- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 2, 2005

Kathy Griffin loves getting real about reality television.

The comic, a devout fan of the genre and a past winner of ABC’s “Celebrity Mole,” doesn’t mind saying which shows she thinks are as scripted as any sitcom.

The “Princes of Malibu?”

“So fake,” Miss Griffin says.

“Chasing Farrah?” Not worth catching, she jokes.

When cameras entered her home to start shooting Bravo’s “Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List,” Miss Griffin says she never forgot for an instant they were there.

The new reality series capturing life in Miss Griffin’s zany world of stand-up comedy debuts at 10 tonight on Bravo. The cable channel also will offer a sample of Miss Griffin’s antics an hour earlier with the special “Kathy Griffin Is … Not Nicole Kidman” at 9 p.m.

“The D-List” shows Miss Griffin aggressively canvassing (make that borderline stalking) celebrities at various star-studded events to nudge them into contributing to her favorite charities — with her husband, Matt, and assistant, Jessica, along for the ride.

Otherwise, she appears to be just like any other working stiff, albeit one who lives in a house far nicer than most of us.

Miss Griffin says “D-List” reveals the realities of her fame. Here’s a hint: It doesn’t involve red-carpet premieres or glossy People magazine spreads.

“It illustrates how my life is the polar opposite of Julia Roberts’,” the former Groundlings player says. “We’re so used to seeing celebrities being driven around in limos. I can go to an In-N-Out Burger whenever I want, and no one takes my picture.”

Miss Griffin, who will perform two nights at the DC Improv starting Friday, says her stand-up routines once focused chiefly on her single status. Now that she’s happily married, she’s dishing a different kind of dirt.

“I can’t tell a joke to save my life,” she says. “It’s stories and stuff from my life. … I didn’t mean for it to be more celebrity-oriented. People loved the dishy stuff, and I couldn’t stop myself.”

Her unique status lets her rub elbows with the likes of Clay Aiken, Oprah Winfrey and mush-mouthed Anna Nicole Smith — much of which winds up in her routines.

The commentary is sometimes catty, but Miss Griffin notes, “I don’t think I’m mean at all.

“I don’t say people are ugly or fat. I comment on their behavior,” she says. “If you name your kid Apple [as Gwyneth Paltrow did] you’re gonna hear from me.”

Some stars, including professional blonde Jessica Simpson, gave Miss Griffin the go-ahead to say whatever she wishes. However, others, including fellow Bravo reality star Whitney Houston, warned Miss Griffin to keep her lips sealed.

The R&B; diva isn’t the only one who’s miffed.

Miss Griffin says David Letterman, Conan O’Brien and Ellen DeGeneres won’t have her on their shows anymore.

It’s a double standard, she cries, because comedians such as Jon Stewart “say much worse things about people.”

Of course, Mr. Stewart ribs politicians, who apparently are fair game, she muses.

Miss Griffin’s biggest chances at fame came with a supporting role on NBC’s “Suddenly Susan” and with a funny turn as a snarky comic on “Seinfeld.” Yet the A-list remains out of reach.

Still, even if the Bravo show elevates her star status, Miss Griffin promises not to follow the arc of other celebrities.

“It’s amazing that Tom Cruise doesn’t have one person in his life to tell him, ‘You look crazy,’” Miss Griffin says. “If that was me [jumping on Oprah Winfrey’s couch] my mom would have called me five times to tell me to knock if off,” she says.

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