent you flowers after you rapped her.

GRIFFIN: Yes, I get this giant, really insanely expensive box of the most beautiful flowers you've ever seen. In fact, I called the florist to see how much they were and I acted like -- wait, wait, I acted like I wanted to send the same ones to my mom. I said, "Ms. Zellweger just sent me such beautiful flowers. I want to send them to my mother. How much were they; 540 bucks.

KING: Whoa.

GRIFFIN: Yes, and then the note said "Dear Kathy, warmest wishes, Renee Zellweger."


GRIFFIN: What do you think?

KING: Kind of a dig?

GRIFFIN: I think so too, right, like a...

KING: Not love you.


KING: So you assumed...

GRIFFIN: It's shut up, please shut up.

KING: What's with you and Clay Aiken?

GRIFFIN: Oh, I love him. I love Clay. I'm a huge fan.

KING: You like him. You mean you really like him?

GRIFFIN: I really like him, yes. You know his fans are called Claymates and yet I make fun of him in my act and I may imply that there's a slight chance that I might think he might possibly be a homosexual. And I might imply that in my act in a fun and lighthearted way. And I might do it for about 20 minutes straight. All right, so and then of course I have to run into him. In fact, I ran into him at your anniversary party and you know.

KING: What did he say?

GRIFFIN: I just apologize. I back peddle and apologize.

KING: You do, oh you do?


KING: You cop out?

GRIFFIN: I mean I can't deny it because I said it.

KING: You cop out, yes.

GRIFFIN: Well, yes, I just say "I'm sorry," you know I mean I don't really want anybody to burst into tears or anything but Clay actually...

KING: And what did he say?

GRIFFIN: Clay and I have become a little friendly.

KING: Yes.

GRIFFIN: Watch he's going to come on tomorrow night and say "I can't stand that bitch." No, I really do love him and I've seen him live and, you know, I like to make fun of him and I love him both.

KING: Nicole Richie?

GRIFFIN: So get this, of course, I've made fun of her, right? In fact, I actually was going to pitch a show to Lifetime just called "Let's Watch Nicole Die." And what it is, it's just a web cam in her house because she's very thin. Anyway, so I've made jokes about her in my act.

And then yesterday I'm at the Polo Lounge and I'm at the valet and I see her there, right? So, I'm thinking oh-oh this could go either way. So, she looks at me and smiles and I look at her and smile and then I wave and she waves. And I went up to her and I said, "Can I meet you" because I said "I think you're really, really clever on the Simple Life," which I do.

KING: Yes.

GRIFFIN: She has some really funny stuff that comes out of her mouth and she said, "Yes" and she quoted a line from one of my specials. And she said, "Oh, it was so funny." I said "Well, I'm really glad you feel that way" and I said, "I think you're very clever. I love the sarcasm." And we said our goodbyes and that's like a dream situation. It was great.

KING: That's nice. You've had a lot of questions for Angelina Jolie, right?


KING: Like?

GRIFFIN: Like I don't know if I could get all of my fat to go to my lips I would and God knows I've tried every kind of injection there is. But her fat is distributed very oddly. There's none in her limbs and yet it's all in her lips, which I admire.

KING: How do you explain it?

GRIFFIN: Jon Voight must have, I don't know, taken something during the pregnancy. I don't know. I'm not a doctor, Larry.

KING: What do you think of Britney Spears' nude photos?

GRIFFIN: Oh, I think Britney is sort of continuing that classic line of divas that's just going to keep going crazy forever, like Mariah Carey, like Liza. I think her whole life she's going to be a little nuts and that's what I love about her. But I think the nude photos are great. She's got to dump the loser husband though, right? Come on, he's living off her and he's trying to be a rapper. He's Portuguese now.

KING: You never slam me, wait a minute or have you?

GRIFFIN: What? Wait a minute.

KING: Let's take a look at some videotape for the answer, watch.


GRIFFIN: I saw Larry King and he was interviewing Pam Anderson and it was really fun because Pam -- remember when Pam Anderson did her Hepatitis tour? Remember when she got Hepatitis and she got Hepatitis and then she did a press tour about it because she's very conscious of women's issues.

And she's talking -- she's talking and then she had had her boobs reduced, you know. She keeps getting them reduced and bigger and stuff. And then Larry King has the (INAUDIBLE) to say to her "Aren't you afraid of that plastic surgery?" In the meantime, his ears meet in the back of his head, right?


