Comedian Kathy Griffin is thrilled to be in the company of such fellow L’Auberge Casino & Hotel entertainers as country singer Travis Tritt and Southern rock band Blackberry Smoke.
Griffin makes her L’Auberge properties debut Saturday in Baton Rouge. For the grand occasion, she wants the complex to be renamed La Comédie L’Auberge.
Griffin also hopes protesters show up. After all, the Consuming Fire Fellowship from Mississippi rallied against her fellow liberal comedian, Bill Maher, when he played the River Center in January.
“I’m assuming and hoping, but it’s a lot harder to protest at a casino than a regular theater,” she said during a telephone interview from Los Angeles.
“You can try to protest in a casino, but if you think my army of gays is tough, try the security department at L’Auberge. If you’re not playing nickel slots, they’re going to bounce your tail out. They don’t care how religious you are.”
Griffin’s involvement with the gay and lesbian community has previously inspired protests from the Westboro Baptist Church, the independent Baptist organization known for its demonstrations against homosexuality.
“I find that when I get protested by the Westboro Baptist Church, the police kind of protect them,” she said. “Because the protestors are always outnumbered. I guess the police are thinking, ‘Well, we gotta protect them, because there are eight protestors and 3,000 gay people and soccer moms and heterosexual men who are here supporting their women.’ That’s my demographic.”
Griffin and Maher have a similar following, she said. They even play the same venues.
“So often I will play a theater and leave a note for Bill, or he’ll get there first and I find a note from him.”
Like Maher, Griffin, a Los Angeles-based comic from Chicago, loves the South.
“Because the audiences can be more enthusiastic,” she said. “I mean, I did one of my specials, Kathy Griffin Does the Bible Belt, in Knoxville, Tenn., on purpose. I get the folks who want to hear a dirty joke and they drive in a car two and three hours just to hear it.
“By the way, Baton Rouge isn’t as Bible-belty as it gets. But I get protests anyplace where they serve fried food.”
Doing standup shows throughout the country also gives Griffin a break from the show business capital of the world, Los Angeles.
“I am inundated in Los Angeles with shallow Hollywood pop culture,” she said. “So I am excited to go to Washington, D.C., or other regions where people actually talk about other things.”
Before Griffin covered her many show business accomplishments, including two Emmy awards for her reality show, My Life on the D-List, her hundreds of TV specials and dozens of Emmy and Grammy nominations, she revealed the dirty little secret about her live shows.
“My audience is made up of a lot of hot gay guys,” she said, “and a lot of girls who have decided to have like a, whoo, girls night out! Those girls are mad at their boyfriends, or they don’t have a boyfriend, or they’ve just been dumped. They’re looking for one of the seven to 10 heterosexual men at my show.”
As much television as Griffin has done through the years, in-person standup shows remain the work she enjoys most.
“Live performing really is my first love,” she said. “It is the last bastion of anything being uncensored. You really can say whatever you want on stage. But my Bravo TV specials are pretty damn close. The new one that I just taped, Kathy Griffin: Calm Down Gurrl, premieres on June 4. I don’t take any prisoners.”
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