Kathy Griffin’s sassy, irreverent, outrageous, self-deprecating yet take-no-prisoners brand of comedy took center stage last night at Pechanga Resort & Casino.
Her devoted following who filled the Showroom Theater couldn’t have been happier. Or laughed louder.
“I’m gonna say what I want to say (tonight) ‘cause it’s America!” reminded Griffin, for those who forgot that the First Amendment applied to everyone, including one of today’s most controversial entertainers.
She also reminded the local crowd how much she loves Pechanga and Temecula.
“I could do two hours just on how f@#$ed up Temecula is.”
The audience howled.
Ms. Griffin is a multi-faceted performer. Besides being a two-time Emmy winner, she is also a four-time Grammy Award nominee (for her comedy albums), is a NY Times best-selling author (her tell-all autobiography), and won the GLADD Vanguard Award in 2009.
She is also one of the funniest and most popular stand-up comedians performing today.
The evening’s audience found her wit and tongue as razor-sharp as ever.
Griffin likes to push the envelope with her audience and talks about taboo subjects with fierce honesty.
“I don’t feel I’ve done my job unless I have walk-outs (at my show),” she said with a half smirk.
Kathy loves to gossip and dish all things Hollywood, and last night was no different. To say she’s made an enemy or two because of her sometimes controversial, no-holds-barred approach to discussing celebrity’s lives is perhaps a tad of an understatement.
“We’re going to talk about Hulk Hogan, Honey Boo Boo, the ‘Housewives,’ and the election,” she warned.
Griffin also let loose on gays, heteros, Asian gamblers, Britney Spears, Ryan Seacrest, the Kardashians, Oprah, and her own mom. She spared no one.
She’s a walking Wikipedia of all things Reality TV – the unofficial “Queen of Bad TV,” and she’s proud of it. She also knows she’s providing a service.
“You guys have lives – I don’t,” explained Griffin. “I’m watching up to 14 hours of Reality TV daily just for you.”
Stylistically, two things stood out about her routine: her spare stage set up, and her unique storytelling method.
A simple white belly bar with a few refreshments that stood next to her mic stand equaled her entire stage set up. Kathy made it her comedic island. She didn’t pounce the stage panther-like a la Chris Rock. Instead, she took a stationary pose that allowed for an easy night for the spotlight operator.
The result was like standing inside a local martini bar and having an alcohol-fueled conversation with Ms. Griffin. Albeit, one of the funniest bar conversations you’ve ever had.
And as for her stand-up delivery style, Kathy no doubt has what I term “celebrity insider ADD.”
Her stories about Hollywood celebrities are fascinating, yet she’ll start with one story (think Britney Spears and why she shaved off her hair), head down that road toward a punchline, yet deftly interchange to another road about another celebrity (maybe Cher and how they’re become BFFs), all the while reminding us that she’ll get back to her original anecdote (“Let me get back to Celine Dion”).
It leaves the audience laughing, amused, yet never satisfied (in a positive way): the “big” punchline is still always yet to come. It’s infectious and entirely effective.
As Griffin’s mom said in the pre-performance video that started the evening: “It’s just Kathy.”
Indeed it is.
For further information on upcoming shows, please visit www.pechanga.com.
Chris Baptiste is a local writer and regular contributor to SWRNN.