Kathy Griffin: Octo-mom, Nancy Grace and hangin' out with Cher

Griffin is also a surprisingly good mimic (except for her Cher, which she admits is crap). And the energy is non-stop breathless amazing – close to 90 minutes without a break, and this was only the first of the night’s two shows. The adoration of the crowd helped, and she’d done her homework, thanking her “Tampa upscale gays” for crossing the bridge, and taking special note of the “Scientology Hotel” gala happening the same night in downtown Clearwater. (“We’re having way more fun than the Scientologists. What are they doing? Untying each other’s antennae?”)

And she knows how to plant a catchphrase: If upon leaving this show you didn’t start intermittently shouting “Tip it! (her 89-year-old mother’s new favorite command for when the Franzia’s getting low in her box o’ wine) or “Breakin’ news! Breakin’ news! Breakin’ news!” à la Nancy Grace, then you just weren’t listening.

But you still gotta wonder: What did she and Cher talk about for five hours?

Toward the end of her 7 p.m. show at Ruth Eckerd Saturday night, Kathy Griffin told a long, funny and rather mind-boggling anecdote about spending her birthday with Cher — freakin’ Cher! — at the star’s mega-mansion in Malibu. How did D-lister Kathy Griffin wind up chatting for five hours over birthday cake in freakin’ Cher’s football-field-sized bedroom suite? Because Rosie O’Donnell introduced them, and Cher told Rosie she thought Griffin was “a smart, funny chick” who it’d be fun to hang out with.

Which kind of sums up the increasingly paradoxical nature of Kathy Griffin’s D-list persona: She does seem like a smart, funny chick who it would be fun to hang out with — but now she hangs out with Rosie and freakin’ Cher! “Do you know who I spent yesterday with?” she asks us. “Gloria Estefan at her fuckin’ compound.” OK, Griffin was visiting her for an episode of D-List — but she was still spending the day with Glorida fuckin’ Estefan. And at this point Griffin is arguably hotter than either Cher or Gloria.

Does this mean her attitude toward celebrities is any less jaundiced, her barbs any less barbed? Well, maybe when it comes to the goddesses — Cher, Oprah, Rosie — but Paula Abdul? Nancy Grace? Michael Jackson? Octo-mom Nadya Suleman? She killed. Two biggest laugh/gasps of the evening: respective jokes about the surgical enhancements of Jackson and Suleman. If Jackson’s nose falls off during a show, she wondered, would he hold his mic up to the hole like Stephen Hawking? And regarding octo-mom’s Angelina Jolie-esque mouth: “She’s trying to convince us on TV that she hasn’t had those lips done? Sorry, but it looks like she has a freshly fucked pussy on her face.”

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