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CNN Larry King Live

Interview with Kathy Griffin

Aired September 11, 2009 - 21:00   ET


LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight, Kathy Griffin confesses about all that plastic surgery. It almost killed her.

KATHY GRIFFIN, COMEDIAN: I have plastic surgery that's like "CSI" crime photos.

KING: Secret family dysfunction.

GRIFFIN: When I was a little girl, he was very sexually inappropriate with me.

KING: And her deep down desire to look like Kate Gosselin.

Does she really think her new book will outsell the bible?

GRIFFIN: I believe it's a better book than the bible.

KING: Unpredictable, uncensored, unleashed -- the queen of the B-list tells it like it is right now, right here on LARRY KING LIVE.

It is always a great pleasure to welcome Kathy Griffin to this program, because she's a great guest and we get good numbers. She's the Emmy-winning star of "My Life on The D-List" and the author of "Official Book Club Selection" -- there you see its cover -- "A Memoir According to Kathy Griffin."

What a minute. Wait a minute.

A memoir according to you?

It's your memoir, what do you mean according?

GRIFFIN: I don't always get dates right. Like I can't remember if I had my liposuction this month or that month. I'm just...

KING: So it's like a maybe this is right?

GRIFFIN: Oh, no, it's right. It's just that every so often maybe something happened on a Thursday and I say it happened -- look, it's not according to Larry King.

KING: And when you say official book club selection, that, of course (INAUDIBLE)...

GRIFFIN: That's because it's -- it's been chosen for the Oprah Book Club.

KING: Wait a minute. She said...


KING: Has Oprah said that?


KING: When did she say that, Kathy?

GRIFFIN: Umm, she said it...

KING: Kathy, when did she say that -- Kathy!

GRIFFIN: All right, look, it hasn't been chosen for the Oprah Book Club.


GRIFFIN: Fine. Sue me.

KING: Maybe she will do it now.

GRIFFIN: I'm sure she will.

KING: Now, Oprah can turn a book into a mega seller. This program probably rates second to that in turning it into a mega seller. So you (INAUDIBLE)...

GRIFFIN: The people who watch this show read?

Oh, Larry, this is a dream come true.

KING: Mark the date down, folks. She'll never be back.


KING: Your book has Oprah type themes. It has a dysfunctional family. We'll get to that.


KING: Scandal.


KING: Plastic surgery, eating disorders, heartbreaks.


KING: Are you doing -- are you doing this to titillate us?

GRIFFIN: I actually wrote this book for you. And, by the way, don't act like you don't know you're in the index.

KING: (INAUDIBLE)... GRIFFIN: Because, you know, I actually put the celebrities in an index because I know people like yourself are just going to open it and go to your own name.

KING: Except you had me as Gail King's brother.

GRIFFIN: I'm trying to sell books, Larry.

KING: OK. All right.

GRIFFIN: So if people think you have an African-American sister and that sells books, so be it.

KING: The truth is this book is very funny.

What else would you expect from Kathy Griffin?

There's some serious parts. So let's get serious first...


KING: ...and then move into the (INAUDIBLE).

GRIFFIN: Am I -- am I kind of your Whitney Houston?

KING: In what way?

GRIFFIN: OK. Now, you know that Oprah is interviewing Whitney Houston. And she said that she actually had to pray the night before to the lord to inspire her to give a good interview.

Now, how much did you pray last night about this moment?

KING: Oprah had to pray?


KING: Why would Oprah have to pray to do an interview?

GRIFFIN: She wanted a connection with Whitney and she prayed to the lord to give her that connection.

Now, how much pray -- how late were you up last night praying to do a good interview?

KING: I prayed to my friend Herbie, OK?

GRIFFIN: Well, as long as Herbie likes me. That's my (INAUDIBLE)...

KING: I'm sure he will. All right...

GRIFFIN: Is Herbie single?


GRIFFIN: Typical. Oh, Lar.

KING: OK. You write about low self-esteem...


KING: ...insecurity, binge eating, plastic surgery.

Do you...

GRIFFIN: I have plastic surgery pictures in there that are like "CSI" photos (INAUDIBLE).

KING: Do you like what you are now?

GRIFFIN: Sometimes. Sometimes I like...


GRIFFIN: ...and sometimes I go bluck and sometimes I say hi, Foxy -- and everything in between.

KING: What's today?

GRIFFIN: Today, I feel very foxy because of our connection, which I prayed for. I prayed about this a lot last night.

KING: And you're way wearing a sapphire colored dress.

GRIFFIN: That's right.

KING: Which I like.

GRIFFIN: And no one knows pretty colors like you.

KING: Why did -- would you -- would you print the gruesome photos of the lipo?

GRIFFIN: Because I want people to know that when you think about getting liposuction, this is what it looks like. It's not just going to get your teeth cleaned, it's going to take 10 minutes. It looks like this. I call that my Rihanna photo, because I basically look like Rihanna from the waist down after that Chris Brown incident.

KING: But that's...

GRIFFIN: Now, can we talk about that for one second?

Larry, you had to work for that Chris Brown hour.

KING: I did.

GRIFFIN: That was ridiculous, him giving you the yes and no answers and the "I don't want to talk about it."

KING: Because you...

GRIFFIN: He beat the crap out of that girl.

KING: feel for me. Do you think I deserve a medal for that?

GRIFFIN: I think you deserve a medal, a Pulitzer, a Clio and an Emmy.

KING: All five.

GRIFFIN: Yes. And maybe a Tony.

KING: I want you to present it, OK?

GRIFFIN: In a bikini.

KING: You...


KING: You did -- your book included the lipo. You almost died the first time you did lipo.

GRIFFIN: I did. I had...

KING: But you go back again?

GRIFFIN: Look...

KING: That's a glutton.

GRIFFIN: Yes. Life is a process, I've found. And I -- you know, I prayed about that a lot when I was thinking about that last night.

KING: What's with this prayer thing?

GRIFFIN: I just -- I just I think it's funny that Oprah prayed to do a good interview with Whitney Houston.

KING: I think it's funny, too. OK.

GRIFFIN: Now did you see Whitney on "Good Morning America?"


GRIFFIN: She was a little cracky. She looked a little cracky to me.