GRIFFIN: Larry, I feel terrible.

KING: Do you really think I have...

GRIFFIN: Of course not. It was anything for a laugh.

KING: Let me explain something to you. I'm a Jewish guy, right. You couldn't put a knife near my face (INAUDIBLE).

GRIFFIN: Can I look for scars though if I have a magnifying glass and some sort of lighting?

KING: Come on. Do I look that good like I've had it? Are you crazed? I had a plastic surgeon say to me once, this is ten years ago...


KING: He says "You know, you come to my office and I can make you ten years younger." I said, "What would you do?" He said, "I'd start by cutting along here and lifting" -- goodbye.

GRIFFIN: It's like that movie Face Off with John Travolta.

KING: That's right.

GRIFFIN: They just take your face off.

KING: You're not going to touch me. GRIFFIN: All right, a little collagen?

KING: I have not -- no!

GRIFFIN: Come on.

KING: Wait a minute, collagen means injections?


KING: Goodbye and good luck.

GRIFFIN: Right here it takes weeks off you.

KING: Goodbye and good luck.

GRIFFIN: All right, all right, fine.

KING: I'll do anything but not that.


KING: I'd rather have, I'm not kidding, bypass surgery, which I've had.


KING: Than somebody stretch or inject my fact.

GRIFFIN: Well, as long as you were under why didn't you have them do a little something, something, right?

KING: Because I didn't...

GRIFFIN: Put your ears over here or something like that, boob job, something.

KING: Have you had cosmetic surgery?

GRIFFIN: Oh, yes, absolutely.

KING: What have you had done?

GRIFFIN: Oh, I had a brow lift, which is where they take your eyebrows and put them on a completely different part of your head and you look months younger. And I had, what have I had? I had a -- a lower facelift where they only do it to here. I don't know why. I said stop at the ears.

KING: Have you had Botox, collagen, all that?

GRIFFIN: Yes, all of that. I'm going to actually die of botulism which will be the first recorded case since the early 1900s.

KING: What are you 83 years old?

GRIFFIN: Yes, I am.


GRIFFIN: I'm a damn good 83-year-old.

KING: Damn good. We'll be right back with Kathy Griffin. Don't go away.


GRIFFIN: So then the purse spilled and now my Vicodin spilled out because I'm going to have the brow lift in a week and now I'm (INAUDIBLE) you know Winona Ryder where my prescription drugs are just falling out all over Paramount, you know, I had some calcium, (INAUDIBLE). Oh, Kathy!




GRIFFIN: AT least the soldiers are a captive audience. Can't we have a war in like St. Lucia or someplace nice next time (INAUDIBLE)? I think I found my new demographic, guys in a war zone. If one more guy (INAUDIBLE) I'm going to shoot him with his own gun.


KING: We're back with Kathy Griffin. Before we get back to some of this folderol what was Iraq like?

GRIFFIN: It was fantastic, meaning the performing part of it, very intense environment, troops are the greatest audience you could ever hope for.


GRIFFIN: It was hard work, you know. I deal with that on the reality show because, you know, my material is sort of celebrity oriented and like I said it's stories and stuff. It was funny because the army put all these language restrictions on me.

KING: Oh, really?

GRIFFIN: Yes, as if a 20-year-old guy in a combat zone is going to be scared by a swear word, so that all went out the window the first day and they would stand and cheer every time I was foul- mouthing.

KING: You went to Afghanistan too right?

GRIFFIN: Afghanistan, 2002 and Iraq a few months ago.

KING: Is it rewarding for you?

GRIFFIN: Very, of course, it's great.

KING: I'll talk about it more later.


KING: You've been banned from a lot of big television talk shows.


KING: Ellen Degeneres, Live with Regis, and Leno. All right, let's break them down, Ellen Degeneres, why?

GRIFFIN: OK. Well, what I heard from her camp was that she doesn't want me going on trashing celebrities. Her audience is friendlier than that. And, I said "Why protect the sanctity of a Paris Hilton joke?"

KING: You're banned from Regis?

GRIFFIN: Look, I think that's a Gelman (ph) issue.

KING: How can you be banned from Regis?

GRIFFIN: I think it's a Gelman issue. I get along great with Regis. I saw him last week. I love Regis. You know what I love about him? He's so funny and he kind of acts like this cuddly old guy but he's very sharp and he's very (INAUDIBLE).

KING: Very sharp.

GRIFFIN: Yes, I like him a lot.

