Hot Read: Maggie Griffin Talks Tip it!
Seen Kathy Griffin's My Life on the D-List on Bravo? Then you probably already love Maggie Griffin. Kathy always did a killer impersonation of her sweet and slightly foul-mouthed Catholic mom in her comedy acts, as well, but nothing beats the real thing. Now Maggie is doling out more of her wit and wisdom with her brand new book Tip It! The World According to Maggie, and she has a thing or two to say about gays nowadays, her daughter’s sometimes-controversial comedy, Betty White, and Anderson Cooper.
Read Gay.com's exclusive interview with our favorite reality TV mom after the jump.
Do you enjoy your gay fans as much as Kathy does?
Oh yes, she’s got a huge following and she does a lot of work. But she loves the audience because they don’t get shocked at anything. They laugh at everything, and I think it’s great! It’s a lot of fun when you get a lot of gays in the audience.
You point out a few of the differences between Old-Tyme Gays and Modern Gays. When did you meet and fall in love with your first Modern Gay?
I thought it was when I came out here to California. But I have since found, as my neighbors across the way said--they’re named Steve and Randy, GREAT guys [and] we were talking and I said, "you know, I never knew gays until I moved to California." And Randy said very wisely, "Maggie, you knew them but you just didn’t know they were gay." And I guess that’s the truth. Back then people just didn’t know and it’s kind of a shame that people had to hide those things.
Do you ever make it to happy hour at West Hollywood gay club Rage anymore?
I used to go with my husband and he’s been gone now 3 years, but we had the best happy hours at Rage! And everyone thinks that’s so hysterical but I don’t know why. We sat outside [and] they couldn’t have been nicer to us. The hors d'oeuvres were fabulous. And of course, Kathy would say, ‘Well how bout the dancing inside and all that? Or the films?’ We never got inside [from the patio]. We had a wonderful time.
Do you ever really disagree with Kathy or get embarrassed when she riles you up?
We never really get mad at each other. In many ways are very, very different. But we kind of laugh it off and kid each other about stuff. We’re alike in the good ways, so that’s what counts.
What about her Emmy exception speech that rifled some conservatives’ feathers?
Oh no, no! You mean when Bill O'Reilly called her a pinhead? I loved it! I sent her an e-mail, and I said, "Kathy, I wish I could get mad about it. But I thought it was hysterical and I have to agree with him on this issue." I like Bill, but she thinks I agree with everything he says and I don’t! I just like him; I think he’s fun. What kills Kathy is when I say, "he’s very fair and balanced." That gets her going! I like him, but I certainly don’t agree with everything he says.
You start off the book addressing your gay fans and recalling your activism for gay marriage. What was it like protesting Prop. 8 back in 2008?
That was a big deal. They had to get me a wheelchair, because it was a long walk! I was really proud and we had a wonderful crowd. [Kathy] wore high heels and I think she kind of regretted that after a while. It was just wonderful and I think it is gonna happen. But it’s probably taking a little longer than people would like it to. Longer than it should.
In Tip it! You share the very sweet story of the beginnings of your relationship with your late husband. Gay.com is a dating site. Got any tips on how to sustain a long and happy relationship?
We were married 65 years. We didn’t like to fight. We would talk. First of all, my husband had a WONDERFUL sense of humor. I think Kathy gets most of hers from him. He would be able to turn something into something that would make me laugh or smile so whatever it was would be dissipated. And we just would rather talk stuff out than fight 'em out. You know, when you fight, sometimes you say things you wish you hadn’t said? They kind of stick with people. I don’t have any highfalutin things that are reasons why we had a good marriage. We just loved each other and respected each other and had fun. Everything has changed [now]. Everything is like if it works, fine. And if it doesn’t that’s fine too. And why not try to keep it? If something starts out good, why not try to keep it good and keep it going? That’s the way I feel with relationships and stuff.
What about Kathy’s love life, anyone you could see being your son-in-law?
Oh, OH! Anderson would be wonderful! I would love it. Love it! I think he’s so darling and smart. And Kathy likes smart guys. And he’s got a wonderful sense of humor and oh, God, that would be heaven on earth.
Who has been your favorite A-Listers you’ve met?
Any that I’ve met I’ve been thrilled, but Don Rickles and Betty were exceptional. They’re so down to earth and easy to talk to and know. I’m so happy for Betty. She’s always been big but she’s really coming into her own right now. And she’s like that in person too. She’s funny you know and yet she’s nice. We had a great time.
She has a bit of a naughty side to her jokes, not unlike your daughter. Do you think Kathy will have the same kind of career longevity?
We talked a little about that. And I said, "Well Betty, you can get away with a lot of double entendre." And she said "Well you know, if you just say 'em right. And of course being older they forgive you a little bit, too." But she is so good. She is just perfect so if Kathy could have a career like hers, she’d be very lucky, very lucky.
Any last words for your gay fans?
Come up and talk to me! We’ll tip it!
Tip It! with Maggie and get a great dose of tips on boxed wine brands and other important life matters, hilarious Griffin family tales, and just the kind of motherly advice that everyone can use.