At her first performance as a Carnival LIVE headliner on Carnival Breeze, Kathy Griffin made it clear that the show was adults only. Then the flame-haired comedian — the first comic to headline LIVE, which is generally a concert series — went on to describe Donald Trump, the Kardashians, Kanye West and other celebs in unprintable terms.
Tickets to the 90-minute show in Cozumel on February 25 cost $50; $200 for seats by the stage and a meet-and-greet. The Breeze’s 1,349-seat, two-tiered Ovation Theater was not sold out; Griffin is not currently scheduled to do another.
For those who read the tabloids, are hooked on reality TV and can tolerate coarse language, the show provided a rare chance to see one of comedy’s most uninhibited and improvisational talents up close in a theater where most every seat is good and you can order libations while laughing. Coming up are LIVE events with Trace Adkins, Journey and KC & the Sunshine Band.
Before the show, the Emmy and Grammy Award-winning Griffin, star of TV’s , sat down to talk about what the world’s largest cruise company could expect from a potty-mouthed 55-year-old known for not pulling any punches.
What’s the most challenging thing to you about performing for a Carnival cruise ship audience?
I’ve done about 10 gay cruises. There’s definitely a specific gay party, party, party (vibe). I’m kind of nervous about performing for a straight audience. I’m nervous because you don’t know what the audience is going to be like. I really don’t know what I’m going to say tonight. I’ll spend the first few minutes taking the temperature of the audience.
How do you do that?
I’ll see what they’re laughing at. Some will want to hear about my 95-year-old mom, or the Kardashians. I’ll say a bad word to see how they take it. I don’t have a script. My act is highly improvisational. I conjure it up.
Explain your bond with the gay community.
Being a 55-year-old female comedian in Hollywood, I deal with sexism and ageism every day. I got my (blank) kicked growing up. I can’t shock gay people. There is nothing they haven’t heard. In the meet-and-greet (with passengers who paid the VIP ticket price of $200), people said, “Don’t hold back because it’s a cruise.”
Did Carnival tell you to tone down your humor or tell you what you couldn’t say?
In your personal life, have you ever cruised for a vacation, and if so, where?
I’ve never cruised when I wasn’t working. And I work all the time. But now I feel I know how to do it. The activities are unbelievable. And now I know what kind of room to ask for.