After a fast-paced video montage of a career that includes two Emmy awards, hanging out with Cher and Howard Stern and being banned from multiple talk shows, Kathy Griffin nearly leapt onto the stage Saturday night at the L’Auberge Casino and Hotel.
Soaking in the warmth of her fans’ noisy admiration, the remarkably fit 52-year-old comedienne hopped like a cheerleader. She followed her high-energy entrance with an onslaught of lewd humor and celebrity-based barbs and jokes.
“Everybody’s going down!” Griffin promised.
But the first topic of the night was L’Auberge Casino’s far from the city center location in the rural-flavored, southeastern suburban territories of East Baton Rouge Parish.
“Where are we?” the bewildered, Los Angeles-based comic asked. “I feel like we’re in Baton Rouge-adjacent!”
Griffin mentioned that she’d flown into Louisiana via the Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport and been chauffeured to Baton Rouge in L’Auberge Casino’s party van. Not a good way to fly under the radar, she said. And on the way, the comedienne was astounded to see drive-through daiquiri shops, a foreign concept to Americans in states that have less liberal views of drinking and driving.
“Drive-through daiquiri shops?” she asked the full house at the casino’s Event Center. “Are you kidding me? Why don’t you guys take Lindsay Lohan? Why am I stuck with her?”
Despite her own Irish-Catholic heritage of drunkenness, Griffin added that she herself does not drink. But her mother, Maggie Griffin, is perpetually drunk and forever dressed in a muumuu, according to the comedienne.
“My mom still wants her refund from my years at Catholic school,” bad girl Chicago native Griffin said.
A gleefully profane performer who spouts eviscerating commentary about celebrity peers as well as dirty jokes at least as raw as those of her male counterparts, Griffin may have achieved a rebellious Catholic girl’s ultimate revenge. She’s made a career of being brilliantly irreverent.
Griffin expected a few walk outs at L’Auberge. She got them.
“Everybody knows this is not ‘The Lion King,’ ” she said. “Let me know if I get too graphic,” she said later during a show loaded with sexual references and verbal ferocity.
Griffin took a few shots at Bravo, the cable channel that recently canceled her talk show, “Kathy.” Bravo will continue its “Real Housewives” franchise, prompting Griffin to suggest, “They should change their name to ‘Bitches Fighting.’ ”
The comedienne has not curbed her devotion to TLC, the cable channel that has a found pots of gold with its “little people” and “midgets-in-a-chocolate factory” reality-TV programming. “It hasn’t been The Learning Channel for a very long time,” she explained.
Griffin is a firecracker of a comic, but the middle of her 75 minutes on stage still sagged a bit in laugh-getting effectiveness. She recovered with late-in-the-show subjects that must be easy targets for a wit such as her.
Justin Bieber, Kim Kardashian and the recently arrested for disorderly conduct, Oscar-winning actress, Reese Witherspoon, plus Amanda Bynes, recently sentenced to three years probation for driving with a suspended license, all got theirs.
Griffin’s account of Bieber’s attempts to be a thug included the observation: “He’s really a very diminutive young lady.” And doing some funny reality programming herself, Griffin simply read from the transcript of Witherspoon’s and her husband’s arrest in Atlanta.
Griffin applied some of the night’s nastiest comedy to Bynes, another of those starlets gone wild. But you’d have to have been there to hear it. Most of it can’t be printed in a daily newspaper. And the comedienne wasn’t kidding when she said that she had no additional material that could top her sex-and-slapstick spiel about Bynes.