Everyone likes free stuff. But Kathy Griffin love-love-loves it, and this fact is a testament to her self-proclaimed celebrity D-list status, which she openly embraces on her new reality show, Kathy Griffin: My Life On the D-list, despite her cute and doting mom’s insistence that she’s unequivocally a B-lister. But Griffin knows that being a B-list celebrity is nowhere near as funny as demoting your status to the point where you could smell Tara Reid’s butt. Part of The D-List’s appeal is that Griffin could be anyone—she could be you!—living it up in Hollywood and gobbling up perks (and free samples at Costco) like it could all end tomorrow. And, as any struggling stand-up comic will tell you, it could.
While The D-List is nowhere near as laugh-out-loud funny as Griffin’s stage act (a disparity made all the more evident thanks to Bravo’s airing of the one-hour special Kathy Griffin Is…Not Nicole Kidman following the show’s premiere episode), it’s entertaining to watch the self-dubbed “Anti-Nicole Kidman” do the kinds of unglamorous things the glamorous Kidman would never do. Watch with mild bemusement as Griffin attends a Kabbalah book release party just to do the press line! Look on in horror as she steals wardrobe hangers from a Billboard Awards pre-taping! Watch as she ambushes celebs like Marcia Cross and John C. Reilly for their personal contact information and then blackmails Ray Romano into coming to her Christmas party! Of course, the show wouldn’t be right if it wasn’t intermittently cut with some skewering of famous A-listers. Griffin on Oprah: “I can’t help but make fun of her because she…[whispering] thinks she’s Jesus.” Griffin on Madonna: “You had to join a religion to stop being an asshole?”
At times Griffin is endearing (like when she bum-rushes Warren Beatty at a silent auction for a quick photo and tells him it’s going to be her Christmas card), while, at other times, she’s downright creepy…but in a good way (while brainstorming ways to get on Oprah, she asks her “best gays” if she should rape her husband Matt). Meanwhile, in a bizarre subplot worthy of its own episode of 30 Days, Matt decides that gastric bypass surgery is the only solution for his recent weight gain of 60 pounds. After learning that the minimum requirement to qualify for the procedure is 320 pounds, Matt straps on some ankle weights and heads over to the doctor’s office. (Apparently, lifestyle changes didn’t occur to him until episode two—that, or Bravo thought this scenario would make better television.)
At first, the couple’s new Hollywood home, coined “the resort,” makes it look like the D-list ain’t so bad. In fact, you might ask yourself how she could even afford the house in the first place. But after Griffin convinces Mike, her “live-in gay visionary,” to redecorate the mansion at cost and attempts to covertly furnish the place with free stuff donated by sponsors for her upcoming Annual Toys For Tots fundraiser, it quickly becomes clear that she’s just one small step above Omarosa Manigault-Stallworth. Both women just want to get paid, but the difference is that Omarosa’s “career” began (and will likely end) on reality television, while My Life On the D-List is just a small (and amusing) detour on Griffin’s path to acquiring more free schwag…and making us laugh while she re-gifts it all.