KING: So, who banned you?

GRIFFIN: I think Gelman. I blame Gelman for really all evil things in the world.

KING: The producer?


KING: Leno, why would Leno ban you?

GRIFFIN: Well, I was on last year and my reality show covered it and he made a joke about me that actually made me burst into tears during the commercial break. I know and he didn't...

KING: By that you mean hurt you?

GRIFFIN: Yes. And he didn't like the way he was portrayed on my show and so I can't go back on that show.

KING: You got fired from the E Channel?

GRIFFIN: Yes. KING: For doing what?

GRIFFIN: Well, they didn't tell me but I think the real reason is I made a joke about Dakota Fanning, little Dakota Fanning. I made a joke about her going to rehab...

KING: Dakota Fanning?

GRIFFIN: ...which is funny when you picture little Dakota Fanning with the big blue eyes walking into Promises.

KING: And they took that personally?

GRIFFIN: Yes and it upset the DreamWorks people and Spielberg issued a statement about me and stuff and so I can't.

KING: Do you deal with people's divorces?

GRIFFIN: Oh, yes, I make fun of...

KING: And your own, you were divorced?

GRIFFIN: Yes and I...

KING: So this is your second marriage now?

GRIFFIN: No, no, no. I just -- I just got divorced.


GRIFFIN: And, yes, I do. I make fun of everybody else's divorce and, you know, I haven't really talked about my divorce until tonight and I've gotten lots of e-mails from people saying, "Well, you talk about everybody else's, OK."

KING: What happened?

GRIFFIN: Well, you know, I have actually been asked this more than any other question in about the last year and I must have done 100 interviews on the morning shows.

KING: And you won't answer it.

GRIFFIN: No, I will -- I will tell you.

KING: But tonight...

GRIFFIN: My ex-husband without my knowledge was sneaking into my wallet when I was asleep in the mornings and taking my ATM cards of my own private accounts and withdrawing money that I didn't know about and that money totaled $72,000. And he was doing it systematically over about a year and a half.

KING: He knew your password?

GRIFFIN: Yes. KING: Why didn't he just ask you?

GRIFFIN: I don't know.

KING: I mean you're in a marriage. He can't ask you for $72,000?

GRIFFIN: I don't know.

KING: What did he say when confronted?

GRIFFIN: He admitted it and apologized and then I kind of embarked on a whole journey about can we fix this marriage? We went to couple therapy. I really wanted to make it work. And then recently our divorce became final and unfortunately we won't be able to get beyond the trust issue.

KING: Was that the reason or was that the straw?

GRIFFIN: I think that was the reason and then the trust issue is kind of ever present when something like that happens.

KING: How did you find out?

GRIFFIN: I got a call from my business manager and they got a call from the bank.

KING: Why did he need the money?

GRIFFIN: You know I really don't know.

KING: What does he do for a living?

GRIFFIN: Computer IT person.

KING: Makes a good living?

GRIFFIN: OK, I think, you know.

KING: Also, by the way, someone in the business in a year and a half $72,000 doesn't sound like a lot.


KING: I mean you're doing all these in person shots and television shows and everything. One would imagine you could afford $72,000.

GRIFFIN: Yes but it's a lot of money to have, you know, taken from you.

KING: Stolen.

GRIFFIN: And, also you know it's -- I work hard to earn that money and, you know I love what I do and stuff and so it's -- it's a tough thing to get beyond. KING: So you couldn't forgive him?

GRIFFIN: Well, we sure tried. We sure tried.

KING: Was he contrite?

GRIFFIN: He was -- expressed remorse and that's why we still worked on it because, you know, we'd have good periods and bad periods and we would separate and get back together.

And one thing that does bother me is that people have written online and stuff that they didn't think the reality show was real and that the marriage was, you know, part of the show and maybe it wasn't real. In fact, I just read that online today. And the truth of the matter is we were absolutely reconciled for the part of my life where we did the reality show.

KING: Are you going to kid about that in your act?

GRIFFIN: You know I don't know yet. Eventually I end up putting everything in the act.

KING: Other comics have.

GRIFFIN: Yes and I kind of turn tragedy into comedy and I find that that's a great way for me to kind of deal with it. And also I think that it's an issue that I have a feeling is more prevalent than we think.

KING: Are you -- is the run off bad or are you friends?

GRIFFIN: I have not seen him in about two and a half months but I, you know, absolutely wish him the best and I think he'll be OK and I hope he's OK.

