Kathy Griffin Sets Carnegie Hall, Kennedy Center Gigs, Still Thinks ‘What Happened Was Bulls—‘

On “Real Time With Bill Maher,” Griffin announces first major U.S. gigs since backlash over provocative anti-Trump photo shoot

Kathy Griffin Real Time With Bill Maher

Nine months after her career was nearly derailed by the backlash over a provocative, anti-Trump photo shoot, Kathy Griffin has lined up high-profile gigs at Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center.

The comedian announced the performances during a top-of-the-show appearance on “Real Time With Bill Maher,” telling Maher: “I just booked a show at Carnegie Hall in New York, and I’m also gonna go right to Trump’s backyard and do a show at the Kennedy Center.”

The dates for the shows have not yet been announced, but in a tweet posted shortly after her “Real Time” appearance, Griffin said tickets for the Carnegie Hall show will go on sale next week.

Earlier, Griffin thanked Maher for his support during the uproar over the photo, which depicted her holding the severed head of Donald Trump. Maher said last June, during the height of the backlash, that Griffin “was going for a laugh. And I understand that.”

He added: You make a mistake, you don’t have to go away. Everyone makes mistakes. Kathy Griffin should not go away.”

“I really want to thank you for being one of the first and only people to publicly support me and say what happened was bulls—,” Griffin told Maher on Friday’s episode of “Real Time.” “It was bulls—,” Maher agreed.

She contrasted that public support with other unnamed “celebrities” who, she said, texted her “saying ‘Don’t tell anybody about this text, [but] I totally support you’.”

After the photo was posted in May 2017, Griffin was investigated by the Secret Service and fired from her annual gig co-hosting CNN’s New Year’s Eve broadcast alongside Anderson Cooper. She also saw her 50-city comedy tour collapse as theaters backed out.

But, she told Maher, “I don’t blame them. They’re normally doing ‘Stomp’ or ‘Mama Mia,’” not dealing with what she says were multiple death threats against her.

“We need comedians,” Maher said, “to sometimes go over the line so we know where the lines are.”

Griffin told Maher that the political climate has changed significantly since the backlash. “I’m finding that people are wanting that kind of comedy… People don’t want dog and cat jokes, the want the real deal.”