KING: What do mean cracky?

GRIFFIN: Like, you know, she's, you know...


KING: Oh, come on.

GRIFFIN: It -- I'm just saying it appeared that there might be an outside chance that she was hitting the...


GRIFFIN: ...and then...


KING: You did you a nose job at 26.

GRIFFIN: Yes, my first of two. I got two nose jobs. And I'm upset because I think my nose actually grew back to its original size.

KING: You have a beautiful nose.

GRIFFIN: It's too big. But I can't get another one because...

KING: Why?

GRIFFIN: I'm afraid I'll -- it will just fall off, like Michael Jackson and then I'll just have a whole in the middle of my face.

KING: What's the last thing you had done?

GRIFFIN: The last thing I had done was, let's see -- I've been off the junk for a while. Probably botox, which isn't really surgery.

KING: No. That don't count.

GRIFFIN: But I stopped doing that because I just wear...

KING: Why?

GRIFFIN: Well, because I just wear bangs any way.

KING: You don't need anything anymore.

GRIFFIN: Oh, Larry. You're right. It's -- my new book is called, "I Don't Need Anything Anymore"...

KING: That's right.

GRIFFIN: Kathy Griffin and Larry King.

KING: Do you like writing books?

GRIFFIN: Yes. It was -- why didn't you tell me it was going to be so hard?

It's hard to write a book.

KING: Well, because you've got to let -- you pour yourself out and you've got to give it time.

GRIFFIN: That's what happened. Well, I didn't really have that much time, because we were doing "The D-List" and "The D-List" was sort of doing a story about writing the book. But I had a wonderful ghostwriter named Robert Abele who helped me. And he did the structure. And I came in and hopefully brought the funny.

KING: OK. Now, what -- let's -- seriously, what advice would you give to somebody watching -- contemplating plastic surgery who's never done it?

GRIFFIN: If you haven't done it, honestly, I would say, don't do it. But, you know, I'm on television and I'm a girl and I'm self- conscious about the way I look and I have insecurities. So, you know, you can't necessarily go by me.

But what I would say is, if I didn't -- if I wasn't on television, honestly, I never would have done it. If I was still a teller at First Federal Bank in Forest Park, Illinois, I would never have done it. But I think being on TV and having casting people and agents...

KING: So you're telling other people don't do it...

GRIFFIN: ...tell me I'm (INAUDIBLE)...

KING: ...even if you don't, you feel you want it...

GRIFFIN: If you don't have to. It's -- you know, you should never get surgery if you don't have to. But...

KING: Were you -- were you a funny teller?

GRIFFIN: I was a terrible teller, Larry. In fact, I got fired. I was a teller at two different banks, one in Santa Monica and one in Forest Park, Illinois.

KING: Fired for what?

GRIFFIN: I would -- sometimes I would give out money to people if I liked them. Like twice I just gave people $100.

KING: Just like that?

GRIFFIN: Yes. I didn't know that there was a thing where you do the accounting at the end of the day...

KING: At the end of the day.


KING: The balance.

GRIFFIN: It's called settling. Yes, settling your accounts.

KING: Settling?

Is that it?

GRIFFIN: Yes. It's -- so, yes. I -- I got fired because twice I gave away $100 to people.

KING: OK. You've binged...


KING: ...not really purged.

What would...

GRIFFIN: No, I would have -- I would have liked to purge, I just never had the discipline for it.

KING: What's your relationship with food today?

GRIFFIN: It's iffy, meaning it's always a struggle to eat well and I like junk food. And I like cakes and cupcakes and cookies and things with frosting and things that are fried. I don't like salads or healthy things. So it's a battle always to eat well.

KING: What are your vices?

GRIFFIN: My vices are junk food and bad men.

What are yours?

Bad men.


GRIFFIN: We know that.

KING: Yes, OK. Hold it.

We'll be right back, OK?


KING: Kathy has got a family secret. It's a shocker. We'll get serious about her late brother next.


KING: Kathy Griffin is the guest.

The book, "The Official Book Club Selection"...


KING: What a great...

GRIFFIN: You're not supposed to just laugh...

KING: ...great title.

GRIFFIN: the idea that it could be on the Oprah Book Club.

KING: A painful chapter in your book...


KING: ...about your late brother Kenny.

GRIFFIN: That's right.

KING: You didn't have to write about him.

GRIFFIN: I couldn't write the book without writing about him. You know, I mean, it's a memoir and I think, you know, this book -- the whole point of the book was to have stuff that isn't on "The D- List," isn't in my act. And, you know, there are serious parts. Like anybody else, life has ups and downs.

And so my late brother, Kenny, the eldest in our family, was -- you know, he went to prison and he was a homeless and he was a crack head and but...

KING: You also said he was a pedophile?

GRIFFIN: Exactly.

KING: Never charged with that, though?

GRIFFIN: No, he was never charged with that but...

KING: Why do you think he was?

GRIFFIN: Well, he was a pedophile. It's true and, you know...

KING: But I mean how do you know?

GRIFFIN: Well, first of all, when I was a little girl, he was very sexually inappropriate with me and he -- you know, he never -- I don't know what the word is for it. I call it sexually inappropriate. But when I was a little kid, I would be in my bed and he creep into my bed. I mean a little kid, like under 10 years old.

KING: How old was he when he died?

GRIFFIN: When he died?

Gosh, he lived to be -- he actually liked to be around 60. So he lived a long life. But he creeped into my bed and sort of whispered sweet nothings in my ear and things that were just -- if you walked in on someone and there was an 8-year-old girl in bed and there was a 20 years older (INAUDIBLE), you know, a 30-year-old guy in bed with her...

KING: Yes.

GRIFFIN: ...cuddling her and whispering sweet nothings...

KING: That's weird.

GRIFFIN: It would be weird and creepy.

KING: What did your...

GRIFFIN: And then later on in life, I became estranged from him. And my dad actually confronted him one day and said, you know, Kathleen thinks you're a pedophile, that's why she is estranged from you.

And his response to my dad was, well, I do what I do. I don't think that's an appropriate response -- KING: What did your mother...


KING: What did your mother think of writing this, though -- you writing about him?

