Kathy Griffin: Trump Put Me in ‘Colin Kaepernick Wood Chipper’

Appearing on NBC’s Late Night With Seth Meyers Tuesday, aired early Wednesday morning, left-wing comedian Kathy Griffin portrayed herself as a victim of political persecution by claiming that the Trump administration put her through the “Colin Kaepernick wood chipper” after she was widely condemned for posing in pictures depicting a mock beheading of the President.  

Meyers raised the infamous photo that sparked a widespread backlash against Griffin: “Now, so let’s talk again about this photo. Obviously, you know, you have a mask, a Trump mask....it looks like you’re holding up a severed head. But no one thought it was a real severed head.” Griffin recalled that “things got so crazy that day” and touted how her disgusting display inspired her new comedy tour:

 

 

And it got so crazy I really did start to think, “I’ve got to make this funny.” And so someone named Jim Carrey called me.... And he said the greatest thing, he goes, “Kathy, you’re the most famous comedian in the world today.” And I’m sobbing, “All for the wrong reasons.” He goes, “No, use it.” And so now I’m naming the tour – and I’ll be playing Carnegie Hall and Radio City Music Hall – at the Kathy Griffin Laugh Your Head Off world tour.

Following cheers and applause from the friendly liberal audience, Meyers sympathized with her, but gently wondered if she had any regrets about the offensive incident: “So, I do want to – so, in no way was it a proportional response, but do you look – I mean obviously it was done to provoke and then you successfully provoked. Do you look back at all and say, ‘Oh, gosh. There was a better photo to take, or not this one’?”

Not surprisingly, Griffin admitted that she “didn’t really think about it” at the time and went on to explain her motivation:

So I was triggered. I admit it triggered. Triggered snowflake. [Laughter] And so, I wanted to shame him. I wanted to shame him. He’s such a misogynist and his policies are so disgusting. And for the rights of women, and LGBT folks, and people of color. I was like, “This guy’s going down.”

After pretending to decapitate the President of the United States in manner reminiscent of ISIS terrorists, Griffin whined over the predictable blowback that she received: “I didn’t know I was just part of the Trump, like, wood chipper....what he did to me, I just want you guys to know, it’s historic, it’s never happened, where, a sitting United States president has used the power of the Oval Office, the First Family...”

Upon mentioning the First Family, Griffin decided it was time to hurl a vile insult at Trump’s children: “...oh, that group, let’s not start with the sons, Date Rape and Eddie Munster.” The audience laughed in response.

She continued her tirade by suggesting that she was the victim of a vast organized conspiracy:

Alright, so, you know, and then the Fox News machine, and TMZ was recording my tour cancellations in real-time because of bomb threats, which I later found out were robocalls. Like, I honestly didn’t know they had this apparatus already in place. So, they just kind of put me in, like, the Colin Kaepernick wood chipper.

Referring to Fox News, she added: “And they bring me up on Fox, like, whenever it’s Mueller time. You know, they bring me up. They bring up, you know, Maxine Waters. Like, so I’m now just in there group of people to go for.”

Meyers noted: “And what was – you were doing your show overseas.” Griffin interjected: “Well, I wasn’t. I was driven overseas, frankly.” She gleefully described how she planned her foreign comedy tour: “And so, yeah, I called my stand-up agent and I said, ‘This is a weird way to route a tour, but can you just send me to countries where they hate Trump?’ Two weeks later, I had 15 countries and 23 cities. So, it was heaven. It was heaven.”

Wrapping up the friendly exchange, Meyers proclaimed: “I’m so happy you’re doing shows here again. I look forward to seeing how they go....I’m glad to see you’re doing well and thanks so much for coming back.”        

At the top of the segment, Meyers teed up Griffin to share her experience attending Saturday’s White House Correspondents’ Dinner and the nasty performance from fellow comedian Michelle Wolf. Predictably, Griffin ran to Wolf’s defense and blamed White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders for the negative reaction to the routine:

 

 

I mean, I was nervous because obviously the fact that Trump didn’t go because he’s such a pussy. And he couldn’t even take a joke....Now, what happened was Michelle started her set and then that pain in the ass Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who, like, lies to the country every single day and bullies reporters and is tearing away at the fabric of the First Amendment, the one I know the best. [Laughter] Anyway, so, she’s sitting there with her, you know, pissy face....and so what happened is the other people on the podium were giving her a look as if she was bombing, and she wasn’t. So, it’s kind of like a virus. So, the first section gets uncomfortable, then the middle section.

