Kathy Griffin’s journey is no laughing matter


The woman behind it all

Many of us have grown up watching a whole host of entertainers, including plenty of comedians. Whether it’s our favorite in hit movies or stand-up shows – there are many different ways these entertainers have kept us on the edge of our seats over the years. One of the most well-known is Kathy Griffin. However, it’s not just her comedy routines that have seen Kathy spend time in the limelight. No, this comedian has also been involved in a number of controversies that have got the world talking…

Fighting to stand out

Kathleen Mary Griffin was born on November 4, 1960, and was the youngest of five siblings in the house. It seemed as though there was always something going on which often left Kathy fighting for her parents’ attention. Perhaps that is how the youngster realized she needed to talk all the time to keep happy? However, things weren’t always simple for Kathy. In fact, it wasn’t long before she developed a problematic relationship with the rest of her family.

Reaching out for attention

As her siblings continued to grow older, they all began to move out of the family home and start their own lives. Kathy was suddenly all alone. The youngster started to visit her neighbors’ house when she needed someone to talk to and would begin to develop shows. Kathy quickly realized she needed juicy material if she was going to keep her neighbors entertained. Unfortunately, due to her frequent time alone, it wasn’t long before the young star developed an eating disorder – something she still battles to this day.

A difficult relationship

Although her siblings had all moved on with their own lives, many of them would often visit Kathy and her parents each week. Kenny was one of the many. However, there was a large age gap as Kathy was just 7 years old when Kenny was 30. Kathy never understood what was happening, but later realized her brother was using inappropriate behavior in her bedroom. Kathy kept the secret to herself for many years and only told her parents when she was in her 20s.

A school with a difference

Kathy was soon sent to a Catholic school as her parents wanted their daughter to learn all about the family’s religion. It had the opposite effect. In fact, Kathy admitted it was her time in the school that made her turn her back on faith as the nuns would often give her severe punishments, even when she felt as though she did nothing wrong. As soon as Kathy graduated, she managed to find comfort in musical theater. It was then Kathy decided she wanted to be an actress.

Making the move

Somehow, Kathy was able to convince her family to move across the country to Los Angeles so she could follow her dreams of becoming a famous star. It was here, at 19 years old, that Kathy got tickets to see the comedy group The Groundlings. At last, Kathy knew she wanted to be a comedy performer, and for the first time she was transforming into the Kathy Griffin we recognize today. All she needed to do was speak to a member of the group to find out how she could join them on stage.

Learning the ropes

Kathy learned she needed to take classes if she was going to make it as a famous comedian and immediately set about finding the best she could afford in the area. After weeks of hard work, young Kathy was finally ready to make her debut on stage with The Groundlings. Kathy soon started performing her own stand-up comedy and became the talk of LA. All that attention soon earned the Kathy her own show. She was finally becoming a star.

Hitting the big screen

While Kathy was busy trying to make it as the next best comedian in Hollywood, she was also drawn back to her initial love of acting. There was only one way to fulfill her need: Kathy had to land some acting roles. What better place to start than the crime movie Pulp Fiction? It wasn’t long before the star was getting offered roles in a host of productions, including the horror The Unborn, the mockumentary Medusa: Dare to be Truthful, and the sitcom The Fresh Prince of Bel Air.

Very own show

No longer did Kathy have to worry about appearing on other people’s shows; the comedian was soon able to land her very own reality TV series. The show was titled Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List and was set to follow the star as she climbed her way from the bottom of the celebrity ladder all the way to the very top. Throughout all six seasons, it looked as though Kathy was happy to use comedy as a way to show the world that she might have lived a troubled life, but she was willing to fight her way to stardom.

An award-winning controversy

Although Kathy was busy climbing the ladder of fame, the comedian was soon involved in a major controversy at the Emmy Awards. Kathy had just won one of the prestigious awards, but her speech was less than desirable to many. The star began by stating how Jesus was nothing to do with her success and commented that he could leave her alone. Many believed it was Kathy’s way of speaking out against religion. However, she claims it was a comment about celebrities that thank Jesus for their success.