GRIFFIN: Well, you know, my family has lived this. So I mean none of this is -- is news to them, obviously. And I think that my mom and dad obviously had a very, very difficult time with my older brother, Kenny, as the whole family did. And he was very influential to me, because when you have someone in the family and in the house that's like that, with that energy and it's -- it's really a big thing to deal with. And the thing that's been particularly tough on my mom, who's very strong and she's on "The D-List" and she's very funny. And she's dealt with a lot of pain in her life. And my father passed away a couple of years ago. And my late brother, Kenny, actually physically died in her arms. And so, you know, he -- he put our family through a lot -- through a lot.

KING: How many other siblings?

GRIFFIN: There's three other siblings. My brother Gary is a brilliant attorney and my sister Joyce is a teacher and she's been teaching for decades. And my brother John writes and produces industrials. And they're all smart and quick and witty and great.

KING: And Kenny was the oldest?

GRIFFIN: He was the oldest, yes.

KING: Do you often wonder why he was so different from the others?

GRIFFIN: Absolutely. And my mom told me that she asked him about the pedophilia, child molestation thing and that he kind of implied that, you know, he had been a victim of a -- like a coach or something like that. So, you know, unfortunately, it's the typical Mick Irish Catholic thing, where it's all about secrets and not talking about this stuff. And, also, this was so long ago.

KING: Right.

GRIFFIN: I mean this is behavior I saw in him 40 years ago.

KING: When...

GRIFFIN: It's almost like we didn't have that word then.

KING: When your marriage broke up, you broke it on this show.

GRIFFIN: Yes, I talked about it here.

KING: Yes. And you mentioned that in the book.

You write: "My ego couldn't take the speculative chatter in the public even from friends that somehow the old battle ax nightmare, Kathy Griffin, ran her poor sweet husband into the ground until he had to leave."


KING: Was that hard to write?

GRIFFIN: Yes. The whole thing was hard to write it. I mean, look, I look back on my marriage and for a long time of it, I was -- a long time of the marriage, I was blissfully happy. And then, you know, I think I found out that maybe the marriage wasn't what I thought and maybe my husband wasn't quite the guy that I thought he was. And it just made me question everything -- everything.

And, you know, I was doing a reality show at the time and how do you deal with it on a reality show that's really comedy driven?

And I was trying to figure the whole thing out. So it -- it all had to just sort of play out, some of it on camera, most of it off.

KING: You tattooed your wedding ring?

GRIFFIN: I have a tattooed weeding ring and I'm divorced, Larry.

KING: Where?

GRIFFIN: Right here.

KING: Oh, yes.

GRIFFIN: I've had five laser treatments to get it off and it won't come off.

KING: It's coming off.

GRIFFIN: It's like some (INAUDIBLE).

KING: Do you want to marry again?

GRIFFIN: I don't think so.

KING: Didn't you want children?

GRIFFIN: No, I never really wanted kids. I was always the career girl.

KING: Really?

GRIFFIN: Although I -- I might get married to Levi Johnston. KING: Yes, what is with that?

GRIFFIN: Why are you questioning our love?

KING: Well, did you read his piece in "Vanity Fair?"

GRIFFIN: Oh, yes. I read every word of it. It was...

KING: Very revelatory.

GRIFFIN: Revelatory, indeed.

KING: What did he...

GRIFFIN: You can't just make up words on this show, Larry.

KING: What...

GRIFFIN: That's not a -- revelatory is not a word.

KING: It is so. It's a revelatory...

GRIFFIN: It's not a word.

KING: It reveals things.

GRIFFIN: All right.


GRIFFIN: Well, I revealed quite a bit to Levi and he to me. Now...

KING: We'll ask about that in a minute because I'm very interested in that.


KING: Because Levi has been on this show a couple of times.

GRIFFIN: Because I'm love with him. He's my lover and I'm in love with him.

KING: All right. OK. You admit it. You've been to bed with him.

GRIFFIN: Yes. Of course.

KING: Kathy Griffin can't get enough of Kate Gosselin and she'll transform before our very eyes, coming up.


KING: Kathy was on "Jimmy Kimmel Live" -- a good friend of ours -- Wednesday night, where she debuted a preview of her new movie, "Kate Is Enough: The Kate Gosselin Story." I'm not sure if this is for Lifetime or a Jimmy Kimmel production.

Either way, watch.


JIMMY KIMMEL, HOST: Here's Kathy Griffin's new movie.

Take a look.


KIMMEL: And Kathy Griffin.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She was a mother.

GRIFFIN: I told you monsters to cram a Polly Pocket in those pot holes. Mommy's doing a satellite feed with Regis.

UNIDENTIFIED CHILD: But mom, we're thirsty.

GRIFFIN: Wa, wa, wa, here, drink the tears of fame. Bottoms up.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She was a wife.

GRIFFIN: Hi, honey.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Where's the bathroom?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, want to grab that light for us, dear?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And she was a tabloid superstar.

GRIFFIN: That's right. Look at these mama abs and look at the tummy tuck scars (EXPLETIVE LANGUAGE).

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Kathy Griffin is Kate Gosselin.

GRIFFIN: You don't love the kids.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Of course I love kids. Have you seen my girlfriend?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: George Stekay (ph) is Jon Gosselin.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: "Kate Is Enough: The Kate Gosselin Story," right after an all new "Mama M.D." Only on Lifetime, the place for lady drama.


KING: That was brilliant.

Kate's got some advice from Kate Gosselin. She'll tell us what Kate's doing right now and why she's doing wrong and why she, Kathy, is considering Jon Gosselin for her next boyfriend.

GRIFFIN: Um-hmm.

KING: That's next.

Stick around.


KING: By the way, you'll love the index to Kathy Griffin's book, "Official Book Club Selection," because she has comments next to -- like on Larry King is "Gail King's brother."

GRIFFIN: It's the comments...

KING: (INAUDIBLE) Gail King...

GRIFFIN: But I feel...

KING: Larry King's sister.

GRIFFIN: I've always wondered that.

KING: Yes, I like that.

GRIFFIN: Because they have those DNA companies where you can find out if you're related to Gail King.

KING: All right.

What is your real opinion of Kate Gosselin?

