Guinness World Record-setter (with 23 stand-up specials), two-time Emmy and Grammy Award–winning comedian Kathy Griffin officially kicked off her 80-city tour last night at The Kennedy Center’s Concert Hall, performing a 2-hour spitfire spectacle of her universally recognized brand of pointed pop culture observations, laugh-fest of celebrity name-dropping gossip and pull-no-punches comedy to a strikingly sell-out crowd.
Wearing a form-fitting black dress highlighted with gold accents, Griffith gleefully and gloriously surged the stage, following an introductory video montage which featured Griffin when she was youngster, as well as a wide assortment of clips from throughout her career, including her Bravo show, Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D List.
Welcomed by thunderous applause and cheers from nearly 2,500 fans who all rose to their feet, Griffin promised that “no one is safe” and quickly delved into the topical material we love her for, sharing up-to-the-minute stories about Hollywood celebs and her off-the-wall interactions with them, including the likes of Barry Manilow, Tony Bennett, Lady Gaga, Harry Styles, Tom Hanks, Demi Lovato, Taylor Swift and the Kardashians. What is so exhilarating about Griffin is that her all-embracing, “no topic is off limits,” “full disclosure” routine is like a nail-biting, titillating conversation that unfolds seamlessly in real time.
After she got through her material about the diverse audience members in attendance, “her gays and ladies,” along with sporadic sightings of heterosexual males pressed to service by their wives or girlfriends and 17-hours-a-day television marathon extractions, Griffin settled into the socially awkward, but salaciously-detailed celebrity encounters her enthusiasts have all grown accustomed to hearing her eagerly recount frame by frame.
Pulsating and bubbly throughout her two hour performance, Griffin was quintessentially animated as she narrated her bizarre experience riding in an elevator with 88-year-old Tony Bennett and the eccentrically extravagant Lady Gaga who inquired whether they liked chickens and then unexpectedly gifted them eggs from hens she had raised herself.
Griffin also showcased some hilarious impersonations of Celine Dion, Nancy Grace, Diane Sawyer, and Barbara Walters. But, perhaps the best imitation was of Griffin’s 95-year-old mother Maggie, whose speech is both roguish and religious with her colorful commentary prompted by copious box wine consumption, ranging from her extraction of Fox News reports to Judge Judy finally making it onto the Supreme Court bench.
Holding absolutely nothing back and embracing controversy with open arms, whether she’s making Anderson Cooper blush on CNN’s New Year’s Eve, amusing audiences with her sharp wit on the red carpet or embarking on her record-breaking stand-up specials, the wildly ever-entertaining Griffin has arguably earned the right to tour “Like a Boss,” delivering an outrageous and unforgettable night of non-stop laughter.
Running Time: Approximately 2 hours, with no intermission.
Comedy at the Kennedy Center: Kathy Griffin performed on June 20, 2015 at 8:00 PM at The Kennedy Center’s Concert Hall- 2700 F Street, NW, in Washington, DC. For more information on upcoming shows go to their website.