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Friday, June 21, 2024
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Comedian Kathy Griffin to perform in Madison after six-year break

After a long break, the comic is ready to get back on stage.

Comedian Kathy Griffin is bringing her new tour “My Life on the PTSD-List” to the Madison Overture Center on April 21. The tour marks her return to the stage after a six-year break from performing. 

In her two-hour show, Griffin reflects on recent experiences, tells stories about celebrity encounters and reveals what it’s like to experience PTSD. 

“It’s all upside down, and I’m just trying to make sense of it, and make it funny,” Griffin told The Daily Cardinal in a sit-down interview. “You gotta find the humor, God knows I have. I can laugh at the darkest shit you can imagine because that’s what gets me through.”

While the past six years have been “incredibly dark,” Griffin said she is grateful to be back on stage where she feels at home, seeing performing as a way to manage past trauma. Between her infamous cancellation and her battle with lung cancer, Griffin said she is excited to be performing again. 

Griffin said she hopes to enlighten audiences about her recent experiences as well as recount America’s struggle through the COVID-19 pandemic and the tumultuous nature of the nation’s current political climate. 

“It’s a combination of what it feels like to have PTSD,” Griffin said. “I feel like our country has gone through a collective PTSD over the past few years.” 

Griffin said she hopes that audiences will be receptive to her return and not come simply to protest her based on her past with former President Donald Trump. She is ready to move on, she said, and does not mention Trump in her show. 

However, as she always has, Griffin continues to address current events. Through combining social advocacy with comedy, she said she hopes to shed light on the issues our country faces. 

Griffin has used her platform countlessly throughout her career to discuss social movements, including BLM, the gay rights movement and feminism. 

“I have no trepidation, I’m going for it, fuck it,” Griffin said. “I do a show about the shit I think we need to talk about. I shine a light on the cockroaches and watch them scatter.”

For people who do come to protest, Griffin said such displays will not be tolerated during her performance. Over the past several years, she has faced a lot of public scrutiny, both on and off the stage, and said she is ready to perform without disturbances.

“It will not be tolerated. I’ve had a lot of experience with MAGA people trying to disrupt my show. It will not happen, I will not get off stage,” Griffin said. “If you want to sit there and laugh and have a good time, then please come to my show. But if you’re going to judge me or try to put me in my place or join a protest, you will be removed.”

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Beyond her recent traumatic experiences, Griffin said she wants to give audiences a show that gives them a break from the chaotic state of the country. 

“I want to give people two hours to forget about everything. I do a high-octane show, the show is fun, and it’s laughs and it’s real,” Griffin said. “So far, the audiences have been outstanding. Never in my life have audiences been this loving.”

When she hits the stage in Madison, Griffin said she’s ready with tons of material and improvisation. Every show is different and covers varying material.

“I could improvise a little or a lot, it depends,” Griffin said. “I don’t know what I’m going to say on stage in Madison, and the audience won’t know what I’m going to say.” 

Throughout her tour, Griffin said she hopes that she can continue to build her decades-long relationship with her audiences and reconnect with her comedy. 

“I have been living a nightmare, and I’m just coming out of it,” Griffin said. “All I want to do is make people laugh.”

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Rebekah Irby

Rebekah Irby is an arts editor for The Daily Cardinal.

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