Saturday, July 19, 2008
Kathy Griffin, Live in Las Vegas (Mini Review)
Image from KathyGriffin.net
The Other Half and I saw Kathy Griffin live in concert at the Mandalay Bay Theater last night, and I'm still wiping tears from my eyes. To say that she was funny is an understatement. She kept us laughing for almost an hour and a half. Quite a set, and clearly up-to-date.
Living in Las Vegas, I've seen quite a few comedians in person, from George Carlin (RIP), to Louie Anderson, to Kathleen Madigan (hilarious) to the beautiful Margaret Cho. And Margaret would be the comedienne whose style most closely matches Kathy's. Neither of them do jokes in the standard sense, instead offering stories with many laugh-out-loud comments along the way. Both use rough language, both aim to shock, and both do great imitations of their mothers.
But Kathy departs from Margaret in both subject matter and in the speed of her delivery. Sure, they both love "their gays," but Kathy's material is more immediate, more animated, maybe even a bit more inclusive. And her material is obviously evolving and staying current from show to show. There were some classic bits sprinkled in, but most of the show was a stream of consciousness story-telling session. Where Kathy really excels is in getting back on track, after countless (hilarious) digressions.
Much of Kathy's material comes from pop culture pool, and not from the deep end. She revels in the shallower, scum-covered waters, and skewers the swimmers there. I guess they're easy pickings. But even when she was commenting on shows or personalities I have no knowledge of, she was still cracking me up. And her comments on Donny & Marie Osmond (apparently a new show here in Las Vegas) even had the (ex-) Mormons in our group in stitches.
If you've watched any of her comedy specials on Bravo, you have a good idea what this show was like. What was most surprising was that this easily could have been her next televised show. As far as I know, it wasn't being taped for broadcast, but it surely could have aired as-is. Hilarious.