Kathy Griffin: Laugh Your Head Off World Tour (6/25 – Radio City Music Hall) – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)

Screen showing advertisement for Kathy Griffins "Laugh Your Head Off" world tour.
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After dealing with being considered a terrorist, having the full weight of the government pin her down, and more, Kathy Griffin returns as if she never left and delivers a routine worthy of a stand-up special.


Venue Radio City Music Hall
Venue Address New York City, New York
Director(s) N/A
Writer(s) Kathy Griffin
Date 6/25/2018
Genre(s) Stand Up Comedy
Good If You Like Celebrity Gossip (Kardashian and Stevie Nicks)

Trump Jokes

Lots of Gay References and Lingo

Celebrity Name Dropping

Tangents

Political Humor

Laughing To Keep From Crying Performance

Total Time 2 hours and 42 minutes – No Intermission (8:12 – 10:54)
Noted Performers
Headliner Kathy Griffin

The Venue

Probably the best thing about Radio City Music Hall is they employ screens, two actually, which make it so even if you are in the back, towards the entrance, you can easily see who is performing. As for the chairs? Well, while your knees won’t dig into someone’s back if you are 6 feet or below, they are not really made to sit as long as Griffin’s set. No matter how you posture yourself. Though, all things considered, the theater looked well kept, and they had, at least for men, more than enough urinals and quite a bit of toilets. Mind you, the toilets were the size of a utility closet, but when you got to go you got to go.

The Headliner

Can we just begin by saying the fact this woman nearly went for three hours was amazing? Much less she came out swinging! From start to finish she got 39 good laughs out of me and boy the stuff she went into. When it comes to light and fluffy stuff, it was living next to Kim Kardashian and Kanye West and actually interacting with them and hearing Kanye yell like he lost his mind. There are stories about hanging out with Stevie Nicks and Chrissie Hynde, who seems very high strong.

But then, of course, there is everything involved with Trump. Now, at this point, two years in, I must admit I’m tired of Trump jokes, jokes about his family, and perhaps politics in general. However, Kathy Griffin doesn’t pursue the usual routes to comedy. She isn’t trying to be highbrow or politically correct at all. She will call Sarah Huckabee (aka Sara F***abee in her words) fat, make fun of the way she dresses, and when it comes to some people in office, assume they are closeted homosexuals.

What also must be noted is while most comedians may make political jokes because they don’t like the policies of the administration, Griffin has a whole other level of hatred. Over a mask with some ketchup she got put on ice for a little more than a year. Venues canceled her shows out of security fears, sponsors dropped her, and she had the president and his family using their clout to get things rolling.

And, believe it or not, the comedian who usually keeps things light on the personal but eviscerating, sometimes, when it comes to celebrities, gets emotional. For after that picture, she really got to see who her friends were and who was at least a peer she knew had her back. Which is a blessing when you get death threats, as well as your mother, and your cancer-stricken sister till the day she dies.

So, people like Jim Carrey and Hillary Clinton, in a way, by saying the picture was a play on Medusa and Perseus, alongside the aforementioned Stevie Nicks, Rosie O’Donnell, and a few others, were a blessing. Though, of course, those who didn’t support got aired out. Former Senator Al Franken is mentioned and of course Anderson Cooper. Who she drags, alongside Andy Cohen, because while Franken called and said, likely for political reasons, he couldn’t associate with her, that she could understand – to a point. Anderson Cooper not even prepping her with a phone call but just disowning her? Well, let’s just say between him and her interactions with CNN head, Jeff Zucker, the place sounds like straight trash.

Yet, somehow in all this, Griffin finds the comedy. She finds the comedy in the Department of Justice wanting her to do a perp walk, jumpsuit, handcuffs and all. Griffin finds a way to make light of being stopped at every airport she went to because she was on an INTERPOL list. On top of dealing with an interrogation which could have either led to being exonerated or put in prison for the charge of conspiring to assassinate the president.

Needless to say, if it wasn’t $5,000 a minute if she went over, Griffin could have probably went on and on with what she went through over the last few years.

Highlights

With Being Investigated and Harassed By The Government, She Has A Rare Perspective

A lot of comedians make political jokes. However, very few know the inner workings. They don’t run for office, like Al Franken, nor do they deal with being harassed and censored, as Griffin does. So with that, as much as she brings her usual bashing of Republicans and conservatives, and celebrity gossip, she also has this insight no other comic who does political jokes has.