On and off the list

Thankfully, Kathy was soon able to bounce back from her questionable speech. The star was offered the chance to co-host the talk show The View but was banned from appearing on the set after just four months. Things were about to be up and down for Kathy who found herself banned and unbanned a number of times over the next few years. She is now allowed on the set once more and has even co-hosted The View on several occasions in the last few years.

A long list of bans

It’s not just The View that has spoken about its issues with the comedian; it seems as though a number of shows would rather keep Kathy Griffin at arms leg. The talk show The Tonight Show with Jay Leno has also admitted to banning Kathy from their guest list. As if that wasn’t enough, Kathy has been told she is no longer permitted to host E! red carpet events after joking that 11-year-old Dakota Fanning was in rehab battling a narcotics addiction.

The unforgettable word

Although Kathy has done her best to work her way to the top of the celebrity ladder, it seems as though the comedian isn’t set until she has transformed into one of the most controversial characters out there. Kathy was listed to host the CNN New Year’s Eve broadcast back in 2009 when she was in trouble once again. This time, it appeared as though Kathy had used a curse word while live on TV. Rumors began to spread that Kathy had been banned from the network, but she was soon invited back. It wasn’t to last.

Landing her own spot

Kathy continued to transform into the comedian that got everyone talking all around the world, and it seemed as though fans couldn’t get enough of the rising star. Back in 2012, the comedian was even handed her own one-hour talk show titled Kathy where she could finally let loose about all her hidden emotions. Kathy admitted she wanted to be controversial, and would often speak about her opinions on pop culture as a way to get the world talking.

Keeping her cool

Amazingly, Kathy was invited back to host the Emmy Awards. Even after all the controversy in the media, it seemed as though fans just couldn’t get enough of the star. To make matters even more nerve-wracking, the entire thing was being streamed live online for the first time in the history of the awards. Kathy would have to hold her tongue, but could she make it through the entire ceremony? Thankfully, she made it out the other side.

Standing together

Unfortunately, Kathy was about to receive some devastating news of her own. One of her older brothers, Gary, had been battling cancer for a number of years and tragically passed away. Now, three years later, her older sister Joyce was fighting against the same illness. Kathy had already had to watch one of her siblings lose their battle to the sickness, and she wasn’t prepared to watch another go through it alone. There was only one thing to do; Kathy shaved her head to show support for Joyce.

Keeping control

Tragically, Joyce wasn’t able to beat her cancer and passed away. However, Kathy was still in the firing line of the media thanks to her new shaved head. Kathy didn’t want the paparazzi to be the ones to show of her tribute to her late sister and decided she should act while she still had control. Kathy snapped a photo of herself and uploaded it to social media. The world had already taken her sister; it wasn’t about to take her freedom of choice, too.

A head start

It was back in May 2017 that Kathy was about to cause quite the storm online. The comedian uploaded a photo of her, but there was an addition; she was holding a mask painted to look like the blood-covered head of the current President of the United States. Kathy finished off her post with a caption mocking his speech talking about Megyn Kelly. Kathy admits the photo was taken at the end of a long day on the photo shoot. Little did she know the repercussions it was about to have…

Not feeling the love

Perhaps it’s no wonder that the upload didn’t amuse the current President of the U.S. and the rest of his family? In fact, his son was quickly there to defend his dad and lash out against Kathy. The President himself then spoke out about how traumatized the entire family were by the upload. As if that wasn’t enough already, Kathy was about to get in a whole lot more trouble. She soon had the secret service knocking at her door to question the post.

Joining forces

Kathy went on to apologize for her post only to later retract her apology. The comedian felt as though she should stand up for what she believes in. She wasn’t the only one. Fellow comedian Jim Carrey was quick to rush to Kathy’s side. Jim admitted he feels as though it’s a comedian’s job to cross the line and push the boundaries of comedy. To top it off, Jim also added that Kathy should have held up a leg too.

Stuck in America

It looks as though Kathy Griffin’s transformation from D-list celebrity to star at the top of the ladder might have gone one step too far. The comedian has since spent most of her time using social media to promote her beliefs as she works to recover from the backlash of the photo. However, Kathy did have to return to upload a video. The star explained she was on the No Fly List as the government was investigating the photo as a plot to assassinate the president.