KING: Have you dated again?

GRIFFIN: No, I don't want to -- I don't care about that yet.

KING: Come on, you should be ready.


KING: You should be ready to date, two and a half months.

GRIFFIN: Oh! Have you met men, they're awful, Larry. Yes, I'm looking right at you.

KING: Men are awful?

GRIFFIN: They're tough. Oh, if only I could just be a lesbian, oh it would solve everything.

KING: You'd rather be a lesbian?

GRIFFIN: Yes, although I don't know. I don't want to find a lesbian that breaks my heart either.

KING: Women are nicer huh?

GRIFFIN: In my experience but, no, I love men and I will date at some point. I just...

KING: So you've been loose now, I mean loose...

GRIFFIN: I've been loose and a $2 whore frankly.

KING: Two and a half months right you said two and a half months you're divorced right is what you said?

GRIFFIN: Yes. Yes. Well, yes.

KING: You should start to date.

GRIFFIN: Already?

KING: Hasn't anybody asked you out?

GRIFFIN: Well, who do you got in mind, Clay, Groban, me and Groban, oh God!

KING: Is that what you want you want to go out with someone you think is gay?

GRIFFIN: Not Josh Groban.

KING: No I'm not talking -- do you want to go with someone that's safe for you?

GRIFFIN: My dream would be to have a marriage of convenience with an incredibly wealthy gay guy right?

KING: But what would you do for romance?

GRIFFIN: I'd look the other way while he bangs the pool boy and I go shopping. I haven't thought that far into it, Larry.


GRIFFIN: One day at a time.

KING: It's confessional night tonight on LARRY KING LIVE with Kathy Griffin. Hey, it's going to happen, it's going to happen here. Don't go away.


KING: We contacted Kathy Griffin's ex-husband Matthew Moline, and he gave us this statement:

"Since our divorce, I have not made any public comments about my ex-wife or our marriage. It saddens me that she would choose to make such accusations at this time. I have no intention of engaging in a public debate over private matters."




GRIFFIN: So I go to the rehearsal and this is this place in New York and it was kinda soon after 9/11 so they had all the metal detectors because if the terrorists are going to target the most important group of people possible, they're going to go for the VH1 fashion awards, and let me tell you something, I'm lighting the (EXPLETIVE DELETED) wick. Alright, so that's terrible


KING: We're back with Kathy Griffin who visited our friend Bill Clinton at the White House, had your picture taken with him, what was that like?

GRIFFIN: I did. Well I'm a big Clinton fan and I was nervous, they do security checks which I thought, what if I don't pass, I don't know what I had done. But, I thought what if I'm a member of al Qaeda and I forgot. Luckily I wasn't and I'd love to meet former President Carter though, I'm a huge Jimmy Carter fan.

KING: -- former President Bush is another great guy.

GRIFFIN: Alright.

KING: You'd really like him. Former President Ford?

GRIFFIN: I did meet him once too.

KING: Another --

GRIFFIN: I run in that whole circle there, a lot of presidents.

KING: Wait a minute, in Iraq, didn't they give you a security check? Did they check you at the White House?

GRIFFIN: They're lucky to have anybody go over. No I think they checked my driver's license and that was about it.

KING: Tell me about this big, into charity fundraising and your one fundraising idea, an eBay auction was a "D" list disaster. What happened?

GRIFFIN: OK, this is what happened. I decided that if I'm going to put something on eBay to raise money for charity and the charity I chose was V-Day, and they help prevent violence against women and girls around the world. OK, so there. So, you know, a lot of people come to me and they say you know we'd like to auction off something of yours. When you're on the "D" list, a signed picture goes for about 75 cents, maybe a $1.03, so I thought I'd better come up with something great, something an "A" lister wouldn't do. So I auctioned off a situation where you'd come to live with me for the weekend. Come on, Kidman is not doing that Lar. You and the wife aren't having anybody over the weekend, right?

KING: That should have been big, no.

GRIFFIN: OK. Wow, you didn't even take a minute. That's it, no one's getting in your house. So it ended up going for $28,000, except, wait, they were all fake bids, right, and they didn't like have eBay accounts, but there was no penalty. And then it ended up whittling down to some guy who had $5,000. And he is a nice kid, he came out and stayed with me for the weekend. But he wasn't impressed with anything. Like I took him to a red carpet event, I introduced him to Angie Harmon and Jason Seahorn, he'd never heard of them. I introduced him to Joan Allen, Oscar nominee, never heard of her. The only one he knew was Jane Seymour. He'd never --

KING: Really?