Bill Maher can make jokes about looks and question what so and so are doing, but he never got interrogated and treated like a terrorist. He may get threats but you have to also factor in Griffin is a woman. Much less a 57-year-old woman who may have spunk but she isn’t Bridgette Nielsen. A physical threat to her would require running. Fighting might just be a death sentence. Plus, you got to also remember, as she says a lot, she is old school. So being barraged by strangers with hate mail is one thing, but saying they are going to kill her, and stuff more gruesome than death? While traumatizing, it also provides valuable material.

For comedy in general, is about finding the funny in odd or messed up situations. And who else has gone through what Griffin can and could deliver as she does? Seriously.

Showing The Emotional Side

Kathy Griffin isn’t John Leguizamo. Her sets, traditionally, aren’t as much about making you laugh as you feel her pain. So for her to expose the pain of her sister getting death threats and “I hope you die!” while actually dying of cancer had to be a lot. Never mind her mother, in her retirement home, being harassed too. For Maggie, at this point, is 98. Can you imagine being up in age and because of your daughter, who you clearly have politics which don’t align with, you are being told and cursed with the vilest of statements?

A weight that is on Griffin’s back on top of her career being over and the possibility of living in infamy. Not to forget, all these people she has laughed with, supported, and thought she was friends with, either not reaching out or disassociating herself from her – publicly. Which really puts into perspective how lonely Hollywood must be. For while, yeah, Griffin has her boyfriend of 6 and ½ years Randy, the fact people will drop you so quickly just because of the court of public opinion must create a real need to wonder who is there for benefit and convenience?

The Jokes

Whether imitating her friends, making fun of her enemies, presenting the idea she has run out of f***s to give since she is so well-versed on the first amendment that she realizes she is nowhere near the line, it is a hilarious set. One which, even with being nearly three hours, while most sets we see on specials are less than half that, possibly might be the most I’ve laughed in a long time. One line I remember strongly is a joke about Andy Cohen saying that Griffin needs to stop with there “Where are my gays!?” thing because they are not handbags and her response had me dying.

Heck, her DOJ interrogation, which would have decided if she was going to jail, even that was hilarious upon mention of her having a sword in her home and how she got it. I mean, taking note she is a comedian and this was a live performance, not a special, I’ll keep things surface level and won’t go into details but trust me when I say, if a fan of Griffin or her style – it is was the ticket cost.

On The Fence

This Was A Long Ass Show

I’m not used to anything being nearly 3 hours. Be it movies, plays, musicals, concerts, and while you’ll be entertained throughout Griffin’s set, sitting that long is so uncomfortable. To the point when there are random standing ovations, you may join not so much to clap but to stretch and not look so awkward. I mean, perhaps one of the main benefits of the show I went to not being sold out is that it wasn’t like being in a can of sardines.

So, if there may be one issue with this set is that, if this was a special you were watching from the comfort of your own home, it would be perfect. However, sitting in a theater made to pack as many people as possible, it makes it so as time goes on, you may just wait to hear the condensed version for whenever she puts a special out.

Overall: Positive (See Live)

Taking note, sooner or later, somehow, likely this will become a special, I would say seeing it raw and emotional as it is now would probably be for the best. Griffin remains as excited as ever to tell you a story as if she is your best friend, on your couch, a little tipsy, and is ready to give you every little detail. Then, when she gets deep with it, and speaks on how the DOJ investigated her and effectively shut down her career within the US, you get to see a side to her we only did on The D-List. Rather than be just be a gossip comic who pulls no punches, there is a reminder that she is just a class clown who so happened to have graduated to the world as her stage vs. the classroom.

Leading to why the positive label: While her show is far too long to sit in one place for, I’m a firm believer that if you are going to spend $80+ for a ticket, it needs to be an experience. Not just a performance you saw, but you need to laugh, maybe cry, and really get bang for your buck. With Griffin, you get that. Especially at Radio City Music Hall for they don’t make it where you buying the cheap seats, or decently priced ones, means you’re SOL. It just means you’ll be reliant on the screens to see what is going on. So while I can’t speak for other theaters, at least at Radio City Music Hall Kathy Griffin has set a precedent and definitely makes me want to check out more stand up in the future.

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About Amari Sali 3099 Articles
New Jersey native Amari Sali takes the approach of more so being a media advisor than a critic to sort of fill in the gap left between casual fans of media and those who review productions for a living. Thus being open about bias while still giving enough insight, often with spoilers, to present whether something is worth seeing, buying, renting, streaming, or checking out at all.

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