Comedian Kathy Griffin has noticed an interesting trend in the people who threaten her life on social media. “It’s amusing to me that many of Demi Lovato’s fans will threaten my life, and if you look at their profile, it says ‘hashtag no bully zone,’” Griffin noted. “Usually the more vicious the tweet, the more the profile reads: ‘Christian…loves puppies…Jesus says hello.’ And I’m like, wait. You’re the person who wants to cut me open and watch my guts catch on fire?”
Griffin was one of many celebs on hand at as The Groundlings Theatre & School celebrated their 40th Anniversary at the newly remodeled HYDE Sunset: Kitchen + Cocktails on Sunday night. Many alumni of the comedy theatre, which has launched actors such as Will Ferrell and Melissa McCarthy, were in attendance, including Cheryl Hines, Chris Parnell and Rachael Harris.
Hines came to The Groundlings when she heard about the theater from one of Phil Hartman’s sisters. “I was working at a hotel bar and met her and she said Phil got his start at the Groundlings,” said Hines. “I said, ‘That sounds so great, what is it?’ I went to a show and was just blown away by the talent on stage and I knew I had to take classes there.” Hines first teacher was none other than Lisa Kudrow.
Hines reflected on her favorite character during her time on the Groundlings stage, an aspiring actress named Mary Sampson. “She took herself very seriously,” Hines revealed. “She was very tortured by the fact she grew up not Jewish.”
Griffin revealed that she first began doing her mother, Maggie Griffin, as a character at the Groundlings, years before “she became the beloved Maggie Griffin from ‘My Life on the D-List’ and my talk show.” Continued Griffin, “I remember her even then coming to sit in the audience and saying, ‘I don’t talk like that goddammit, Kathleen Mary, Jesus H. Christ.’ Now there are millions of people who know she enjoys a box of wine. But that’s the great thing about this place, you can create a character or a bit or a point of view and you never know where it’s going to end up.”
Griffin added that her mother is turning 94 on June 10 and to this day, “every single time I do stand up, people want to hear what my mom is up to.”
Jillian Bell of “Workaholics” and soon to be seen stealing scenes in “22 Jump Street,” revealed her favorit character was a drunken Las Vegas performer named Beverly Scarsdale. “It was probably the most fun I’ve ever had on stage,” she said. “I had one high heel on and on the other foot no shoe and my panthyhose stretched out all the way like a long elf foot. She was always bragging how she hooked up with Frank Sinatra…’s brother.”
Griffin also noted she has a policy to not apologize for making fun of public or private figures because it’s essential to comedy. But there is one exception. “There is another Kathy Griffin who’s a high school basketball teacher and I feel so bad for her,” she admitted. “I have a no-apology policy, except to her. That poor woman, wherever she is, I apologize.”