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Her Stand-Up Tour Comes to Five Florida Cities Starting April 22

The comedian Kathy Griffin has brought laughter into our lives for nearly twenty years. Whether you’ve seen her as Vicki on the sitcom Suddenly Susan, or on her own Emmy Award-winning TV show My Life on the D-List, or her numerous TV specials, chances are you’ve laughed at her jokes about celebrities and even more about her mother. Now, as Kathy preps for another television special, she is bringing her newest material directly to you here in Florida! Kathy Griffin starts a five-city tour of the Sunshine State on Wednesday, April 22.

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On that night, she will be performing her stand-up at the Tennessee Williams Theatre in Key West at 8 p.m. From there she will be going on to Lakeland where she will be performing at The Lakeland Center at 8 p.m. on Thursday, April 23. She then performs in West Palm Beach at the Kravis Center for the Performing Arts on Friday, April 24 at 8 p.m., followed by a performance at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts in Fort Lauderdale on Saturday, April 25 at 8 p.m., ending with a performance at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall in Sarasota on Sunday, April 26 at 7 p.m.

Tickets for the Key West show are currently sold out; please check with the venue in the event that more tickets may become available. Tickets are available for all of her other Florida shows and the ticket prices start at $41 (Lakeland), $20 (West Palm Beach), $40 (Fort Lauderdale) and $52.62 (Sarasota). Tickets may be bought by going online to kathygriffin.net/tour.php or by going to the box offices of the venues in question, who will be selling tickets right up to the day of the performance.

I was able to talk to Kathy Griffin for this exclusive Hotspots interview as she is touring her way through the United States on her way to Florida. It was an honor to interview her.

Welcome back to Florida! Are there any people you just have to see while you’re here this time?

I will be hitting up my Florida crew for sure. Yes, at some point there will be a dinner with Gloria Estefan and Suze Orman. When I am in Florida and we all get together, it is a very colorful conversation that includes inappropriate jokes, financial advice, and spontaneous Spanglish.

KathyGriffin_copy4Your gay fans have embraced you for so long. When did you make the decision to use your celebrity to bring awareness to LGBT causes?

This has been an organic marriage my whole life. And yes, I’m referring to a time when gay marriage was not legal anywhere. What I mean by this is, the LGBTQIA2’s and I just found each other along the way.

Okay, let me clarify: my high school boyfriend, Tom, is marrying his lover, David, of 25 years. Now do you get the picture? In my day we had a very un-PC word for girls that just happened to gravitate toward the community. I will not use the word today, but there was a time when I was proud to be called a…let’s just say it rhymes with “Dag Hag.”

What can people expect from you when you bring your stand-up to Florida? Can you tell us a few of the celebrities you’re going to talk about this time?

Well, first of all, I will be taking Florida down district by district. I mean, come on Florida, what’s next? President Ted Cruz is going to outlaw same-sex house flipping? One of the reasons I love playing Florida is that I know the good people who come to the vulgar and inappropriate Kathy Griffin show have HAD IT. I will not be holding back on any celebrities. How can I? I am on Bruce Jenner Watch 24/7, just like you are.

For a while you were performing as many as three or four comedy specials per year for TV. How many comedy specials are being prepared for 2015? Will the material we see make it into a special?

Look, f–ker, my Grammy for Best Comedy Album is only one year old and you are already starting with me?

Okay, okay, you got me – I am planning a special for 2015. I have done 20 televised stand-up specials. The fun part is, I can’t stop planning for the next special because these crazy celebrities, reality stars, and my 94-year old alcoholic mother Maggie cannot seem to stop giving me material. There is always a large portion of my life that does not make it into the specials because, frankly, I do go too far. That is why the live shows will always be the truly, uncensored “good crack.”
A lot of us absolutely adore your mother. How is she? Will she be traveling with you to Florida?KathyGriffin_copy

Unfortunately, your beloved Maggie will not be able to make the trip to Florida, due to the fact that she fears she may get “the runs” on the airplane. Yes, I know that was TMI, but damn it, she is 95 years old on June 10 this year and if that is her reason, then I’m asking you to accept her as she is.

She is as busy as ever. She is particularly curious about Kendra [Wilkinson]’s marriage to Hank Baskett. I think you can figure out why. Let me just say to you and the community, I will not quote Maggie’s words directly but there is a part of the choices that Hank Baskett has allegedly made in his sex life that Maggie finds confusing.

Who are your inspirations in comedy?

My biggest inspirations are the women of comedy. Yeah, that’s right, chicks are funny! Women have such a wide range of giving us the belly laughs that I’m tired of all of us getting a bad rap. My inspirations range from the classic sidekicks from Margaret Dumont in the Marx Brothers movies to Rhoda on The Mary Tyler Moore Show to Elaine on Seinfeld. Even though I primarily do stand-up, these women were as much of an influence to me as my stand-up ladies. Of course, my stand-up ladies include everyone from the great Moms Mabley to my own contemporaries to the up-and-comers.

What was it like to host the Daytime Emmy Awards last year? What was your favorite moment from the awards? (Any good dish?)

KathyGriffin_copy3Hosting the Daytimes, as we call them in the industry, was a blast because they did them online last year, which means I didn’t have to censor myself. I was especially happy because it was, in fact, nominee Sharon Osbourne who dropped the F-bomb before I did. That was a rare treat.

I am not exactly an expert on any of the soaps, but I will tell you, those actors do not play around when it comes to their attire for the Daytime Emmys. It is their day, damn it, and most of them were dressed up like something out of Toddlers & Tiaras. One woman got so drunk she passed out in the public bathroom and Dr. Drew had to personally go in and check in on her. How’s that for some good dish?

When Wanda Sykes came to Florida in February, I asked her if there’s anything she feels is “off-limits” in comedy and she said that something is naturally off-limits if it can’t be made funny. Do you feel the same way?

I’ll let you in on a little secret: Believe it or not, there are things that are off-limits and here’s why – stand-up comedy does have to evolve just like the rest of the world. So while I truly feel that when I will be standing on that stage, nothing will be off-limits. After doing stand-up as long as I have, I do have an innate sense of certain words we don’t need to use anymore, and an approach to comedy that is truly directed to those who I feel (and I say this with love) have it coming. There is such a thing as fair game in my act, and it is always in flux. So make sure you show up to see who made the list.

Tell me something not many people know about you.

I have a rather large penis.

You’ve been able to accomplish so many things in your career. What have you not had the chance to do yet, but would love to do?

Two things. I would love a shot at an unexpected dramatic turn in a film a la Mo’Nique in Precious, Lily Tomlin in Robert Altman’s Nashville, Whoopi Goldberg in The Color Purple or Queen Latifah in Chicago. Second, I’ve written a treatment for a scripted series based on all the things I can’t put in my act. It’s a series that would be hilarious as well as dark. I could be in it, or simply produce and co-write it. It’s kind of a “Shameless” meets “Modern Family,” and some day, damn it, it will see the light of day.

For more information on Kathy Griffin, visit kathygriffin.net. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram as well @KathyGriffin.