GRIFFIN: Angelica Houston was there, meant nothing. I gave him my gift bag, he didn't want it. Right, it was a gorgeous gift bag and he was obsessed though with Geri Halliwell who was Ginger Spice of the Spice Girls. So the whole weekend what he really wanted to do was hang out with Ginger Spice, and I don't know her Larry. I don't have her address or her phone number.

KING: Why did he bid?

GRIFFIN: I don't know. I think he thought maybe I know Ginger Spice, I'm not sure.

KING: Any show you don't like doing? Done Letterman?

GRIFFIN: One time. And I swore and I never got asked back. I'm so bugged -

KING: You swore, they'll just rip it out, right?

GRIFFIN: Yeah I know. I'm not his cup of tea I guess. Which hurts when, like if it's somebody I don't like then I don't care, but if it's somebody that I really like you know it hurts.

KING: Did you do your act and sit down or just do your act?

GRIFFIN: No I just sat, so I didn't do my act, I just sat, yeah.

KING: Alright. And it didn't go well?

GRIFFIN: It went fine, they sent me flowers that night, they said consider yourself a friend of the show. And then I never got asked back.

KING: Hurt you?


KING: We'll be right back with Kathy Griffin, don't go away. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GRIFFIN: The winning bid was 28,000, that person didn't want to do. And then ebay just had to go down the line a million times.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Bidder number 40.

GRIFFIN: 40? So I guess you can just go bid on eBay and bid whatever you want and then just not have the cash. I think they should all go to jail. Why does this happen? This is so humiliating.



GRIFFIN: Going to Kuwait. There I am getting in to a giant plane. Ah, Vicatin, Ambien. Oh, Hi Zannex. Yes, sleepy time. There's Kuwait, which kind of looks like a really (EXPLETIVE DELETED) up New Mexico. Hello Bagram, that's what you say every day. Look at these guys.


KING: We're back with Kathy Griffin, back to the troops again, what was it like the first time you performed for troops?

GRIFFIN: OK the first time I performed was in Kuwait and I pretty much bit it, and I was trying to learn what kind of material they would like and not like. And yet they were really nice during the autograph and picture part of it, so they knew me from television, but they weren't sure if I was Vicky Lewis or Kathie Lee Gifford, which happens. And you, they'll know you. Me, they're torn between about three people.

And then the next night I did a show in Tikrit and where we took some rocket fire by the way. And that was interesting. And then I made a joke about how it wasn't really rocket fire, Dick Cheney had just shot some one. And they laughed at that. And one thing I was so impressed with about the troops is they have a way better sense of humor about themselves than Hollywood. And that was interesting. And then I made a joke about how it wasn't really rocket fire, Dick Cheney had just shot at someone. And they laughed at that. And one thing I'm so impressed with about the troops is they have a way better sense of humor about themselves than Hollywood. You know I mean they let me make fun of W, I made fun of the war, I made fun of the food, I made fun of the barracks, and they were just up for a good time.

KING: Bob Hope discovered that 50 years ago.

GRIFFIN: Oh he was the best.

KING: You told me, you can kid them.


KING: And don't be afraid to kid them, they're young and they're open.

GRIFFIN: Yeah. And they just needed to blow off steam.

KING: They also wanted to laugh.

GRIFFIN: Very much, very much.

KING: Explain the following among the gays.

GRIFFIN: OK. I love, you know, I was that girl that went to the prom with the gay guy, all right? My boyfriend in high school is now a choreographer for Disney World. And I have always identified with gay people, something about, kind of, you know the struggle of being an outsider looking in.

And you know I've just always gotten along really well with gay people and I respect how as a community they mobilize. You know, the gays are great about, you know, writing legislation and getting things done and rallies, that's really great.

KING: You like performing for them?

GRIFFIN: Love it. Very open audiences, up for anything. Not unlike the troops, up for anything.

KING: And Kathy's gay following and her time entertaining the troops in Afghanistan intersected briefly, take a look at how she told the story to a concert audience, watch.


GRIFFIN: I'm at a mess hall in Kandahar, Afghanistan. Off in the corner there's this guy holding a tray and this is all I hear. I knew the minute I heard the gay inhale, and he literally goes, "Diva, what are you doing here?"