GRIFFIN: Well, I love that show. And I've been watching it since it was an innocent Christian show about, you know, a Christian couple that has their eight kids and they go to the church bakeoff. And now, you know, they don't mention the Jesus so much since Jon Gosselin is, you know, schtupping (ph) every girl outside Redding, Pennsylvania. And Kate has her Rosie O'Donnell lesbian haircut after Rosie, you know, stopped doing her talk show and said this is who I am.

KING: Why do you like the show so much?

GRIFFIN: Because I like how it's turned into a sweet, sort of a little bit boring show into breaking Bonaduce (ph). It's a drama. I -- I know this is terrible and makes me a bad person, but I could watch someone's marriage fall apart all day long. I never get enough of it.

KING: What do you make of the octo -- octomom slamming Kate for getting a tummy tuck?

GRIFFIN: I think it's great. I think those two should have an old-fashioned cage fight. But it...

KING: With all the kids around?

GRIFFIN: The kids should be there and also, you know, they may have to be stitched down to their naughty parts because, you know, after that many kids...

KING: OK, yes...

GRIFFIN: You've got to have a needle and thread in your body.

KING: Jon Gosselin gave an interview about his estranged wife...

GRIFFIN: Oh, what?

That's so unusual.

KING: ...a few days ago.

Here's an excerpt.


JON GOSSELIN: I don't trust her anymore. I was abused.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What does that mean, you're being abused?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was verbally abused. I was beaten down. She used to hold the kids over my head and say, you know, don't spend time with your mom, spend time with your kids.

Why can't I spend time with my mom and my kids together?

I'm not going back to that lifestyle.


KING: Do you like him?

GRIFFIN: Oh, God, that was heaven, wasn't it?

He is so delusional. I can't believe I haven't slept with him. He's so my type and he doesn't know it yet.

All right, even Chris Cuomo's head exploded. Like you could see Chris Cuomo just going you did not just say that.

So, by the way, I think that you should show Jon Gosselin the photo of Rihanna and say no, this is what abuse looks like. Or you can show him one of my plastic surgery photos.

So, no, Jon Gosselin, for a comedian, is kind of the gift that keeps on giving. So I do enjoy watching his ridiculousness. KING: You would date him?

GRIFFIN: I would sleep with him and Kate in a three-way and tape it and send it to you.

KING: And I would watch it.

GRIFFIN: Thank you.

KING: Is it hard to portray her?

You did a pretty good job there.

GRIFFIN: It was fun because I had the great waiting, you know.

KING: Yes.

GRIFFIN: So once you have that -- that haircut, which you can't decide what it is. It's she doesn't know if she's a butch lesbian or more lipstick.

KING: There is a buzz about a potential reality show, I'm told -- "Divorced Dads Club"...

GRIFFIN: With him and Michael Lohan.

KING: ...starring Jon Gosselin and Michael Lohan and Kevin Federline.

Would you watch that?

GRIFFIN: (LAUGHTER) It's also going to have to be the biggest loser. Come on, let's face it. K-Fed and Jon Gosselin look like they're pregnant at this point. They look like sumo wrestlers.

KING: Do you like the idea of kids being on reality shows?

GRIFFIN: I like everyone to be on a reality show. You know, I have a situation many with my mother, who is 89. And I -- I basically force her to be on "My Life on The D-List." And she's kind of the Lindsey Lohan and I'm the Dino (ph). So I'm actually the stage mother to my own mother. And -- and we -- it's -- we violate all sorts of labor laws, I'm sure. It's sort of elder abuse, frankly...

KING: Why is she...

GRIFFIN: But she's very funny and she delivers.

KING: Why is Jon Gosselin your type?

GRIFFIN: He's my type because he can get my picture on the cover of "Us" magazine.

KING: Oh, I see. So once you've dated him...

GRIFFIN: In the way that Levi Johnston is my type. KING: The same thing?

GRIFFIN: Well, kind of.

KING: We're going to get to Levi Johnson in the next segment.

GRIFFIN: We have a lot to get to.

KING: Yes, of course...

GRIFFIN: Oh, I want to tell you something. I was on "The Tyra Banks Show" and she played "Would You Rather?" And she said, would you rather have sex with you or Regis?

And I picked you.

KING: That was a question on the show?

GRIFFIN: You don't watch Tyra every day?


GRIFFIN: Wait a minute. I don't -- that's...

KING: I like her, but I don't watch her.

GRIFFIN: That's such B.S. Of course you do.

KING: She's very in...

GRIFFIN: Remember when she put on the fat suit and I was like oh, that's her being fat?

Remember that...

KING: No, I don't...

GRIFFIN: Remember how sad -- oh my god, the baby daddy test?

I know.

KING: I like Tyra.

GRIFFIN: Remember the female empowerment show?

KING: I -- I...

GRIFFIN: Which was your favorite Tyra, Larry?


KING: When she was on our show. She was a good guest. Ah-ha. And I think...

GRIFFIN: I feel like you don't want to be an empowered woman.

KING: And I think she's going to be back in -- when we go to New York, because she's kind of semi-scheduled.

GRIFFIN: Now you know you have to wear your real hair when Tyra is here.

KING: What are you talking about?

GRIFFIN: Larry, you -- OK. Tyra is all about keeping it real this season.

KING: This is my real hair.

GRIFFIN: Ah, you've got to ear...

KING: Stop it.

GRIFFIN: Take out your extensions and just be yourself, Larry, all right?

KING: Did she really...

GRIFFIN: Let the guys know you.

KING: Did she really ask you...

GRIFFIN: You love you for you.

KING: Did she really ask you who you'd prefer, me or Regis?


KING: And you did pick me?

GRIFFIN: Watch the show. I swear to God, I picked you.


When does it air?

GRIFFIN: Now I'm in a fight with Regis and Regis doesn't even know it yet.

KING: What does Kathy want more -- another Emmy or her banging bikini body?

Kathy is a tough call, after the break.



GRIFFIN: All right. So here's the plan...


GRIFFIN: I think it's ugly or like if she does anything like, you know, well how can you say bad things about these poor celebrities just trying to make a living and the audience is like yes, boo, then, number one, you have to contradict that. So then when I say something.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Where are -- where are we going to be?

