There is little Kathy Griffin can't -- or won't -- do. The comedian has won two Emmy awards, been nominated for a Grammy, starred in countless movies, and sold out theaters around the world, so it seemed only a matter of time before she'd take to her laptop and launch an all out assault on the literary world. Official Book Club Selection is Griffin's first memoir (we're guessing she's good for at least another dozen) and it follows her life from her days as a young girl in Oak Park, Ill., honing her trash-talking skills by playing neighborhood gossip, through her infamous plastic surgery exploits, to pissing off the cream of Hollywood's crop with her straight talkin' stand-up.
We caught up with the My Life on the D-List star to find out what sex with Jack Black is like, why she's done matchmaking her gays, and who she wants to cast in her celebrity sex tape.
Out: Nobody reads anymore. Why a book? And why now?
Kathy Griffin: Well, Oprah and I are on a mission together, as lesbian lovers, to get people to read more. And I can only hope that Gayle will help us -- as a happy three-way. You have to remember theres also the audio book, theres Kindle, and I think people will want to pick up this book just based on my incredibly fucked up plastic surgery photos alone. So, while there are things to read, there are also shocking photos that might just grab your eye. Did you see those pictures?
Theyre kind of hard to miss.
This is how sick I am: I had my botched liposuction and I couldnt wait to do stand-up. As soon as I was able to stand I hit the microphone. I used to actually pull my pants down in my act to show my horror and my bruises and all my -- I call it my Worse Than Rihanna.
[Laughs] Well, you have to use everything youve got.
No kidding! I am coming out guns blazing with this thing! I just thought If Im going to do it, Im going to do it.
When was the first time when you really had -- as Oprah would say -- your light bulb moment and you realized there were gay people out there?
I think my mother, of course, very innocently was the kiss of death when [I was in high school and] she said to my then-boyfriend Tom, Youre prettier than any of the girls. [Laughs.] And in those days, that was maybe the first red flag -- when the guys were prettier than the girls. And frankly, when the guys wanted to be prettier than the girls. I didnt know exactly what it meant to be gay, I just knew I wanted to be near them.
When did you first realize that you had a gay following?
When I started performing in Los Angeles, I would go to open mic nights and I would sing. Believe it or not, I started as a singer and I found the best response at open mic nights were at gay clubs as opposed to comedy clubs. So I would drag my parents to these gay clubs, where my father would look around and just think it was a coincidence that there were no women there. And I thought, Thats fine. You guys just think that. Surely even then the audiences were just better in the gay clubs and I started to think that no matter what I do Im always going to seek out the audiences because they seem more fun, more open-minded, and theyve just been so good to me. Im so grateful.
The book isnt all fun and games -- theres also a lot of heavy stuff going on in there. Did you ever worry that your fans wouldnt expect that from you, and whats more, might not want that from you?
I have a feeling its going to be the opposite. My family is as dysfunctional as any other -- [laughs] OK, maybe a little more dysfunctional -- but one thing Ive learned over the years is that when I talk about my family or friends -- I have a joke in my act where I say, and Ive said it in my live shows with thousands of people in the audience, Look around, look around, either you or your neighbor has a relative in jail. We all think that our families are the craziest, but everyones family is crazy. Im proud of my crazy family and Im happy to write about them [laughs]. And for Gods sake -- I waited until I was 48 years old to write about them. If I could have written it posthumously, I would have.
Have any of your family or friends had a negative reaction?
No. They havent read it yet. They helped me with a little bit of it in the research department -- sometimes Ill forget what year something happened or the sequence of something. But I told them, Get ready, Im gonna come and do some truth tellin. Theyre so used to it by now [laughs.] But I will tell you, I have a secret dream that my family will turn into the family of Kate Gosselin [from Jon and Kate Plus 8] and constantly go on Good Morning America and The Today Show and talk bad about me, because I think that would be better for the book. So if that means I have to slip them a little cash for them to go on those shows, it might be worth it.
Two words: Jack. Black.
Yeah. I fucked him.
I know. Im kind of speechless.