It was heaven. I was like I found my gay even in Kandahar, Afghanistan. He plops down next to me, puts the tray down, puts his gun down, he's like, "Oh, girl, I'm on graveyard tonight. I am a wreck. I'm exhausted, my roommates are all snoring, ugh, they're pigs. Anyway, what's going on with Ben and J-Lo."


GRIFFIN: Gossip is the universal language, I find.

KING: Did you make that up or did that happen?

GRIFFIN: That happened. Oh, everything in my acts happened.

KING: Everything you do, happened? You took your husband to Iraq, right?


KING: What was that like? GRIFFIN: I was very optimistic about the marriage at that time.

KING: Do you have any contact with other gay militaries?

GRIFFIN: Yes and I won't be naming them.

KING: I know, but if you don't ask, don't tell.

GRIFFIN: Yeah, well I'm thinking if 10 percent of the population is gay then 10 percent of the military is probably gay, so, they're out there.

KING: You stayed in one of Saddam's palaces?


KING: What was it like?

GRIFFIN: Marble everywhere. It was like a not very clean Venetian. You've been to the Venetian in Vegas. And knowing you Larry, you probably own a piece of it.

Yeah, it was marble everywhere, marble water, marble sheets, everything was marble. And really tacky. Oh, and then there's this big chair there that Arafat gave Hussein and in Arabic writing, it says "death to infidels." And you know I'm a big infidel from way back, so I'm taking all these pictures on it, like woo, what's up infidels?

KING: Were you close to combat?

GRIFFIN: The rocket fire in Tikrit and mortar fire in Baghdad.

KING: You also did a performance in Baghdad in the dark, what was that all about?

GRIFFIN: Yeah because they had just taken some mortar fire and they didn't feel it was safe to illuminate the area so much and there were about 5,000 other troops there, so they waited for a while and then they turned the lights on.

KING: Were you hesitant about going?

GRIFFIN: No, not at all. I was very hesitant about the material. I was more nervous about bombing than being bombed. I was not afraid of the insurgents, I was afraid of my jokes not going well.

KING: Have you ever consciously held back?

GRIFFIN: You know, no, and I should and I tried to and I can't, right.

KING: Your personality won't let you?

GRIFFIN: Right, right. And I think it's important in comedy I think you shouldn't censor yourself and you shouldn't hold back. And so I don't know, I think that's what people are responding to about me, is we're kind of living in a time where we're afraid that censorship is going to become a real thing and I think people like that I'm out there. And I say stuff I regret all the time, believe me.

KING: Back with more with Kathy Griffin on this edition of LARRY KING LIVE, right after this.


GRIFFIN: So it turns out that my girlfriend was gone, so she calls me up a couple days later and she goes, "Oh, I was wrong, we're not going to Saudi Arabia, we're going to Afghanistan. I was like, sweet, cause it is heaven there. All right, and I just think it's so funny that even in Afghanistan, I'm on the D list, even there.




GRIFFIN: This is an emotional (expletive deleted) for me. And I'm going to try not to burst into tears, it's bad.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Wow, it's -- you remember that was custom leather.

GRIFFIN: I know. It's a $20,000 sofa. Oh, hi Pom Pom. Hope it was good for you. She's like, "Oh, I'd love a lounge chair to chew.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She can smell your anger.

GRIFFIN: I can smell my anger.


KING: We're back with Kathy Griffin, tell me about the Bravo reality show?

GRIFFIN: Well it's called "My Life on the 'D' List" and it's season two. And it's six hour long episodes and they're on Bravo every Tuesday night. And it's like, you know, like Osbornes or Nick and Jessica where they follow me around and watch my marriage crumble. I didn't mean to say Nick and Jessica, that was a bad analogy. But it's a show that sort of records my life on the "D" list.

KING: Now had you broken up with Matt and still he's on the reality show, or this was before, explain this?

GRIFFIN: We had gotten back together and...

KING: ... Now this was reconciliation period?

GRIFFIN: Yes, yes, so it was all going very well at that time. And you know it's kind of a look at celebrity that it's a little bit unique, so it's not, you know, me air kissing Jennifer Lopez at the Ivy. Nor is it me where you know I can't get a job, it's like somewhere in between, which is where I live.

KING: So the reconciliation didn't work, why?

GRIFFIN: Well I think when the trust is breached that much then it's a hard thing to get beyond and I'm sorry it didn't work out, for sure. I would have definitely liked it to work out.