Here are excerpts of the interview aired early in the morning on May 5:

12:52 AM ET

SETH MEYERS: Alright, guys, our first guest tonight is Emmy and Grammy award-winning comedian. She’s currently in the middle of her Laugh Your Head Off world tour, which kicks off its North American leg May 23rd. Please welcome back to the show Kathy Griffin, everyone. [Cheers and applause]

(...)

MEYERS: I want to start by asking about – you were at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner.

KATHY GRIFFIN: Guys, can you believe it? A year ago, I know, a year ago I’m under a federal investigation for conspiracy to assassinate the President of the United States. Oh, yeah, two month federal investigation. And then last weekend I get invited to the White House Correspondents’ Dinner. [Cheers and applause]

MEYERS: That’s a full – full circle.

GRIFFIN: Yeah.

MEYERS: So you were in the room for Michelle Wolf. 

GRIFFIN: I was in the room when it all it all went down.

MEYERS: And I will say, based on you and Michelle Wolf, I’m worried he’s going to start deporting red-heads. [Laughter]

(...)

MEYERS: So, you were in the room.

GRIFFIN: Yes.

MEYERS: Did you have the sense that there would be the kind of backlash there was, you know, a few hours later, watching the show?

GRIFFIN: I mean, I was nervous because obviously the fact that Trump didn’t go because he’s such a pussy. [Laughter] And he couldn’t even take a joke. [Cheers and applause]

(...)

GRIFFIN: Now, what happened was Michelle started her set and then that pain in the ass Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who, like, lies to the country every single day and bullies reporters and is tearing away at the fabric of the First Amendment, the one I know the best. [Laughter] Anyway, so, she’s sitting there with her, you know, pissy face.

(...)

GRIFFIN: So, I think what happened was, then the reporters, like Jon Karl, somebody I respect. Then they start giving Michelle Wolf the stink eye. And you know that feeling of, like, I could see the Repubbys, like, looking around, like, “Oh, well if Wilbur Ross isn’t laughing.” And by the way, Wilbur Ross, I could tip him like a cow. [Laughter] He’s that old guy in cabinet. He’s like 120. He’s the secretary of bull [bleep] or something. [Laughter] But, I just wanted to see him and go [blows] and watch him go down. [Laughter]

Anyway, and so what happened is the other people on the podium were giving her a look as if she was bombing, and she wasn’t. So, it’s kind of like a virus. So, the first section gets uncomfortable, then the middle section.

(...)

GRIFFIN: I think they’re all going to jail. Oh, you know who twatted me last

MEYERS: Who twatted you?

GRIFFIN: Who twatted me on the Twitter? Sean Hannity is obsessed with me. And so, last night he wrote another blog about my freaking Trump mask picture with the ketchup. You all know the picture, and – changed my life. Anyway, so he does another – another blog about it. And I wrote to him, I said, “I don't know if you’re going to do very well in jail, because someone like you – the rate of recidivism is going to be very high.” [Laughter]

MEYERS: Okay.

GRIFFIN: Yeah.

MEYERS: Recidivism is a good thing to knock him on, yeah.

GRIFFIN: It’s a good word, right?

MEYERS: Yeah.

GRIFFIN: And also, I’ve actually performed in prisons, and I’m telling you, they would not go for Sean. Like, he’s not their type.

MEYERS: Okay.  [Laughter]

GRIFFIN: But he’s going. He’s going. Priebus and all of them. They’re all going to jail.

MEYERS: Now, so let’s talk again about this photo. Obviously, you know, you have a mask, a Trump mask.

GRIFFIN: You guys know the picture right? Okay.

MEYERS: Yes. It’s a – it looks like you're holding up a severed head. But no one thought it was a real severed head. I –  

GRIFFIN: First of all, Matt Lauer – oh, sorry, NBC. [Laughter] Of all people, right? That one. [Laughter] Alright, so – allegedly. Allegedly!

