Forget for a second president aspirant Barack Obama and the Audacity of Hope. We're talking about the diminutive redhead comedian Kathy Griffin and the Hope of Audacity.
Griffin first became well known in the mid-1990s as the grating, sassy-mouth sidekick to Brooke Shields in the sitcom Suddenly Susan. In the years following the end of that show, she made her bread and butter by performing stand-up comedy of the bad-boyfriend variety and by shamelessly appearing in anything that would have her (the first season of Celebrity Mole, which she won; and The Surreal Life, on which, in one season, she chauffeured the struggling stars to their destination). Griffin reveled in her D-list status and seemed to be pleased by her frequent appearances as a target in US magazine's "Fashion Police," happy perhaps that they even bothered.
Then, in 2005, Griffin opened her big mouth, and everything clicked. She was working the red carpet at the Golden Globes as a reporter for E! and quipped that the then-10-year-old actress Dakota Fanning had just entered rehab. The joke earned her a pink slip from the network, a public rebuke from director Steven Spielberg, and many, many new fans. That same year she debuted her reality series My Life on the D-List, now in its fourth season on Bravo, and has since been gleefully targeting celebrities with a renewed vigor and getting banned from an ever-growing list of talk shows.
In 2007, My Life on the D-List won an Emmy. During her acceptance speech, Griffin declined to go the route of other winners. "A lot of people come up here and thank Jesus for this award," she said. "I want you to know that no one had less to do with this award than Jesus. He didn't help me a bit. ... So all I can say is suck it, Jesus, this award is my god now."
Hoping for audacity? You're in luck: Griffin performs at the Orpheum on Saturday.
Kathy Griffin, Saturday, September 6th, at 7 p.m., at the Orpheum. Tickets are $47 and $57.