In 2008 Kathy Griffin became the first woman to make it to #1 on the Billboard Top Comedy List, and five years later she became the third female comedian ever to win a Grammy. As 2014 comes to close, Griffin is keeping busy on a nationwide comedy tour, preparing to replace her late hero Joan Rivers on E!’s Fashion Police, and will be honored in Monday’s release of MAKERS: Women in Comedy on PBS.
The show will explore how the comedian fought to find a place for herself and future generations of women in the world of comedy. Though she’s a household name these days, Griffin jokes that her early stand-up sets were met with complete silence. At the end, “all you could hear were the sounds of my footsteps walking offstage.” But Griffin kept working for laughs, and eventually found her footing telling narrative-style jokes about celebrities.
Since then, Griffin has taken on roles as award show host, voice actor, and reality show star. Her Bravo reality show Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List lasted for six seasons and earned her two Emmy nominations, effectively pushing her from D-List to A-List.
In MAKERS, Griffin discusses her influences, from Julia Louis-Dreyfus to Gloria Steinem, and defines herself as a “militant feminist.” She explains that, “if nothing else, as a female comedian, I’m just going to keep trying to set these records so the young girls coming up go, ‘Wow that girl did that, I can do that.”
The show will also honor other trailblazing female comedic icons such as Joan Rivers, Margaret Cho, and Tig Notaro.
Images via Technology Tell and Indiana Public Media