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My three-hour coffee with Kathy Griffin: Trump’s trial, voice notes for Lily Tomlin and Ryan Murphy, missing Anderson Cooper

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Anderson Cooper and Kathy Griffin hosting “New Year’s Eve Live” on CNN in 2017 before their friendship went off the rails. Griffin told Shivan Govani she recently emailed Cooper.



A thaw at last?

Several years after the friendship flame-out of Kathy Griffin and Anderson Cooper, the comedian told me this week in Toronto that they are talking again.

Once upon a time, if you’ll recall, they were gloriously unlikely BFFs: she the self-declared D-lister and flame-haired loud-mouth; he the blue-blood newsman. In “Sex and the City” terms? He was the straitlaced Stanford to her twisted Carrie! When he effectively dropped her following her Trump-era scandal, and she’d turned into a pariah, their BFF-dom was done (along with her contract as his co-host for the yearly New Year’s Eve telecast on CNN).

Now? After everything Griffin has been through recently – lung cancer, a divorce, the loss of her mother, Maggie, surviving addiction (“I used to be a pillhead”) – she is all bygones. “I did email him a couple of months ago for the first time. I was feeling really melancholy one day and really missing his mom” — the great Gloria Vanderbilt, the OG socialite, who once called Kathy her “fantasy daughter.”

“I messaged him to say I loved her and her sayings: you are never done; there is always another day; or, your whole life can change in one phone call.”

She told Anderson that Gloria’s words have helped her through some hard times and he wrote back: “I miss your mom too. Maggie was always so sweet to me.”

Her voice dropping now to a whisper and her face a world of sadness, Griffin added: “I really loved him.” A flicker of earnestness in an otherwise manic time with the Emmy and Grammy winner in her suite at the Four Seasons here during a wild, nearly-three-hour coffee chat. Pouring us cups – “I am learning to be a humble legend” – and in the mood to dish during a day off from the Canadian leg of her latest tour!

On the agenda, a tic-tac-toe: Liza, Babs, Joan, “The View,” Stormy Daniels, Hope Hicks, the Beckhams, “The Swans,” Dominick Dunne, Monica Lewinsky, Kathy Hilton, performing in Iraq (!), Chuck and Camilla, “Vanderpump Rules,” Elon Musk and Ozempic.

This, as her chocolate Chihuahua Maggie (yup, named after her mom) busybodied around us and as – get this – the Trump hush money trial played on MSNBC on a TV before us. And scene. Every so often, taking a break from some anecdote – like how she recently went to Australia to Sia’s father’s wedding – she would narrate the proceedings: “Now they are proving the line of dots between the cheques that went to Keith Davidson to give to Stormy that he got from Michael Cohen … it is like a RICO case.”

“Judge Merchan, my boyfriend,“ the 63-year-old oozed at another point. “I will be doing cartwheels if Donald Trump goes to jail, even for an hour. Naked cartwheels.”

Things got wilder still when she started dictating voice texts. Like to Lily Tomlin! I’d asked if Griffin had been in touch with Tomlin since her marital split since Tomlin was the one who officiated her wedding. Picking up her phone – no time like the present – she enunciated: “Hello, my love. I just wanted to let you know officially that I am getting divorced. And it’s all your fault. I love you.”

Likewise, a voice note she left for Ryan Murphy after I suggested that the showrunner do a “Feud” about the infamous blow-up between Joan Rivers and Johnny Carson. Genius, she declared, before picking up her phone again: “Hi hon. It’s Kathy Griffin. Period. I know we haven’t talked in a while, but I want to pitch you an idea for ‘Feud.’ Period. Johnny Carson and Joan Rivers. Period. I am just reaching out because it would be epic. Period. I loved every minute of ‘Swans.’ Period. I’m not trying to get a job. I don’t need you. I am on tour.”

All roads, I found, lead to the late, great Joan. A mentor to Kathy, as well as a good pal. She came up repeatedly during our chat. “Hacks” is so obviously based on Joan, she matter-of-facted at one point. At another, she told me: “She would always say: if your personal life is terrible you are never funnier. And so, I feel like I’ve never been funnier.”

I could not help but note that her trajectory mirrors Joan’s, in that Rivers had so many down periods (her husband’s suicide, being blackballed at different points, her challenges as a woman in comedy), but she never stopped hustling. With Griffin coming out of her dark period and starting to get un-cancelled, she accepted this comparison: “Who knew my career would parallel hers in this roller-coaster kind of way?”

Indeed, later this year, Griffin is set to play Carnegie Hall – for the sixth time! “I am beating Joan’s record. She would kill me.”

*****
Credit belongs to : www.thestar.com

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