Kathy Griffin, the red-headed comedian who made her name in 1996 as a sidekick to Brooke Shields on Suddenly Susan, knows that she'll forever be on the celebrity D-List. Even if she has A-list moments, she says, her D-list reality comes crashing down on her.
To Griffin, being interviewed on NPR is clearly a D-list gig. As she notes to guest host David Greene, "I don't even have the real host today? I got the new guy filling in? Oh, this is so typical! ... I can't believe the real guy's not here today, or girl or whatever.
"NPR listeners, I know who you are. I know you guys read books, which I find tedious," she says. "You guys might try a book called Us Weekly. OK? It's a really good book. It has a lot of pictures."
But as much fun as she has at NPR's expense, Griffin saves the sharpest skewers for stars, because "they are the gift that keeps on giving. The celebrities are out of control."
Griffin admits that she's not part of the solution to the "dumbing down of America." She notes how much the TV landscape has changed since her early days on Suddenly Susan to the reality-crazed TV habits of today. But she says she has "no desire to fight it" — she's "going to join it."
This year, she says, the stars who join her on her Bravo show, My Life on the D-List, range from Paris Hilton to Melissa Etheridge. "Mondays on Bravo at 10!" Griffin recites with staccato precision.
As for Griffin's "borderline A-list moments," she recalls an encounter she had after winning an Emmy last year. She was backstage with fellow comedian Sarah Silverman and actress Jenna Fischer when a dancer from Dancing with the Stars gushed to Silverman, "Oh, you're so great."
The dancer then turned to Griffin, who recalls her saying, "I don't know who you are, but nice to meet you."
"And those moments continue to happen, so I know that I will never be on the A-list," Griffin says.
"I also don't have a desire to be on the A-list. I feel more people can relate to the D-list than the A-list."