After being exiled from Hollywood, Kathy Griffin is ready to make her comeback

Griffin talks about the continuing fallout over her controversial Trump photo and why the harrowing experience still hasn't broken her.
Kathy Griffin's Laugh Your Head Off North American tour will start in Canada with dates in Ottawa, Toronto, Kitchener, Calgary and Vancouver. (Tyler Shields)

Originally published March 16, 2018

Kathy Griffin is nervous about crossing her next border, which will be into Canada. The provocative comedian has made a career of pushing buttons and crossing lines, but when a controversial joke threatened to torch her career, Griffin not only found herself exiled in a world she had previously dominated, but under investigation by the FBI and placed on Interpol's no-fly list.

Nine months after provoking outrage when she posed for a photo clutching a mask of President Donald Trump — which had been made to look like a severed head with the aid of some ketchup — Griffin will be embarking on her North American comeback tour, which launches in Ottawa on May 23.

She speaks to q host Tom Power about her harrowing journey, the continuing fallout over the Trump photo, and why the experience still hasn't broken her. Here is some of what she had to say. 

On performing in the United States and bringing her tour to North America

I still think that most cities in the United States, I can't go back to. The United States is really, really having a hard time with me. … So, I went overseas and I did a tour there first. Of course, I'm lovingly calling it the Laugh Your Head Off Tour — get it? And so, obviously, overseas folks are more receptive and they're not a part of the American faux outrage. 

On being investigated by the United States Department of Justice

It's terrifying. For two months, they called my attorneys every day threatening to do what's called a 'no-knock' raid. That's what they did [to] Paul Manafort. They broke into his house in Alexandria, Virginia in the middle of the night and confiscated computers and stuff like that. So for me to be treated like Paul Manafort is unprecedented.

On Jim Carey's advice to her immediately following the backlash

[Jim Carey] called me that day and kind of talked me off the ledge in a way that was so sweet. He didn't have to do it and he said such great, encouraging things. He said things like, 'Kathy you are the most famous comic in the world today, use it. Do you know how many comics would give their right arm to have this material? What's happening to you is so extreme, lean into it. Don't try to run from this.'

On feeling undeterred to make her comeback

Yes, I am going to go back on tour. The Trump machine, the American Department of Justice, nothing will stop me. But I'm not crazy, so naturally I'm starting in Canada.

Produced by Frank Lockyer Palmer


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