GRIFFIN: You're in the audience.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In the audience.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, we can't yell from the audience.

GRIFFIN: Yes, you can.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Ooh, my God. I wasn't planning on that.


GRIFFIN: They're naturals.

KING: What was with your hair?

GRIFFIN: I was in the middle of being done. I'm not always perfect, Larry. Sometimes I'm in the middle of being done.

KING: You have an entourage now.

GRIFFIN: You're darned right I do.

KING: Different people come in every break.

GRIFFIN: And they are scared.

KING: Boy. All right. You got (INAUDIBLE)...

GRIFFIN: They'll crack your lip.

KING: You're going to host the Creative Arts Emmys, huh?

GRIFFIN: Yes. I'm hosting the Schmemmies (ph), which are the Creative Arts Emmys. And it's going to air...

KING: And that's this Saturday.

GRIFFIN: Yes, but it's going to air on the E! Channel the day before the real Emmys -- the prime times, which is September 19th.


GRIFFIN: On the E! Channel.

KING: That makes -- I got you.

GRIFFIN: And they're doing a whole special about it.

KING: You've already won two.

GRIFFIN: I have two Emmys.

KING: And you're up for two more.

GRIFFIN: Yes. And I want to win bad.

KING: Why?

Why is it so...

GRIFFIN: Because they define me. Anyone can have love, I want Emmys.

KING: You'd go to bed with an Emmy over a guy?

GRIFFIN: I have.

KING: You'd go to bed with your...

GRIFFIN: I've slept with the entire Academy. I make no apologies.

KING: Is there such a thing maybe too many Emmys?

GRIFFIN: Never. Never.

Hey, can you call Barbara Walters for me?

KING: Yes, sure.

GRIFFIN: OK. Because, you know, I've been banned from "The View." And then my ban was lifted because my book is so very riveting. And yet I found out that the day I'm going, Barbara is not going to be there.

So can you call her and ask her to get her butt in the seat?

KING: How do you know she's not?

They told you that?

GRIFFIN: Because they already told me in a shaky tone...

KING: Do you think she's...

GRIFFIN: ...that she doesn't want to come in that day.

KING: You think she's not there just because you're on?

GRIFFIN: I know she's avoiding me. And I know you can call her on Judge Judy's boat. I know you have those kind of hookups, Larry.

KING: I do.


KING: But you -- well, the question is... GRIFFIN: Yes?

KING: ...what do you care?

"The View" is a show and so it doesn't have to be Barbara there.

GRIFFIN: Because...

KING: You're going to a star any way. I mean...


KING: She's good, but there's...

GRIFFIN: That's a great thing to call Barbara.

KING: ...the show is the thing.

GRIFFIN: ...and say she's going to be a star anyway. Oh, it would kill her. It would kill her. She would reach through the phone and slap you in the face.

KING: Why doesn't she like you?

GRIFFIN: She doesn't like me because sometimes I make fun of her in a way that is a loving tribute.

KING: In what way do you make fun of her?

GRIFFIN: Well, on one of my specials, I mention how back stage she made a joke that she likes to use Astroglide, which is a sexual lubricant, which is...


GRIFFIN: You see?

It's kind of funny to think of Barbara Walters using Astroglide.

And so I talked about it in one of my specials and I guess she didn't enjoy that.

But I like the idea of Barbara Walters getting laid and getting paid, right, being a player, old school, oh, gee, lots of Astroglide.


GRIFFIN: But can I tell you who's going to be the host that day?

OK, you ready?

KING: Yes.

GRIFFIN: La Toya Jackson.

KING: The host? GRIFFIN: She's going to -- you know how they have like a substitute...

KING: I just had dinner with her.


What the hell am I going to talk to La Toya Jackson about?

KING: You don't have to worry. She has to ask you if she's the host.

GRIFFIN: I know but she's got that crazy head.

KING: But you don't know to ask her. She'll ask you.

GRIFFIN: She's had more dental work than me and Joan Rivers put together, if you know what I'm saying.

KING: Now, your competition for outstanding reality program is "Antiques Road Show"...

GRIFFIN: Those bastards, screw the...

KING: "Dirty Jobs"...

GRIFFIN: Screw them.

KING: "The Dog Whisperer"...

GRIFFIN: Oh, the heck with him.

KING: "Intervention."

GRIFFIN: Hah! Please.

KING: And "MythBusters."

GRIFFIN: Yes, well, bust this myth, I'm winning. That's right. I'm screwing my way to the middle.

KING: OK. Who's the toughest of those, do you think, competitively?

GRIFFIN: Well, I don't -- you know, you never know. MythBusters...

KING: What do they do?

GRIFFIN: I don't know. They bust myths, obviously...


GRIFFIN: ...with a big, you know, hammer. I don't know. But, you know, look, they're all very good shows.

KING: "Dirty Jobs" is a good show.

GRIFFIN: But screw them, I'd like to win.

Can I just say half of these people don't even show up to the show. Can I just have one because I actually really, really care?

KING: They don't show up to their own show?


The "Antiques Road Show," people don't even show up anymore.

KING: What is better, winning an Emmy or having a banging bikini bod?

GRIFFIN: Winning an Emmy is better than anything. I just naturally have a banging bikini bod. I can't help it. In the way that Oprah prays to have a good interview with Whitney Houston, I prayed to get a banging bikini bod. It happened.

KING: Are you sure that Oprah prayed to have a good interview?

GRIFFIN: She talked about it, I believe on "Entertainment tonight. I'd like to know the last time you prayed for a good interview.

KING: Never.

GRIFFIN: What about Queen Nour?

KING: Never.

GRIFFIN: What about Marie Osmond?

KING: Why would I pray for a good interview? I'm an interviewer.

GRIFFIN: You know when Marie Osmond comes here, you get nervous. You know it. You don't know if she's going to cry or talk about the --

KING: So what? I go with the flow. All I'm doing is -- I'm a conduit.

GRIFFIN: Can we -- this is a fantasy I've always had with you. I feel like I'm almost too good of a guest. Can I pretend like I'm Chris Brown and you ask me probing questions, and I'm going to be a good guest? Go ahead.

