Examining the Jersey Shore stink
My double trouble night with Kathy Griffin at Houston's "Verizon Garage"
Nothing was off limits at Kathy Griffin's roast of pop culture Saturday night at Verizon Wireless Theater — or what she dubiously dubbed the "Verizon Garage" in a jab at the no-frills arena.
"You Texans are crazy — you know that!" she yelled into the cheering audience, which she determined was a close 50/50 ratio of gay men and straight girls, along with the "17 straight men sure to get a blow job tonight" thanks to wonderful odds.
The most pithy cultural commentary was inspired by reality TV, of which Kath is a devout consumer ("I can read when I'm dead," she justifies). Number one on that list of programs was Jersey Shore, which the comedian lampooned for its Oomp-Loompa star Snookie, as well as the cast's distinct scent — when Kathy met the crew on a talk show, she couldn't help but get a whiff of their blend of spray tan and sweat.
"Would it be so hard to add an 'S' for shower to the end of 'GTL'?," she cried out.
And on the topic of cleanliness, Griffin sounded off on the new VH1 program The OCD Project, in which patients diagnosed with obsessive compulsive disorder are all placed in one house and put on paths to overcome their neurosis. She cited one episode in which a participant who was afraid of hitting a person while driving was taken to an empty parking lot and instructed to drive around in circles, while a therapist tossed baby strollers at the windshield.
It's such bizarre instances of low culture that really get Kathy going. She also took on the cultural gem, I Didn't Know I Was Pregnant, accompanied by expert imitations of the participants' country accents — an effect that was partially inspired by the day's earlier trip through Schulenberg, a backwater experience slightly on-par with visiting one-time-flame Levi Johnston in Wasilla, Alaska.
Notorious for self-promotion, Kathy missed no opportunities to plug her reality TV show and new paperback edition of her book, Official Book Club Selection, which boasts an added chapter "talking shit about the people I was too nice to in the hardcover edition" (Andre Agassi and his crystal meth addiction are at the top of that list).
When Griffin wasn't talking reality TV or her mother's alcoholism, she focussed on a handful of public personalities and their ridiculous eccentricities — Katie Couric's new "Suze Orman dyke haircut," Lindsay Lohan's artistic court-date manicure and Elisabeth Hasselbeck's being "a complete moron" and "the D-List Ann Coulter." But what makes Kathy so charming is that she's not critiquing these celebrities. In fact, she's mostly thanking them for providing constant gold mines of stand-up material (more of which fans can consume with her singular "twats").
Despite a few flat jokes, the 6:30 and 9:30 crowds both offered Griffin a standing ovation, perhaps in agreement with her complaint regarding the Houston humidity causing epic frizz, but mostly in thanks for a night of epic laughter.