Kathy Griffin, the queen of crassly commercial self-promotion, releases a non-holiday holiday album. Which is one reason why we love her
3.5 out of 5 Stars
SUCKIN’ IT FOR THE HOLIDAYS
Kathy Griffin • Twist Records
Whenever I hear a pop musician’s Christmas music CD, or see a celeb-filled TV special with snow on the ground and stars bundled in fur by the fire, I always think the same thing: They recorded this in July and it’s all fake. How difficult it must be to get in the Christmas spirit when the mercury’s rising. (I bought my first carton of eggnog this week, and I can say from experience, a balmy November puts a damper on the drink.)
So despite the artwork — Santa hats and candy canes — and the title, Kathy Griffin’s new comedy CD, Suckin’ It for the Holidays, has about as much in common with Christmas as fireworks and barbecues, but who needs faux sappy sentiment anyway? We want dish.
And Griffin doesn’t disappoint. She gives shout-outs to "her gays" right from the start.
"Hello gays! You’re here, thank God! … Hello four straight guys! I know you’re bitter … I got nothin’ for ya," she deadpans.
Though really, there’s no reason why even hetero men can’t enjoy Griffin’s raunchy humor, which delves into her mother’s outrageous, wine-induced rants (familiar to those who regularly watch her My Life on the D List reality show) to her own shocking assessment of Maya Angelou as "insufferable."
But all throughout, there’s the queer comic edge to her material, from her broadsides against Oprah Winfrey and "her boyfriend Gayle King" (whom Griffin bumped into at an awards banquet while on the arm of lesbian financial guru Suze Orman) to her campaigning against Prop 8 in California, Griffin knows where her bread is boy-buttered and she delivers (though the ending, in which she concentrates on The Real Housewives and other reality celebs like Joan Rivers and Spencer Pratt, feels dated already).
Her scheduled concert appearance in Dallas at the Meyerson was recently rescheduled from January to April. So while this CD might not be quite as good as the live Kathy, it’ll do in a pinch — and is more than enough to tide over her fans until spring.
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition November 13, 2009.