Kathy Griffin never lacks for energy. The uber stimulated comic, who will perform Saturday at the Merriam Theater, is bouncing off the walls. Griffin, 57, who was banned for life by CNN in 2017 after posing with a bloody mask of President Trump in her hand, is ecstatic since the convicted sex offender Bill Cosby was sentenced to prison.

"We all grew up worshiping him and he got what he deserves," Griffin says. The polarizing humorist tells the Inquirer and Daily News why women are second-class citizens in Hollywood, what it's like living next to Kim and Kanye, and offers advice when visiting Di Bruno Bros.

It took years to put Bill Cosby behind bars for his heinous acts but it took moments for your career to be derailed for a photograph of a mask covered with ketchup. How do you feel about that?

It's incredible. But that's the industry I'm in. I'm in the most male-dominated field outside of welding. I didn't rape anybody. That should be the name of my next tour. I don't know why these male comics can't keep their penises in their pants. But I was hit with something nobody else ever experienced. The president and the right-wing media told everyone that I would never work again. But I sold out one show in Philly and I did it by getting the word out on my own.

Were you surprised how many liberal entertainers turned on you, including your former CNN New Year's Eve cohost Anderson Cooper?

Don Cheadle and Alyssa Milano turned on me. Anderson Cooper was the biggest one of all. He turned right away and that just sucked. I have no punchline. It just hurt.

It seemed as if women's collective star was rising during the '90s. There was your show Suddenly Susan, Roseanne, and Grace Under Fire. Just before the '90s, Joan Rivers was the first woman to host a late-night network talk show. Why did it stall for women in Hollywood?

That's a great question no one has asked me yet. I was the fifth lead on Suddenly Susan and that show changed my life. When my friend Craig Ferguson said he wanted to leave his talk show [The Late Late Show] , I said that I would love that slot but I was told that [former CBS CEO] Les [Moonves] was not considering females at the time. I was told by a powerful showrunner that shows driven by women don't make much money. And I said, 'Like I Love Lucy?' How many shows is Kevin James going to get? If I was as heavy as Kevin James, could I get work? When I was doing Suddenly Susan, Kelsey Grammer was ODing down the hall on Frasier. Frasier would just go down for the week. Old white guys continue to keep women down.

What was it like living next to Kim Kardashian and Kanye West?

I was in the loving supportive arms of Kim and Kanye. Well, maybe not Kanye's so much. But Kim was cool. Kim voted for Hillary [Clinton]. She told me. … I'm pro-Kardashian. They're stupid and materialistic but they were delightful neighbors. Kim and I texted a few nights ago. It was fun living next to them. Helicopters would fly over to try to take a picture of Kim. I would run out topless and shake my boobs. I will make fun of them in Philadelphia. But they don't care since they're so busy printing money.

It’s difficult to be unique in Hollywood but you’re story is like no other. How incomprehensible was your experience since you were blackballed?

My career is historic. What happened to me has never happened to anyone. It shouldn't happen to any American. I had a president trying to make me unemployable. I will be talking about Trump when I come to Philadelphia, but it will not be a boring lecture on the First Amendment. I have to wrap this up before midterms. None of us know what will happen. I'll tell stories and my beloved penis jokes.

Did you ever meet Trump?

I have a history with Trump. I met him during the '90s when he had three lines on Suddenly Susan. That was when he was married to Marla [Maples] before he aged her out like Menudo. For a guy that hates immigrants, he sure has no problem marrying them.

Can Philly take a joke?

Yes. I don't have to mention disclaimers, like, 'Don't bring your children to the show.' Philly is a tough town. You guys can handle anything. That's what makes you different. I know Philly. I know if you go to Di Bruno Bros. and make a special request, they'll grant it… Try it. I know that's a little inside baseball but I'm on the inside.

But you're still an outsider.

I'm OK with that. I'm in a good place with Colin Kaepernick and Madonna.


Kathy Griffin

  • 3 & 8 p.m., Saturday, Merriam Theater, 250 S. Broad St., $50-$125, 215-893-1999, www.kimmelcenter.org