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Kathy Griffin looks for humor in dark moments on her newest tour

Kathy Griffin Color 1.jpg
Photo courtesy of of Pam Loshak.

For Emmy-award winning comedian and actress Kathy Griffin, the best part of doing a stand–up tour is that every night’s set is different.

“I don’t know what I’m going to say any more than the audience knows what I’m going to say,” she said.

This Sunday, Griffin will bring her first tour in six years, “Kathy Griffin: My Life on the PTSD-List,” to the Carolina Theatre of Durham.

The tour spans over 40 cities, including New York City, Atlanta, Chicago and Honolulu.

“My Life on the PTSD-List” comes on the heels of a tumultuous period in her career and personal life. 

“I really, really believe in looking for the humor and the laughter and even just irony in your darkest moments,” Griffin said.

The tour’s tagline refers to her diagnosis with complex PTSD as well as the reality television series, “Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D List,” which launched her career. 

Since the show began airing in 2005, Griffin has hosted her own late-night television show, “Kathy,” starred in a record 20 televised stand-up specials and made guest appearances on “Glee,” “Seinfeldand “Curb Your Enthusiasm.”

In 2017, Griffin lost several endorsements and was added to the No Fly List after she posted a picture of herself holding the fake severed head of former President Donald Trump.

“I think people are finally coming around and being like, ‘Oh, she got a raw deal with that thing,’” Griffin said.

Griffin said she also battled an addiction to prescription pills and a diagnosis with lung cancer, along with divorcing her husband three and a half months ago.

“I get sober — and then get this shit!” Griffin said. “I get diagnosed with lung cancer, and I’ve never smoked.”

In her tour, Griffin discusses these topics, along with an array of anecdotes about the entertainment industry and her takes on politics.

Griffin said she includes stories about meeting Megan Thee Stallion and Anya Taylor-Joy at Paris Hilton’s birthday party, going on a “girls trip” vacation to Mexico with singer Sia and her therapy treatments, including one where she is told to meow like a cat.

“I can usually tell what kind of an audience they are in the first few minutes,” Griffin said. “Some audiences are celebrity-oriented. Some audiences want to hear more about the PTSD stuff.”

Griffin also conducts research for each location she visits on her tour and tailors certain bits for local audiences. 

She said she has been to the Triangle before, and her favorite part about the area is the food.

“I mean, the people are a close second, but the food’s unparalleled,” Griffin said. “So I’m going to get some southern food, because I live in Malibu, California, which couldn’t be further away from the South.”

Audiences should expect plenty of profanity and hilarity at Carolina Theatre, Griffin said, and should come to the show with an open mind and heart.

After so many years away, Griffin said she was excited to be returning to stand-up comedy. 

“Now I get to go back to work and do what I love best, which is touring,” she said.

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