Recording four one-hour stand-up specials in a year is not special, Kathy Griffin.

Further proving that the Bravo channel has lost its marbles, comes this quote from Andy Cohen, who not only programs the network, but also puts himself on the network:

"There is no better way to start off 2011 than giving Kathy Griffin an unprecedented four new stand-up comedy specials on Bravo in one year. Kathy's quick fire humor and ability to tap into pop culture make for must watch television."

No. Just no. For all of the hard work that it took the late George Carlin, and the current Louis CK, to develop a new hour of hard-hitting stand-up comedy within the span of a year or two, just imagine the lack of effort it will take for Kathy Griffin to vomit out a new hour every three months of 2011 about whichever "celebrity" she stood next to the day before the taping. Because that's what Bravo viewers are going to get. Because that's what her brand of "comedy" has been about, since she played a version of herself mocking Jerry Seinfeld on Seinfeld almost two decades ago. Listening to someone yak about their day is not stand-up comedy. That's simply having a fag hag for a girlfriend. Bravo, Bravo.

Sean L. McCarthy

Editor and publisher since 2007, when he was named New York's Funniest Reporter. Former newspaper reporter at the New York Daily News, Boston Herald and smaller dailies and community papers across America. Loves comedy so much he founded this site.

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8 thoughts on “Recording four one-hour stand-up specials in a year is not special, Kathy Griffin.

  1. That’s pretty harsh. Kathy has a schtick, which happens to be celebrities. John Stewart’s is Politics. Are you mad at Comedy Central for giving John Stewart a show every day? Doug Benson’s has one for his podcast (movies).
    Just because it lends itself to a lot of material (which becomes dated very quickly and won’t hold up anyway) doesn’t mean it’s not funny.

  2. I think Sean’s point is her comedy is not really insightful, poignant or offers any additional POV outside of her telling stories about what happened to her (or she heard happened to someone else but changed the story so it’s her).
    Her specials are tantamount to an episode of “Extra” with Mario Lopez. That’s not comedy. That’s gossip. That’s a living breathing National Enquirer.

  3. I’m with AJ. Since comedy is a subjective artform, there’s no law that says it has to be “insightful, poignant” or offer “any additional POV outside of her telling stories about what happened to her”. You can make a junkfood vs. haute cuisine argument about the quality of Griffin’s subject matter but not the execution of the material. The beauty of stand-up comedy is that it takes many forms. No one is supposed to like all of them. Bravo likes hers. Bravo’s viewers like hers. I like hers. And I love Pryor’s and Carlin’s. One of the best-written celebrity gossip sites in my opinion is by Michael K. It’s speculative photo (not fact)-based coverage that’s invasive of people’s privacy, but it’s pure comedy with parallels, act-outs and zingers with insight and incredibly creative specificity.

  4. Another point about topical comedy – it’s ephemeral, but it’s still comedy. Political humor is ephemeral topical comedy with the added bonus of potentially influencing the public to action. Late night monologues are ephemeral topical comedy with the added bonus of providing a recapitulation of the world’s most popular news items. The added bonus to crappy celebrity gossip comedy is a snapshot of the cultural zeitgeist.
    If Griffin cranked out four one-hour specials every year until she died, and if she did it on her own, she would be considered prolific – the Carlin of celebrity gossip. Look at Jeff Ross who excels in celebrity roasts. Roasting is incredibly formulaic and yet, only a handful of comedy veterans do it well enough to generate content for a successful televised special. Like anything in comedic entertainment, it takes a tremendous amount of work and appears deceptively simple.

  5. Wow. Kathy Griffin is extremely funny to her fans. She’s not a thief or a hack or an asshole. (BTW, I have only met her once, so this is not a friend defense). And she’s making a great living as a stand up, after doing it for many, many years. Have any successful yet not universally beloved male comedians received this kind of criticism on this blog?

  6. She’s good at her brand of humor, and she’s fun to watch. There are SO MANY lesser known comics who imitate – in our NYC comedy scene, and they do really well for themselves. It’s not my brand of comedy, but I’ve definitely enjoyed watching it – and it’s a reflection of pop culture. I can think of a few campy female or gay standups whose work is in the very same vain, and you’ve complimented them on this blog. What gives?

  7. Dear Laurie Kilmartin,
    I don’t think this has anything to do with the fact she happens to be a woman, but rather her style/type of comedy. If it was announced that you or Bonnie where doing an hour, the response would be “Wow, that’s ambitious but I can’t not wait to see how they do it”, at least that would be my response.

  8. Laurie;
    Laying aside the issue of gender, or whether Kathy griffin is funny – four one-hour specials in a year? That shit is fuckin ridiculous. Even if Bill Cosby himself decided to accomplish it, there’s no way – NO WAY – it’s going to be all good.
    And this is coming from someone who finds Kathy Griffin unbearable as an entire human being, not just a representative of her gender.
    I’m Captain Haha, and I approve this message.

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