Kathy Griffin’s late-night talker axed by Bravo – sad, yes – but maybe good for her career…

KathyGriffinTIFFSept2011

photo: gdcgraphics

I’m a huge fan of Kathy Griffin’s – I think the comedienne is probably the smartest standup working today. Part of her fame comes from her hard work ethic – she seemingly doesn’t turn down job offers and does just about anything. Her popular reality show for Bravo TV – Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List, chronicled her life in Hollywood, working hard to gain career momentum and to have her star ascend. Due to the show’s success, she became one of the most in-demand standup comics – graduating from clubs and selling out theaters, as well as penning a best-selling memoir, getting plum guest-starring roles on TV, becoming a LGBT activist, and hosting her own talk show on Bravo.But because of lukewarm reviews and lackluster ratings, Bravo chose not to renew the show for the third season. Fans of Kathy may be disappointed, but this could give Griffin the chance to pursue the alleged talk show with pal Anderson Cooper.I thought Kathy was great in its first season: the format was pretty standard for shows like it: Griffin would do a monologue, then launch into various pop culture topics, usually with a panel of friends chiming in, and finally a pre-taped segment with her popular mother, Maggie Griffin.

In the second season, the format was scrubbed – instead, Griffin would be accompanied by a panel of celebrities and the group would tackle the pop culture topics.

Even though Griffin’s comedy is primarily known for its celebrity and popular culture themes, it’s a shame that Griffin didn’t expand her scope on the show. In her concerts – and this was especially true during the Bush years as well as election time, Griffin also included political and topical humor. And as seen by her appearances on CNN, Griffin’s a well-spoken, well-informed and intelligent woman, who can discuss politics with a strong grasp on the subjects; that is what made her appearances on ABC’s The View so interesting.

That’s why I think her possible show with Cooper would be promising. Cooper and Griffin share a great chemistry – they love each other in real life (Cooper’s mother Gloria Vanderbilt is a close friend of Griffin’s) and their New Year’s Eve specials on CNN are very popular. Also, she brings out a flirty side to Cooper that is rarely seen. But because Cooper is an established “serious journalist” this would also give Griffin the opportunity to weigh on political topics, as well – something that wasn’t encouraged on the Bravo show.

Because Griffin’s concerts are sell-outs and she’ll probably have other best-selling books, she doesn’t need television; in fact, she may not want to return to TV. But if she chooses to return to the small screen, I think a CNN show with Anderson Cooper would be an excellent vehicle for the smart and mouthy comedienne.

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Filed under Celeb, Comedy, commentary, Television

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