KING: All right. Was it hard to write about plastic surgery?

GRIFFIN: I don't know.

KING: Are you going to do another book?

GRIFFIN: I don't know. You take this one, Mark Geragos. Can you believe that kid, sitting here, saying yes and no for an hour, after he beat the crap out of that poor girl?

KING: We'll take a break. More on Kathy's obsession with Oprah. We'll talk about that and Levi next.



LEVI JOHNSTON, FATHER OF TRIP PALIN: Best looking around here.

GRIFFIN: Here's how I know that he cares for the woman inside the woman that is Kathy Griffin. He has actually delayed hunting season by a day to share our love.

I'm also going to slip him a Rohypnol. He'll just wake up four hours later crying.

How do you feel about Britney's comeback, Levi?

JOHNSTON: I don't pay attention to other women.

GRIFFIN: See, he only has eyes for me.


KING: The book is "Official Book Club Selection, A Memoir According to Kathy Griffin," published by Balentine, available wherever books are sold. Obviously while it has a lot of pathos, it has a lot of fun. You think it is going to out-sell the Bible?

GRIFFIN: Yes, I believe that I can out-sell the Bible.

KING: What are you basing that on?

GRIFFIN: I believe it's a better book than the Bible.

KING: In what way?

GRIFFIN: Take that, King. There's your sound bite on "Access Hollywood" right there.

KING: The Bible has some pretty good stories.

GRIFFIN: The Bible is good, however --

KING: You think you can top Moses and the Red Sea?

GRIFFIN: Yes, because the Bible doesn't have any plastic surgery photos at all. And I have five. And --

KING: Never thought of that.

GRIFFIN: The Bible doesn't have really awesome stories about celebrities I run into. The Bible doesn't mention you, frankly, and my book does. The bible never makes fun of Oprah once. I do throughout. KING: Has Oprah ever invited you on her show?

GRIFFIN: I was on "The Oprah Show" once.

KING: Really? What subject?

GRIFFIN: Plastic surgery.

KING: Levi, apparently your friend, your desire --

GRIFFIN: My fiancee --

KING: Is apparently contemplating posing for "Playgirl."

GRIFFIN: I think he should. I told him he should pose for "Playgirl" and he should do gay porn.

KING: Gay porn? He's not gay.

GRIFFIN: But the gays want a piece of him. I think they'd like it. I think that Levi should pose for anything that pays him. He's adorable and charming. And you've had him here. He can just talk and talk and talk. You can't shut him up.

KING: You can't?

GRIFFIN: He has a lot of thoughts about health care reform and global warming. I saw him at the Ted Conference. He was the keynote speaker. Any way, I do. I think he should pose naked as much as possible. And I want you to know that my relationship with him is legitimate and in fact that I am pregnant with Levi Johnston's baby. Yes, I'm breaking it on this show.

KING: Oh, my gosh. He's made another girl pregnant?

GRIFFIN: Yes, that's right. Which is weird, because I didn't even have one egg left. Yet, I think Oprah must have prayed for it, because it happened. I feel it kicking.

KING: The "Vanity Fair" article was --

GRIFFIN: Was awesome.

KING: Were you surprised how critical he was about his soon to be but never happened mother-in-law?

GRIFFIN: I wasn't as shocked, because I actually just spent some time with him. So --

KING: He told you all these things. Your reaction to some other things. Ellen Degeneres is going to be a judge on "American Idol."

GRIFFIN: Weird. Isn't weird. Because she doesn't like to say mean things. You know, I'm used to seeing -- I like to see Ellen and Ellen -- the "Ellen Show." I like it to be all about her.

KING: Paula Abdul didn't say bad things, did she?

GRIFFIN: Paula Abdul didn't know what she said when she said it. You know what the word cognizant means?

KING: Yes.

GRIFFIN: OK, well, it doesn't apply to her. Ellen is too lucid for that show. She better hit the bucket of Conopin right away.

KING: Is Michael Jackson bigger in death than he was in life?

GRIFFIN: Of course he is. He's bigger. Although, it's hard to be bigger than he was. But I am fascinated by the whole circus around that. And let me tell you something, here is why I am going to give you a hug the minute I hop over this table: is I cannot even get over your interview with Joe Jackson, who is so insane with those tattooed drag queen eyebrows -- because I believe at night he does a drag character named Latoya. And I knew the guy was freaky, but we didn't know how freaky he was until we sat in this chair and said, Michael went to sleep and didn't wake up no mo'.

Larry, how do you keep a straight face on this show? I mean, right?

KING: I've got to do it with you. I can do it with anyone.

GRIFFIN: But come on.

KING: Jay Leno is going to 10:00 p.m. live, every night, across the board.

GRIFFIN: I think it's going to do very well. First of all, they keep saying that it's cheaper to do Jay's show than like one of the "Law and Orders" or whatever. The network loves that. And --

KING: He's got to still do well. He can't drag them down, because if he drags them down anymore, then the 11:00 news doesn't get viewers.

GRIFFIN: And then it goes on for the rest of the night. Look, it's all changing. It's all changing. I'm on a little fake cable network that not that many people watch. And I get to do my thing on my show, which I love. I don't even know the network world.

KING: Do you think Jay could beat "CSI Miami?"

GRIFFIN: Maybe. Maybe. If he has like -- Jay-Z is on the first night. You know, he'll get the big guests.

KING: And he's got Jerry Seinfeld.

GRIFFIN: Seinfeld, that's right. Or he could do a cross thing like "CSI Miami," where he then kills someone. He could kill someone and then they could be like, who killed this person. And they could solve the crime. I'm just thinking outside my box.

KING: More of Kathy Griffin and our hero of the week next.


KING: Our Hero of the Week this week, and what a deserving one, is Alex Griffith. Alex was adopted as a baby from Russia. He's now 16. He always wanted to give back to his homeland. And as a Boy Scout, an avid Boy Scout, he decided to use his Eagle Scout Project to build and help Russian children.

So what is it you do? How does it work?

ALEX GRIFFITH, CNN HERO: When you're a Life Scout of the Boy Scouts, you have to start -- you can start your Eagle. And one of the requirements is Eagle Scout requirement number five, which states, as a Life Scout, plan, develop and give leadership in a service project.