MEYERS:: Allegedly. Thank you, Kathy. Allegedly. [Laughter]

GRIFFIN: Allegedly. So he calls me on my cell phone, and I’m thinking, “How the hell does Matt Lauer have my cell phone?” So, yeah, things got so crazy that day. I got calls from everybody. And then, of course, you know, someone called and said, “What if” – you knew who Daniel Pearl was. So I don’t mean to bring the room down, but someone said, “What if Daniel Peal’s mother saw this?” And I’ve performed in Iraq and Afghanistan. Places the President can’t find on a map, nor has he been. [Laughter] And so, I really truly, truly didn’t think people would make the connection.

(...)

GRIFFIN: And it got so crazy I really did start to think, “I’ve got to make this funny.” And so someone named Jim Carrey called me.

(...)

GRIFFIN: And he said the greatest thing, he goes, “Kathy, you’re the most famous comedian in the world today.” And I’m sobbing, “All for the wrong reasons.” He goes, “No, use it.” And so now I’m naming the tour – and I’ll be playing Carnegie Hall and Radio City Music Hall – at the Kathy Griffin Laugh Your Head Off world tour.

MEYERS: There you go. [Cheers and applause] So, I do want to – so, in no way was it a proportional response, but do you look – I mean obviously it was done to provoke and then you successfully provoked.

GRIFFIN: Yeah.
                        
MEYERS: Do you look back at all and say, “Oh, gosh. There was a better photo to take, or not this one”?

GRIFFIN: I wish I had had like – okay, so first of all, I didn’t really think about it. And honestly, I sent a friend of mine out for, like, a mask at a Halloween store for $10. And then I got all the ketchup because I kept thinking about him saying at the debate, “Blood coming out of her eye. Out of her what – ” And I’m like, “How many men have said that crap to you over your life?” So I was triggered. I admit it triggered. Triggered snowflake. [Laughter] And so, I wanted to shame him. I wanted to shame him. He’s such a misogynist and his policies are so disgusting. And for the rights of women, and LGBT folks, and people of color. I was like, “This guy’s going down.”

Now, granted, it was a little soon. [Laughter] Like, I’m just saying, a lot of people have actually said, like, if this had been post-Weinstein, or post-MeToo maybe, maybe it wouldn’t have been so bad. But when you do something like that, I really did just try to make a statement. And I truly didn’t think people would think it was an actual severed head. Like I go to a severed head warehouse or something. [Laughter]

MEYERS:: Right, right.  

GRIFFIN: So, I mean – and also, I didn’t like – you know, I didn’t know I was just part of the Trump, like, wood chipper. And I should have known, because at that time he had only done it to like political figures. But what he did to me, I just want you guys to know, it’s historic, it’s never happened, where, a sitting United States president has used the power of the Oval Office, the First Family – oh, that group, let’s not start with the sons, Date Rape and Eddie Munster. [Laughter] Alright, so, I’ve really lightened up a lot.

MEYERS: I have. I mean they’ve really – you know, come out of your shell again. We need to see Kathy Griffin!

GRIFFIN: I know, I’m so shy. Alright, so, you know, and then the Fox News machine, and TMZ was recording my tour cancellations in real-time because of bomb threats, which I later found out were robocalls. Like, I honestly didn’t know they had this apparatus already in place. So, they just kind of put me in, like, the Colin Kaepernick wood chipper. And they bring me up on Fox, like, whenever it’s Mueller time. You know, they bring me up. They bring up, you know, Maxine Waters. Like, so I’m now just in there group of people to go for.

MEYERS: And what was – you were doing your show overseas. And you were –

GRIFFIN: Well, I wasn’t. I was driven overseas, frankly.

(...)

GRIFFIN: And so, yeah, I called my stand-up agent and I said, “This is a weird way to route a tour, but can you just send me to countries where they hate Trump?” Two weeks later, I had 15 countries and 23 cities. So, it was heaven. It was heaven. [Cheers and applause]

MEYERS: Well, I certainly – I’m so happy you’re doing shows here again. I look forward to seeing how they go.

GRIFFIN: Me, too. Seriously.

MEYERS: And I’m glad to see you’re doing well and thanks so much for coming back, Kathy. It’s always a pleasure. [Cheers and applause]

GRIFFIN: Well, thank you. Thank you for having me.

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