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December 2020

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Kathy Griffin: A Hell of a Story
Featured Article

Kathy Griffin: A Hell of a Story

Kathy Griffin isn’t just a controversial comic. She is the controversial comic of our time, a modern-day Lenny Bruce (if Lenny Bruce had mock decapitated LBJ, that is). Even before the rowdy redhead stirred up that little spot of bother with the carrot-colored creep in the White House, Kathy enjoyed feuds with people and organizations ranging from the Kardashians to Ellen DeGeneres, the Apollo Theater to the Catholic League. More than a troublemaker though, the wickedly funny Ms. Griffin has also starred in a network sitcom, set stand-up records (e.g., she’s the first comic to play Carnegie Hall and Radio City on back-to-back nights), won a couple of Emmys and scored a Grammy. HUSTLER recently met up with the salty stand-up in an undisclosed Brooklyn location (better safe than sorry, eh?), where Kathy told all about “making” the Seinfeld show, reverse casting-couch Quentin Tarantino, and producing and releasing her new movie: Kathy Griffin: A Hell of a Story.

HUSTLER: A friend of mine recently said she wasn’t a fan of yours because of—wait for it…

KATHY GRIFFIN: Here we go…

 —your role on Seinfeld.

Wait! What?! [Laughs.] First of all, I made that show! It would not have been nearly as popular globally except for the two episodes I was in. No, what was really fun is that, in the first episode, I played George Costanza’s girlfriend’s friend, Sally Weaver, and Jerry needs some kind of hot sauce, and I bring the wrong kind. What happened was, in real life I went to the table read, and I thought Jerry was kind of a jerk. I asked him to sign something, and he wouldn’t do it. He finally begrudgingly did it at the end of the day, so long story short, I do my first HBO special, and I do like a 15-minute chunk about what an asshole Jerry Seinfeld is.

Then I get a job on Suddenly Susan, which was airing right after Seinfeld, so I’m in a panic because the special hasn’t aired yet and now I’m part of the NBC Universal family. So I call Larry David, and I say, “What am I going to do? This special’s going to come out, and no one has ever spoken ill of Jerry Seinfeld—he’s an American treasure.” And Larry goes, “Don’t worry. He’ll never see it. What? Do you think he cares about you?” But sure enough, I got a call from my agent, and he goes, “You got a package here from Jerry Seinfeld.” I swear, I had almost instant diarrhea. I had to run to the bathroom, I was so scared. But he wrote to me the funniest letter, and he actually brags that he had the writer’s room work on this letter. It’s so sardonic, so funny, but mean funny, and he sent it to me with a box of Snackwell’s. I framed the letter, of course, and then they ended up writing an episode just for me, where my character magically becomes a stand-up comic who makes her living making fun of Jerry Seinfeld.

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