KING: How do you get the money to them?

GRIFFITH: I do fund raising activities.

KING: You're building a playground for children in Russia. Is it in Moscow?

GRIFFITH: In Krasnoyarsk, which is right above the center of Mongolia.

KING: This project took two and a half years to complete. And on your 16th birthday, you went back to Russia for the dedication of the playground. What was that like?

GRIFFITH: It was very cool and interesting. As soon as we opened the playground, there was a line to the big slide. And even when we were building it, kids were playing on the unfinished parts. It was already up.

KING: And he's getting other projects together too. What a hero. Thank you, Alex, our deserving hero of the week. Adopted as a baby from Russia, building a playground back for his homeland. Our hero of the week, Alex Griffith.



GRIFFIN: Hey there, Mr. Hairy Legs. Don't worry. I brought you a doll. Ta-da.

LARRY SEINFELD, COMEDIAN: That's the wrong doll.

GRIFFIN: Jerry, I saw the doll you were talking about. Not funny. This is much funnier. Look, it has a bow tie and cute little hat. I think it is a riot. I'll be watching. Don't screw up.


GRIFFIN: That was so great. It was like heaven. I mean, it really was great. The second time I did the show, it was the week he announced he was quitting and he was on the cover of "Time Magazine." It was just exciting to be there. And I love him. I can just talk to him all day.

KING: He's genius.

GRIFFIN: He's a national treasurer. Larry David, genius.

KING: A couple other things. You did a photo for the No Hate Campaign, about gay marriage and the like.


KING: They taped the mouth shut, right?


KING: Was that hard for you?

GRIFFIN: Much like you would like to do to me on this show, frankly.

KING: Was that hard for you to do that?

GRIFFIN: For me to have my mouth taped shut? I thought I was dying. If I could not be talking smack about celebrities, even just for two or three minutes, I had a panic attack and they had to get a defibrillator.

KING: But you were a stand-up girl to do it.

GRIFFIN: Of course. I'm all about the legalization of gay marriage. Although, I will say something, and this is a little controversial. So get ready for your commercial. I am taking a political stand. Now that I am going to marry Levi Johnston and I'm this close to living in the White House, I am against heterosexual marriage being legal. Look, I'm a bitter divorcee. I just don't think straight people --

KING: What do you want?

GRIFFIN: I want gay people to legally marry and straight people should go to jail if they marry.

KING: What's the thinking in that?

GRIFFIN: Because I'm a smart, educated woman who knows what she wants. Also, that's what Oprah told me on the phone last night. When she told me about being in her book club, being chosen for the book club.

KING: Do you think you would have success without the gay community?


KING: Why do gays love you?

GRIFFIN: I think gays love me because I love them so much. I get them. I get them. I love them. He I know them.

KING: What do you get? They have a different sexual preference.

GRIFFIN: They have a struggle. They have an uphill battle. I write a lot about this in the book. It's a lot about being a female in comedy. You have to work harder and jump higher. You've got to keep struggling and working harder than the next guy. So the gays and I, we work harder than the next guy. We have that in common.

KING: So therefore, you compare yourself to Bette Midler, Cher?

GRIFFIN: Icon, icon, fantastic.

KING: Celine?


KING: Do you think you're an icon yet?

GRIFFIN: No, but I actually have met those icons. I've been in the homes of two of those icons. So I'm icon adjacent. I'm a dicon (ph), which sounds like a lesbian, but really it's a D-list icon.

KING: Do you like Cher?

GRIFFIN: I love Cher. Love Cher. Love Bette. Love Joan Rivers. All of those ladies, I look at, I learned from, I enjoy, awesome, the best.

KING: You sell out best on concert tours.

GRIFFIN: I tour all the time. I just added a fourth night in Chicago at the beautiful, iconic Chicago theater. And, yes, I performed about 12,000 people last weekend.

KING: Do you work big rooms in Vegas?

GRIFFIN: I Mandalay in Vegas, yes. I'll be there October 30th. I do the Garden in New York. And I do -- in Los Angeles, I'm doing the Universal Amphitheater.

KING: Not bad. I haven't read -- I've been looking forward to reading the book, honestly. I'm going to New York next week. I'm going to read it on the plane.

GRIFFIN: You are?

KING: Yes. Do you criticize Steve Martin in the book?

GRIFFIN: Yes, I go down on him pretty hard. Not go down on him. I don't. I could, if it would help me.

KING: Naturally. But why do you criticize him? GRIFFIN: Look, I talk about all of my celebrities run ins. And I have to say, I'm a little bit proud of the Steve Martin story, because it is really out of left field. I am sure he doesn't remember meeting me at all. Yet, I was on --

Martin Short used to have a late night show. I got to be on the first week. I felt very famous. Steve Martin was the lead guest. I was the second guest. He was just a -- it's a word that begins with D and has four letters, is what I would say he was, in a way that was kind of astounding. Meaning, like, when you meet Bill Maher and he's a D-word, it's kind of fun and charming. But Steve Martin was really just a D-word.

KING: Really?

GRIFFIN: I don't mean D-List, because obviously he's world famous. But it was kind of amusing to me how detached he is. I just really wouldn't say he's a warm person. But my run-in with him is brief and treacherous.

KING: He wrote a wonderful -- of a book

GRIFFIN: I loved -- I loved his book. I read every word.


GRIFFIN: I would call him insensitive. I would call him sensitive about himself. I'm just saying, when I met him, he was kind of a jerk. But I thought that about Jerry Seinfeld. And then, you know what, I was wrong. But I'm right about this.

KING: What do you make of the congressman who yelled you lie at the Obama --

GRIFFIN: OK, I love it. Obama is walking in my shoes. This is great. Obama is being heckled at clubs like I am. Everybody should have to be heckled.

KING: It's not a club. It's the House of Representatives and the Senate, meeting together. You call that a club?

GRIFFIN: I thought it was the Hoo-Ha Hut.

KING: You didn't know where he was?

GRIFFIN: No. I assumed it was at one of the improvs.

KING: So it is inappropriate?

GRIFFIN: Yes, it's inappropriate.