By the way, I know the gays are not going to be that thrilled by that.
Trust me, were not.
I know the gays are a little more interested in my night of sin with Levi Johnston.
Oh yeah, weve been loving that.
I tore his boxers up, baby! And the Jack Black thing -- I went out with him for about three months and he was a fun boyfriend and --
OK, OK, but lets cut the crap, Kathy: how was he in bed?
He was wonderful in bed.
Yeah. I cant honestly say I remember details of every guy Ive slept with [laughs], but I do remember Jack being wonderful in bed.
And wonderful out of bed. And funny. And sweet.
Yeah! Go Jack! Who knew?
Do you ever play matchmaker with your gays? Like, who would you set Lance Bass up with?
Here is the thing that I have learned over the years: I have had it with you people! [Laughs.] I am not fixing up one more of my goddamn gays! It is always a disaster. They are so much worse than my girlfriends because they all come to me saying, I want to meet this guy or I want to meet that guy and I fix them up and its always a disaster. And then they turn on me! How could you think Id like him? You know I only like blonds! He ate a carbohydrate yesterday! Oh no. That is it. I put the gays in a room and then they just fend for themselves like wild animals.
A total free-for-all.
Just when I think this guy might like this other guy, Im totally wrong and it turns out he likes the other guy who was at the party and so I put them all together in as big of a party as possible and then I let them hook up on their own.
Like the sauna at the gym -- just put them all together and let them do what theyre going to do.
Just let them simmer and see what dish comes out, you know what I mean?
Whose celebrity memoir is more D-list -- yours or Janice Dickinsons?
I would say absolutely mine. Janice had like sex with Mick Jagger -- I had sex with Jack Black. If that isnt the A-list to the D-list, I dont know what is. I mean, Janice went to Studio 54 and she was on the cover of Vogue 17 million times. I was on the cover of a magazine called Double Down, which was a poker magazine. So Id have to say mine was more D-list -- as usual.
Right now we have Lady Gaga on the cover of our September issue. What's your take on all the hermaphrodite rumors swirling around her? Do you think shes a man? A woman? Neither? Both?
I think that if shes smart, shell say shes both. By the way, Id like to break this news to you that I have a penis as well as a vagina. Unfortunately coming from me, its not that much of a reveal, but it can only broaden her demographic.
And mine! If I could, instead of my plastic surgery photos, I would have printed a photo of my vagina-slash-penis. That would really get me readers. Oh -- and I want to go on record and say Im a top, in case anybodys asking.
On the latest season of My Life On The D-List you were dubbed Norma Gay and you had some political moments -- your tribute to Matthew Shepard and your activism around gay marriage. Do you see your day-to-day life as political?
It is, because Im on tour all the time, I go do shows in the Bible Belt and I cant tell you how many people -- believe it or not, even in this day and age -- have come up to me after a show and said, Wow. Ive never been surrounded by so many gay people, or when I shout Where are my gays at? some of the gays are sitting next to straight guys whove been dragged there by their wives and its always positive. Ive had some redneck guys be like, Man! Ive never seen so many gay people at once! but Ive never had anyone complain about it or use the F word. So in my own little way, while Im burning bridges in Hollywood [laughs], Im trying to build bridges in the gay community -- one dick joke at a time.
Youve done movies, TV, youve had a Grammy-nominated album, you were on The Celebrity Mole, now youve got a book -- what do you still want to accomplish?
Id like to do a sex tape with Ryan Seacrest. I dont know if Im his type, if you know what Im saying.
Well, you mentioned youre a top and I think theres a good chance hes a bottom --
[Laughs.] I was going to say that I probably have about as much of a chance with him as I do with Lance Bass because God knows Ive been trying to get him in the sack for 10 fucking years! He is a tough cookie. Hes always surrounded by Brazilian male models.
I saw Lance a few weeks ago in Chelsea with something very hunky.
He has the pick of the litter. Ive seen them all come, and Ive seen them all go.
Kathy Griffin's Official Book Club Selection is now in stores. For all the latest Kathy news, including tour dates and book signings,
check out her website.