KING: Matt is on the reality show, was on the reality show.

GRIFFIN: He's a very funny guy.

KING: Let's watch a little bit of Matt.



GRIFFIN: Since last season, my life's been in the crapper. I filed for divorce. Would you like to hit me, because you look like you'd like to hit me? But, Matt and I have reconciled, in fact he loves me so much, he's doing my hair. You know every time he does this I (expletive deleted), , every time. And while Matt's in my life, nothing is ever really certain, so we're taking it day by day.


KING: Why have you decided frankly tonight to talk about the divorce for the first time?

GRIFFIN: Because I know that people say, oh, what other people say shouldn't bother you, but it actually bothers me that people think he cheated or I cheated or he's gay or I'm gay or all these outrageous things that I read. And I don't want people to think that what happened on the show wasn't real and I actually care that people know that I took my marriage very seriously.

KING: Why are reality shows popular?

GRIFFIN: Because we like other people's business. I love other people's business. When people say that's none of your business, I say I know it isn't but I like it any way.

KING: Your parents who are elderly right?


KING: Are a big part of the show.

GRIFFIN: Very funny.

KING: Do they like being a hit?

GRIFFIN: Well, they can't even go to the (INAUDIBLE) Pavilions on Santa Monica Boulevard any more, they're too famous. But their thing is that they keep trying to scam free food and drinks at restaurants by being recognized, so they go to Spago and they're upset when the bill comes. They feel that with their global fame they should be comped a meal now and again.

KING: Do you have brothers and sisters?

GRIFFIN: Yes, I'm the youngest of five.

KING: Are you the only one in the business?


KING: Are they proud of you in the business?

GRIFFIN: Oh they're great, they're great. And I come from a funny, sarcastic, smart, family, so that's where I got it. You know our whole dinner table when I was growing up was political discussions and people yelling at each other and making everybody laugh, and you know, trying to make the other one laugh, it's a great family.

KING: What's the secret of putting down people?

GRIFFIN: I can't speak for everybody but for me it's you want to make an astute observation that everyone else isn't making. And also you've got to do your research. You know I love to make fun of Celine Dion, or as I call her Siline Dion. But I also love her and I've seen her show many times and I --

KING: Great show.

GRIFFIN: And I love that Vegas show I've seen it three times.

KING: Unbelievable.

GRIFFIN: Yeah in fact you know what I'm taking a buddy of mine from Iraq there. He's coming back on a two week R and R and we're going to go see Celine.

KING: Back with our remaining moments with Kathy Griffin right after this.


GRIFFIN: Thankfully my parents are very supportive.

MAGGIE GRIFFIN, MOTHER: Go girl, go girlfriend.

GRIFFIN: Even when they're hammered, which is most of the time.

M. GRIFFIN: I'll defend you with my fists. We don't have wine before a certain time.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We don't drink, is this for your mother?

GRIFFIN: Yes, I know mom's never seen that. It's not a chardinay water. (END VIDEO CLIP)



GRIFFIN: Then they would give us these helicopter rides and every time we would get on the drivers would say like, now do you want a ride, or do you want a ride? On the helicopter, I'd be like I want the ride, the first one, the boring one. I don't want the ride, I want the ride. It was always one of those (EXPLETIVE DELETED) country bumpkins saying I want a ride. And let me just say they were always the first ones to puke in their helmet. Every time.


KING: We're back with our remaining moments with Kathy Griffin, who's next to care of. Alright Anderson Cooper follows us, he hosts "AC 360." What do you think of it?

GRIFFIN: OK, wait a minute. When you were talking about me starting to date again, what about me and Andy? He's got the pedigree, gorgeous, good job. Right? Me and Andy Cooper, Kathy Cooper? Kathy Cooper 180, where we take the 360, so we go back. Do I have to sell the popcorn Lar?

KING: Why don't you meet him?

GRIFFIN: I do know him.

KING: You do know him?

GRIFFIN: I've met him, yeah.

KING: Have you made --

GRIFFIN: Made out with him? I did, I made out with him one time in 1999.

KING: Where?

GRIFFIN: (INAUDIBLE). No, I have never made out with Anderson Cooper.

KING: Will you be forward, supposed you liked him, would you call him up and said I'd like to go out with you?

GRIFFIN: Um, uh. I'd grab him by the collar and just go for it.

KING: You would?

GRIFFIN: Oh yeah.

KING: Oprah Winfrey?