KING: All right. One more segment. Will Kathy ever get off the D-list? Does she want to get off the D-list? That's next.

GRIFFIN: Do you want to do another segment is obviously the question. KING: Yes.



GRIFFIN: I don't know if don't know if I can get through this without you, Mike. In fact, I know I can't. I'm not going to tell you anything. Just walk around the room.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You moved the vases.

GRIFFIN: Yes, it's bad. I know.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I remember that was custom leather.

GRIFFIN: I know. It's a 20,000 dollar sofa.


GRIFFIN: And it wasn't him.

I swear she knows we're talking about her. She knows. Oh, she's right out there.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is she chewing the railing?

GRIFFIN: Probably.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We give you chew toys.


KING: Some things in your book that might cause an uproar, especially in Washington. You say that politics is show business for ugly people?


KING: Explain.

GRIFFIN: Well, everybody wants to be in show business, regardless of what they say. That's one thing I have learned from having a reality show. It is shocking to me that people want to be on it, why they want to be on it.

KING: Look at Jerry Springer. Why would anyone go on Jerry Springer?

GRIFFIN: You know, I'm secretly in love with Jerry Springer. And do you know that he has more money than you by a mile.

KING: He owns his show.

GRIFFIN: He owns everything. He and Suzanne Somers own everything, Larry. We're just players. We're just the puppets. KING: OK. You think everybody wants --

GRIFFIN: I do. I believe that everybody wants to be in show business.

KING: Political people?

GRIFFIN: The politicians are the worst of all. OK, what about the guy yesterday? What was he, the guy who turned and started talking about spanking?

KING: Yes, the conservative Republican member of the House of Assembly in California.

GRIFFIN: I love when it's conservatives. That is always a little bit richer. It's a little bit better.

KING: He was moralist of the year.

GRIFFIN: Of course. They have the moral compass we're all supposed to follow. So yes, I think these guys just love the spot light. They show up in their hair and make up. And it's kind of a joke. We had a president who was a joke for eight years.

KING: What do you make of Senator Craig in Minnesota?

GRIFFIN: Hilarious. You know. My gays are all over the Larry Craig thing. They all know that move. If you put the foot down in the stall, it means I'm a top. If you put your pants down, it means I'm a bottom.

KING: Really? Those are signals?

GRIFFIN: Oh yes. There are all kinds of signals about who is top and who is bottom.

KING: In men's rooms?

GRIFFIN: In men's rooms, and lots of men's clubs and a couple churches.

KING: Churches?

GRIFFIN: Uh-huh.

KING: One thing in your book is that you're working in a man's world. Show business is sexist.


KING: Has it gotten any better?

GRIFFIN: A little.

KING: You're here for an hour. GRIFFIN: I'm here for an hour, which is exciting for you. But it's taxing for me. I don't know if I'm here because of my awesome rack, or because of my rack inside my head. You know what I mean?

KING: You're hear because you're bright, brilliant and funny.

GRIFFIN: OK, but I also caught you looking at my rack. So I don't know which it is anymore. I just caught you again. See.

KING: Do you think you're a sex pot?

GRIFFIN: I think I'm a sex object. You know what, there is too much going on inside for you to objectify me as nothing but a dumb, gorgeous bimbo.

KING: How do you know when a man is interested in you?

GRIFFIN: When I tell him to have sex with me.

KING: You go right up to him?

GRIFFIN: I make the move.

KING: You're very forward?

GRIFFIN: I'm forward. I'm from the wrong side of the tracks. I'm what you call a bad girl. I make the move, yes.

Sometimes they cry. I'm not going to lie.

KING: Do you ever carry around Viagra?

GRIFFIN: I have Viagra, although you don't need it, tiger. And I usually have a lot of Barbara Walters left over Astroglide and lot of super-sized Trojans.

KING: You would visit Levi in Alaska if he invited you?

GRIFFIN: I'm moving to Wasilla to be with him. I'm going to share an igloo with him.

KING: This is big news now. Hold it. You're going to do a show out of Wasilla?

GRIFFIN: I'm going to -- I might leave show business and just become Levi's baby momma in Wasilla. Or, as he calls it, the Silla.

KING: The Silla?

GRIFFIN: Yes, he calls it the Silla. We're going to go kick it in the Silla.

KING: Would you go hunting.

GRIFFIN: He calls it a-huntin'.

KING: A-huntin'?

GRIFFIN: You go a-huntin'. Yes, I'm going to go -- I have changed, Larry. Take a look. The beautiful Hollywood glamour puss is leaving and relocating to Wasilla to be Mrs. Johnston.

KING: We led with this as the tease. Do you want to stay on the D-list?

GRIFFIN: Yes, I believe that I belong on the D-list. I'm firmly planted here. And I enjoy it.

KING: Who's on the C-list?

GRIFFIN: I don't know. Maybe like a TV sidekick, somebody like that. Like the A-list is big movie stars. Then the B-list is maybe TV stars. And then the C-list is the sort of sidekick world. And then you have me and the Kardashians.

KING: That's where you include yourself?

GRIFFIN: Yes, it's pitiful. I know. I'm not proud. But I'm home.

KING: All right. The book. You're on a book tour?

GRIFFIN: Yes. I did a signing, which was exciting. And I'm going to do one in Chicago and Los Angeles. And I'm on a comedy tour all the time.

KING: You are excited about having a book?

GRIFFIN: I'm excited.

KING: You're in the library of Congress.

GRIFFIN: What? Where is that?

KING: It should be in the side of the book here. It should mention it.

GRIFFIN: What do they do there? That sounds important.

KING: There you are. See, "United States biography official book, Library of Congress, printed in the United States of America."

GRIFFIN: Does that mean I can write any legislation or change any laws?

KING: No, but when you go to Congress and ask the librarian, I want to see bios --

GRIFFIN: It will be there? OK. So like when I go and try to change a bill, like when the Jonas Brothers go to the Hill and they fight for, you know, gay rights or the right to party.

KING: Good night, darling. GRIFFIN: Darling.

KING: Sweetheart. Say hello to Levi.

GRIFFIN: Stop looking at my rack.

KING: The book is "Official Book Club Selection." Kathy Griffin. "Anderson Cooper 360" starts right now.