Kathy Griffin on 'Calm Down Gurrl,' women in comedy, and why she can't get enough of Justin Bieber

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Looking back over your specials, what story has gotten the most flack?

Oh, ‘Suck it Jesus, this award is my God now!’ [at the 2007 Emmys]…Doesn’t it crack you up about how much people flip out about the most obvious, ridiculous joke ever?…I, to this day, somebody will send me an essay or a tweet about that. It happened in 2007! It’s funny, I just got flooded with some tweets last night from the conservatives, and they are still upset about that. Number one, they don’t get that it’s really a parody of every bad acceptance speech but also, whatever. It’s funny to me that as recently as last night I get the Tea Party right wing uber, uber religious – they aren’t like, ‘Hey, that offended me. Were you kidding?’ They’re like, ‘you dirty whore ugly disgusting.’ It’s kind of like Amanda Bynes is tweeting me, quite frankly. So my experience with the Tea Party extreme right wing is they are kind of all from the Amanda Bynes School of Revenge Tweeting.

Who has been your best celebrity friend that you’ve made after making fun of them?

Cher or Jerry Seinfeld. And by the way, Seinfeld is still in a class of his own. Not only was he the first one to get the joke, but he actually enjoyed being in the act. I think no one had really talked s— about him at the time because he’s a national treasure. He doesn’t ever get involved in anything controversial, he just kind of does his thing, and he not only enjoyed it, but he actually thought it was funny. At the tapings for Seinfeld they would actually play the clip from my HBO special when I was talking smack about Jerry; It would warm up the audience. And then they would play a clip of when I went on Conan, and Jerry sent me a letter and I read the letter on Conan and it was really funny and really scathing. So I heard back, ‘That part of your special, Jerry is now playing it to warm up the audiences every week.’ Now unfortunately, I was then lulled into thinking all celebrities will find me delightful, and it’ll be like the Don Rickles syndrome where celebrities are going to want to be in the act. That has not really turned out to be the case [laughs]. 90% of celebrities don’t necessarily find it amusing but that doesn’t stop me.

Speaking of celebrities who aren’t amused, how is your relationship with Ryan Seacrest these days?

My relationship with Ryan is embarrassingly good. I actually haven’t talked to him in a few months. It started out very rocky but I think the thing about Ryan Seacrest is, and this is what Oprah doesn’t get, because Ryan is now almost Oprah-rich, I think Ryan realized, ‘This girl can make fun of me all she wants, it’s just not going to touch me.’ In a way he’s my favorite sort of subject because when you poke fun at someone like Ryan Seacrest or Taylor Swift or Oprah they’re kind of untouchable. Someone can make fun of Taylor Swift all day long; she’s still winning, still selling more records and winning more Billboard Awards than anybody. So I will say I’m more likely to go after somebody like that, because I’m not in the business of ruining careers; I never have [been].

What’s next for you?

Continuing to tour [and] I have one more special on Bravo this year. After that, I really don’t know. I may consider doing more specials on Bravo. I am touring, like I said, that’s always number one….When I did My Life On The D List and the Kathy show, I was still able to go out and do dates and specials, and that’s really what I enjoy. …Now, I kind of only want to do stuff where I can be as funny as I can possibly be, or, as my agents would say, 100% Kathy. That’s what I’m being told by people who come to my live shows, people that watch me on TV, social networks, etc. People aren’t interested in me being middle of the road, or frankly, holding back.

Kathy Griffin’s stand-up special Calm Down Gurrl airs on Bravo tonight at 10:30 p.m. ET.

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