GRIFFIN: OK. Sometimes when I make fun of Oprah in my act people actually gasp. Now if you can't make fun of a talk show host, what's going on? But I have a joke in my act where --

KING: Maybe because she's above that, right?

GRIFFIN: OK, but the joke in my act is that I love her and I Tianjin the show everyday, but she's also ridiculous. Get it, I love her and she's ridiculous, because she thinks she's Jesus. Now, come on, she gets a paper cut and she things it's stigmata. Right? Talking to Gayle, Gayle, I have stigmata again, no Oprah, it's just a paper cut. But I love the show, I watch it every day.

KING: Have you been on her show?

GRIFFIN: Yeah, one time.

KING: You have a lot of one-timers. You have a Web site, tell me about it?

GRIFFIN: And I started message boards, right, I have the greatest message board in the world.

KING: What is a message board, I'm totally --

GRIFFIN: OK, where they all go and they talk, right, and they chat with each other and they post messages to each other. But usually a quote, fan Web site is, you know, people saying great things about the person in the Web site, right. My Web site is basically a gay dating service. So it's just a lot of gay guys hooking up. It's like, so it's a lot of you know, isn't Kathy funny, where do you live. And you know just parties, you know I went on there and they were going to come see me in the show and they were going to meet at Chili's beforehand. That's "D" list, when everyone's going to Chili's. Come on --

KING: What goals do you have Kathy, what are you going to do?

GRIFFIN: Well I love doing stand up, so I want to keep doing stand up forever.

KING: You won't stop that?

GRIFFIN: You know, here's who I idolize, I idolize Suzanne Somers, Hasselhoff, more money than God, right. I said to Whoopi Goldberg one time, who has a lot of money, I said to Whoopi as a joke, I said Whoopi how much money do you have, come on, you must have a lot? And she said girl I'm doing OK, but I don't have Hasselhoff money. And then she said nobody does.

KING: Where did he get the money, "Knight Rider?"

GRIFFIN: "Baywatch." "Baywatch" is like the most internationally watched American show in history. Springer.

KING: You want to date Jerry Springer?

GRIFFIN: Yes, that's right Larry, I said it right on your show.

KING: OK well say --

GRIFFIN: I'd like to make gentle tender love to Jerry Springer, while I'm counting his millions.

KING: So you're after money?

GRIFFIN: Or Suzanne Somers, so if I do turn lesbian, I go for the Somers Empire.

KING: If you turn lesbian, who would be the main attraction?

GRIFFIN: You're talking about girl crush, who do I have a girl crush on? I do love Suzanne Somers, I think she's delightful, you know her, she's awesome. And Patricia Arquette I think is really beautiful. I don't know, I think everybody's beautiful like in their way or whatever. I mean I'm not like hot for chicks, but I'm certainly not putting down people who are. And if that's your life choice Larry, I'm not here to judge you.

KING: What do you think of the new superman?

GRIFFIN: Hot. And the gays love him.

KING: But he's not gay, he was on the show --

GRIFFIN: They're always willing to dump Julian Hall for the new "Superman." Julian Hall's not gay either and the gays all want him. They're done with Cruise, they've had it, he's too crazy. Julian Hall and the new superman. You know the gays are moody.

KING: Wait a minute, are you saying there's a gay think?

GRIFFIN: There's like a Rand Corporation for gay people. They get reports together.

KING: Why isn't there a hetero think?

GRIFFIN: Do you notice like all hetero guys want to bang Jolie, right, she's like the hot thing, right? And all gay guys want to bang Julian Hall. They like the Broke Back.

KING: Did you like that movie?

GRIFFIN: Of course.

KING: Great movie.

GRIFFIN: I can't quit you. Of course I loved it.

KING: That was incredible. Do you want to do film?

GRIFFIN: I don't know, I love stand up, I love television, you know.

KING: There's nothing like making people laugh, right?


KING: Greatest pick of all.

GRIFFIN: Yeah, and now I'm able to play these gorgeous theaters, like 2,500-seat theaters. So it's not the clubs, right, where you've got the bachelorette party with the cardboard tiara.

KING: So you're in?

GRIFFIN: I'm in, I'm here.

KING: First of many visits.

GRIFFIN: Oh I hope so, I'm not banned?

KING: You're not banned. We'll take it up.

GRIFFIN: Big meeting.

KING: Kathy Griffin and her current rage, A.C., Anderson Cooper is next with "AC 360." Good night.