Last year This year
I am such a lame blogger. I didn’t even get a decent picture! The pic above left is from last year and the one on the right is this year.
As I walked up to the theatre tonight, I could sense that something was very different compared to the last time Kathy Griffin played the Paramount. There were crowds of people out front hoping to get tickets to what I knew was a more than sold out show. We had sold folding chairs in the alcoves before finally announcing the show as SOLD OUT. Inside there was an energy… it was as if something big was about to happen and everyone felt they were part of the lucky few who would experience it.
After saying hello to as many patrons as I could, I headed backstage in hopes of visiting with Kathy like I did last year. I had no idea what I was going to say when I introduced her and I hoped she would give me some ideas.
Last year I met her at the hotel holding a sign that said “Kathy Griffith” as a joke to her D-List comment that everyone gets her name wrong. Underneath this sign I had another one saying “Just kidding. Griffin.” She laughed. This year Kathy was to arrive by limo.
Backstage I was surprised to discover that Kathy was not at the theatre yet. The show was 20 minutes away. We were in contact with the limo driver who was at the hotel. He reported that Kathy had not come downstairs yet. Everyone began to get a little nervous.
It turns out that our little D-Lister has reached A-List status. Stalkers. Crazed fans. Nut jobs. Everything that comes with a level of popularity that only a few celebrities reach. A year ago, Kathy flew into the airport, rented a car and I picked her up at the hotel. This year her limo raced to the stage door and Tom wisked her inside the theatre. Her first comment: “It’s kind of hot in here. Can we turn the air down?” Then she headed downstairs to her dressing room where a variety of food items and gift bags awaited her – gifts from local business owners who had been calling all week with offers of “free everything”.
After a few minutes, Tom said she was ready to go so I hit the stage with my introduction. I swear to you I had no idea what I was going to say until it came out of my mouth live on stage. Kathy’s reaction to my introduction was more than I could have ever hoped for. She actually bowed and worshiped me from stage… and I worshiped her right back. She even mentioned this blog a couple of times.
While she was on stage, her crazed fans out back in the alley kept banging on the back door and even tried to break into her limo. Tom, ever the meek and mild character on TV, has become quite the little celebrity handler in real life. Before Kathy could give her last bow Tom had everything in the limo and Kathy was wisked away within moments.
Before she left, she managed to utter a thank you to me and a “I love Austin” and then she was gone. Last year I actually got to walk her back to her hotel and pose for a quick picture.
Lots of celebrities have played the Paramount, but not since Matthew McConaughey’s premiere of Sahara have I experience that “Hollywood” craziness like we had tonight. I wish Kathy all the best and hope that she is able to remain “real” in a life that has clearly become very unlike her reality show.
But man what a show she gave us tonight…
PS. She may be back at the Paramount sooner than you think. Stay tuned.