Kathy Griffin Brings Unabashed Insider Humor to Guild Hall

Kathy Griffin 01 Chyna&SarahPhotography (1)
Kathy Griffin. Chyna & Sara photography.

By Dawn Watson

By her own admission, Kathy Griffin is not for the faint of heart.

Bold, brash, boisterous and a little bit bawdy, the self-proclaimed D-List comedian is known for her pull-no-punches brand of humor and celebrity-obsessed banter. She’s also a two-time Emmy Award winner, one of only three women (the other two are Lily Tomlin and Whoopi Goldberg) to have ever been awarded Best Comedy Album by the Grammys, and the author of a New York Times-bestselling autobiography, “Official Book Club Selection: A Memoir According to Kathy Griffin,” which debuted at number one on the list when it published in 2009.

Currently underway in her 80-city “Like A Boss” tour, she might not exactly be a predictable choice for a $1,0000-plus Guild Hall “Season Spectacular Benefit Dinner” performance, which will be held on Saturday, July 2, but she’ll most definitely be a memorable one. Even those highbrows who claim to be above it all can’t be expected to resist her laugh-out-loud and juicy insider tales about meeting some of the most famous people in the world, including local notables such as Alec Baldwin, Anderson Cooper, Brooke Shields, Jerry Seinfeld and Christie Brinkley.

“Everything and everybody are fair game,” says Ms. Griffin, who co-starred on “Suddenly Susan” with Ms. Shields; has co-hosted CNN’s New Year’s Eve broadcasts with Mr. Cooper since 2009; appeared as Sally Weaver, a comedian who dishes the dirt on Jerry in two episodes of “Seinfeld;” and guest-starred as an LGBTQ activist on “Law & Order: SVU alongside Mariska Hargitay and Christopher Meloni.

The former “Groundlings” performer’s improvisational brand of humor also includes plenty of current affairs and trending topics. Her act is chock-full of references to headline-making stories and local flavor, which will be ripe for the picking here on the East End, she says.

“I’ll be checking my phone and iPad up until the minute I walk onto the stage,” reports Ms. Griffin. “I like to use new material, things that are in the news, as well as my travels and celebrity run-ins.”

“And I’m definitely boning up on some particular research about the Hamptons,” she continues, alluding to the different delineations, such as the importance of living east- and west of the canal and north- and south of the highway. “Which I hear is like the former Soviet Union; each section has their own mafia.”

She says she’s not too worried about offending the audience as “comedy is universal” and “wealthy people are tough.” Plus, “prestigious events are where I do my best work. “

She doesn’t have to worry about any drawn-out uncomfortable moments with her famous friends post-show or the morning after either, she says. None of them have offered to put her up for the night after her Guild Hall gig.

“They’re afraid to house me. I’m the worst houseguest ever,” she laughs, adding in a snooty voice, “They all say, ‘I wish I could put you up for the weekend but I’ve got a full house.’ That’s so Hamptons!”

The Guild Hall Season Spectacular Benefit Dinner starring Kathy Griffin will be held on Saturday, July 2, at 7 p.m. The evening starts with a performance at Guild Hall in East Hampton and will be followed by a dinner catered by Sonnier & Castle at a private location close by. Tickets are $250 for the performance and start at $1,000 for the show and dinner. For reservations and additional information, visit www.guildhall.org.