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The Unfunny Kathy Griffin

2017 August 7

Bishop David Epps

Written 10 June, 2017

Alleged comedian Kathy Griffin has gotten herself some attention and a public relations nightmare to go along with it. Recently, the 56-year old Griffin posed with a fake head of the President of the United States (just the head as if it had been decapitated) covered in blood. The pose was similar to an ISIS terrorist holding the head of a murdered victim. Why Griffin thought this was funny is anybody’s guess but liberal-leaning CNN was so outraged that they fired Griffin from a long-time New Year’s Eve gig.

Griffin owns a TV production company called Inappropriate Laughter, which seems ironically appropriate. Griffin has made a career out of inappropriate comments and actions. In one infamous Emmy appearance, she said, “Now, a lot of people come up here and thank Jesus for this award. I want you to know that no one had less to do with this award than Jesus. He didn’t help me a bit… So all I can say is suck it, Jesus, this award is my God now!”” The Catholic League denounced the comments as “obscene and blasphemous.” Griffin was banned from the show, Hannah Montana, for the comments and she has to be one of the few celebrities banned from the Apollo Theater for her profanity.

And speaking of profanity, why is it that so many alleged comedians feel the necessity to use more profanity than a Marine Corps drill instructor? My wife and I once attended the appearance of a very famous comic but his language was so terrible that we got up and walked out in the middle. If I want to pay money to hear dirty jokes and foul language, I can go to a dive bar and get all I want. Is it that comics think it makes them funnier?

Bob Hope didn’t need obscenity and outrage to make people laugh. Neither did Red Skelton, Bill Cosby (although he has his own set of current troubles), Andy Griffith, or scores of other comedians far funnier than Griffin. Maybe the problem is that the audiences have become so low class that the only thing they can laugh at is low class humor.

I don’t mind political humor. I thought that Tina Fey’s portrayal of Sarah Palin was hilarious. For the most part, Saturday Night Live does a pretty good job of political funniness even though it’s often one-sided. There’s lots of Donald Trump material without resorting to the disgusting and to the sick. Which is what Griffin did. Holding up the image of the severed head of the President was both disgusting and sick.

Imagine what would have happened is a conservative comic, say Jeff Foxworthy, held up an effigy of President Barack Obama with a hangman’s noose around his neck. Is it funny? No, it would have been outrageous, disgusting, and sick. But Foxworthy has too much class to do something like that and he is able to entertain millions without rooting around in a gutter of foul language, nasty jokes, and offensive displays.

And speaking of offensive, why is it that so many alleged comedians find it necessary to single out people, especially accomplished people, for attack. I believe that many (not all) comedians are angry, frustrated, insecure people and they get attention and a misguided sense of self-esteem by trashing others. And, by masquerading as comedians, they can say whatever they want and they explain away their outrageous words and behavior by saying, “But I’m a comedian.”

I believe in the First Amendment. But I also believe that actions have consequences. Kathy Griffin has been fired from several venues and a major sponsor has dropped her. Her response? Griffin said, the Trump family was “trying to ruin my life forever.” No, Ms. Griffin. If that happens, you did it all to yourself.

David Epps is the pastor of the Cathedral of Christ the King, Sharpsburg, GA (www.ctkcec.org). He is the bishop of the Mid-South Diocese which consists of Georgia and Tennessee (www.midsouthdiocese.org) and the Associate Endorser for the Department of the Armed Forces, U. S. Military Chaplains, ICCEC. He may contacted at frepps@ctkcec.org

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