baby, baby, baby

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 Comedienne Kathy Griffin has come under fire from a former TV costar for joking about Jesus at the Creative Emmy Awards on Saturday night. The funnywoman, who claimed the Outstanding Reality Programm prize for her show Kathy Griffin: My Life On The D-List, upset Christians by poking fun at her peers who thanked Christ for their good fortune. In her acceptance speech, Griffin quipped, “A lot of people come up here and thank Jesus for this award. I want you to know that no one had less to do with this award than Jesus… This award is my God now.” Griffin’s comments have upset her former Suddenly Susan co-star Sherri Shepherd, who is also a stand-up comic. On TV show The View on Tuesday morning, Shepherd raged, “I love Kathy but I was trying to text her, ‘Girl, you know you ain’t supposed to be saying no mess like that.’ There’s just a line that you shouldn’t cross, there’s a reverence for God that we should have.” Griffin’s taped acceptance speech will be heavily censored when it airs at the official Emmy Awards on Sunday. Officials at the Catholic League, a U.S. anti-defamation group, called on Emmy bosses to “denounce Griffin’s obscene and blasphemous comment” at Sunday’s ceremony.

-IMDB TV News

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that I live and breathe and live entertainment.  So when Hollywood and Jesus intersect, I’m all over that.  I pretty much read every industry news brief I can get my hands on.  (And although  I love analyzing fashion, I’m not just reading for the latest gossip as hard as that is to believe).  Anything industry and I’m reading it, except for Variety, the industry standard, whose subscription is a few hundred dollars.  Thankfully, the new e-version brings the price down to $165.

Anyways, I appreciate Kathy Griffin’s caustic humor at times, in spurts, I get what she is going for.  She’s off-the-cuff, irreverent and gutsy at best.  But quotes like the one above just make me think, (insert grandmotherly, matronly voice-over) “baby-baby-baby, what’s happened to you?”

I want to know who hurt her, who marred her deeply, so that behind every joke is deep pain.  I want to get behind the caustic one-liners and beyond the stage-mask and see.  People (namely Christians) often find my favorite entertainers to be a little off-the-wall and unexpected.  I appreciate Rosie.  I think we would be friends, okay maybe I wish.  Because there is always something there, behind the persona, that beats just like mine.

Kathy Griffin is funny.  I get it.  Maybe her “Jesus joke” is a whole lot deeper, I truly hope it is. 

I hope if I ever “make it” I will take risks and reach out–to stand on both sides of the gap between faith and entertainment, and reach for the hands of both sides. 

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3 responses »

  1. For those of us who steer away from organized religion, groaning in response to a Jesus-thanking acceptance speech is nothing out of the ordinary. Nonetheless, Griffin’s comment is the first time anyone has “groaned” in public, specifically at an awards show.

    Although I can see how her “this is my God now” comment was a little icky and mocking, I don’t see why the rest of her speech is perceived as so controversial. In retrospect, all she did was declare that unlike other award recipients, she did not think her award had anything to do with Jesus. So the girl isn’t big on Christianity….who cares? Many people have different beliefs– isn’t this something we learn in kindergarten?

    It makes me sad that as a society we waste so much energy stewing over things like this. Everywhere I turn I’m reading about Kathy Griffin supposedly bashing Christians. Ugh.

  2. hey kat,
    i just wanted to comment you back, thanks so much by the way, really insightful. i wasn’t so much reflecting on that she wasn’t a christian because to each their own, i was more reacting to the overall causticness of her humor in general, it seems to mask anger and spring from pain. it’s just nosey me, but i just noticed that overall.

  3. Thanks for the reply!

    I hear you. My vent wasn’t specifically directed at your post, but the situation in general.

    Touching on something else you said–
    I agree with your “pain behind the joke” comment. Now that I think about it, it seems as though a lot of comedians use humor to deal with their inner frustrations with the world. Rosie is probably another good example of this.

    As someone who is deeply interested in society, the media, and politics, it’s easy to feel blah with the overwhelming [or maybe “underwhelming”] stuff going on around us. Hearing a great comedian stand back and make light of how silly the world sometimes is can be a feel-good stress relief. Ellen is another example.

    Anyway, thanks for the great post.

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