Surviving 'Rosie Live' And Other 2008 Memories: A Kathy Griffin Fireside Chat

Kathy Griffin isn't just a frequent subject of our fair site—she's also a Defamer reader. And so, who better for us to interview to help make sense of the crazy Hollywood year that was 2008?

When we spoke to Griffin, she had just left Los Angeles (where she'd eaten Christmas Eve dinner at Cher's house) and had flown to New York to co-host CNN's New Year's Eve coverage with Anderson Cooper. Did she see the Coop's notorious 60 Minutes interview with Michael Phelps, we asked? "Of course I did! Who didn't? Even my mom was titillated."

So Kathy, a lot has happened since Defamer last spoke to you, both for your career, and for the world.

Oh yeah! I don't know if you came to any of my Kodak shows last week, but I had the most unusual, weird, wonderful combo of people come backstage. I wasn't doing any meet-and-greets because usually it's just a bunch of agents who don't really know me, so I had a "no meet-and-greet" policy. But every night I would hear that little walkie-talkie: "Dave Grohl wants to say hi." So that was extremely exciting, I got to meet him. And then the next night was really good because we had the unusual combo of T.R. Knight and Dave Chappelle.

Did they come backstage at the same time?

Yeah, both at the same time! So that was a great moment and I wish there'd been some 360 flipcam action going on. T.R. was really sweet and I was dying to ask him about Grey's Anatomy, but Chappelle kinda cockblocked me. Chappelle had no idea who T.R. is so I'm sitting there trying to explain what Grey's Anatomy is and T.R. is very much enamored and very much a fan of Dave's. And you know, to me, a Chappelle sighting is kind of like Elvis.

You alluded to T.R. Knight's backstage drama, and I wanted to ask you about your own. What was up with the Bravo renegotiation for the next season of D-List? There were rumors that you were jumping ship, then Bravo told us they'd signed you...

They definitely said I was signed when I wasn't. It was just a bloodbath of a negotation. It was a very D-list negotiation. I'm not in this situation you hear about where people get Porsches from their networks. Can I say what Bravo got me for Christmas?

Sure.

It's an eco-friendly blanket. Yeah, it was a bloody negotiation. All I can say is, you should see the other guy.

There's also talk that the format of My Life on the D-List is going to change a little bit? How so?

Yeah, I'm excited about that. We've already actually started. You know, Bravo originally talked to me at one point about doing a talk show, and I'm not sure about that. I feel like the best way to do that is to try to learn and see what you can do well instead of jumping behind a desk, at least for me. So I said, "Well, what if we take The D-List and instead of having me do things that aren't really part of my life anymore, we keep the elements of The D-List that you love—cut to my mom with a box of wine—but this year we have it be more celebrity-oriented. So half of it is like a talk show with A-listers and the other half of it is the D-list stuff you've come to expect for me to be horrified by.

Surviving 'Rosie Live' And Other 2008 Memories: A Kathy Griffin Fireside Chat

Kathy, what was up with Andy Cohen and Daniel Craig having that shirtless frolic in St. Bart's? How did that happen?

Andy Cohen who?

Andy Cohen from Bravo.

ANDY COHEN FROM BRAVO had a shirtless frolic with Daniel Craig?

You need to get yourself on the internet after this interview to look up those pictures.

That sounds like a gay photo shoot to me.

It kind of is. There's a lot of bare chests and Daniel Craig emerging from the surf in short shorts.

That makes me vomit, because all that tells me is that that's what Andy Cohen is doing instead of promoting Season 5 of My Life on the D-List. The double Emmy-winning My Life on the D-List.

We have to talk about Rosie Live. That was such a...

...such a clusterfuck backstage, is what you were going to say? [laughs] I had more fun backstage at that than at anything in my life. It was really just the most bizarre, odd combination of people sharing dressing rooms, because it was an off-Broadway theater. At one point I looked in my room and there was Jane Krakowski in like a zip-up teddy and heels and fishnets, and there's Liza in a cashmere, sparkly Halston rehearsing over and over, then Gloria Estefan is in a wool dress fanning herself because there's no air conditioning, and then Alec Baldwin walks in and he's so hot that he uses the cool setting on a blow dryer to blow his face. And then in comes Clay [Aiken]! And it doesn't get any better than that.

And he was frosty to you. I assume that was the first time you'd seen him since he came out of the closet.

Frosty, yeah. You're damn right he was. Yeah, it was the first time I'd seen him since he "came out of the closet," but then that's all relative, isn't it? [laughs]

Why do you think he picked that time to finally come out?

I guess because of the kid. My guess is that he was going to be walking around with the baby and someone would ask, "Who's the mom?" And he doesn't want to have to say, "Harold," or whoever.

While we're on the subject, gay people are very mad at Obama right now because of Rick Warren. Did he screw up on that one?

Yeah, he did. Big time. Most straights aren't thrilled, either! Rick Warren...he's bad news, this guy. I just try to ignore those guys. It's funny, I make a joke about religion and then I get in trouble, but those guys ultimately are the joke. Who listens to anything Rick Warren says after that?

A lot of people, it seems.

What, his flock of morons? Let 'em have him.

What do you make of Jennifer Aniston's current press tour to promote her nude GQ photo shoot...I mean, Marley & Me?

I am so jealous of that GQ photo shoot! I want to put on a man's tie and look 25. I loved it. I don't understand the animosity toward Jennifer Aniston, I don't know what she's done to people, and it's kind of startling to me because I didn't know she had it in her to evoke such passion in people. This is the girl who was on Friends and she does movies now and then, but people are like out to get her now and I'm a little confused by that.

Speaking of animosty, let's discuss Elisabeth Hasselbeck and The View. We've had a crazy journey with her during this political year, and we've heard that there's been a lot of backstage drama. You've co-hosted there before—can you shed any light on the subject?

You know, I have an extremely annoying voice, so I should talk, but when I hear that chipmunky high-pitched screeching of hers, I just tune out. Maybe it's just from me being there so many times, but I know that backstage, you do the hair and makeup and you have an hour off to go to your room and do whatever you want, study or read the paper or whatever. And [with Elisabeth] all that happens is that Bill Geddie, the executive producer, goes to her room and gives her the Fox talking points. Everyone who's co-hosted the show knows that. So when I hear those things coming out of her mouth, I don't even know if those are her thoughts, as deep as they must be.

Finally, Seth wanted me to thank you for introducing David Archuleta to Defamer.

That was a fun conversation. I didn't know what he was taking from it or not. I mean, he's not always "present," shall I say? But to this day, that video of the screaming girls...that is my Prozac. If I'm having a bad day, I can play that and feel just fine about the world. It's so fucking funny.

All right Kathy, thank you so much.

Are you going to watch my New Year's show with Anderson?

We'll definitely DVR it.

OK, great. And remember, Ryan Seacrest can suck it.