Kathy Griffin says she hopes to make her US comeback by laughing about the disturbing photograph that got her in hot water with the feds and almost killed her career. But she also has this warning amid the jokes: ‘‘If it happened to me it can happen to you.’’
Griffin is embarking this summer on a North American tour that kicks off a year after she was widely condemned for posing for a picture in which she gripped a bloodied rendering of President Trump’s head. Ten months on, she is unbowed.
‘‘I’m the same girl I’ve always been — just a hard-working, obnoxious, red-haired comedy girl. The whole time I’ve been consistent in just trying to make you laugh,’’ she told the Associated Press. ‘‘Am I shocking sometimes? For sure. Do I go too far? I hope so. That’s my job.’’
She lost income, received death threats, was denounced by Trump, landed on an Interpol criminal list, and was afraid to leave her home. She said she was under investigation by the Department of Justice for two months.
‘‘It shouldn’t happen to an American citizen,’’ she said. Griffin said she understands if people don’t like the photo, but it is protected speech. ‘‘If there’s one amendment I’m familiar with it’s the First Amendment. I know it back and forth and it’s how I make my living.’’
The comedian’s life changed radically last May when the image came out: ‘‘I really never thought that photo would take off at all. Like I’ve been doing ‘shocking’ things my whole career.’’ She called the fallout ‘‘faux-outrage.’’
She said there were a few missteps, including a hastily put-together apology video followed by a ‘‘disastrous’’ press conference with attorney Lisa Bloom in which she called Trump a ‘‘bully’’ and only worsened the still-spiraling disaster.
During those dark days, Griffin said many colleagues like Anderson Cooper turned away but one celebrity reached out — Jim Carrey, someone she didn’t know that well. He advised her to find the comedy in her absurd situation.
‘‘It was really meaningful to me that he called,’’ she said. ‘‘Jim’s advice was right on, which is: ‘Lean into this topic and you'll find the comedy.’ And luckily I found a lot of comedy while hibernating.’’
This summer she plans to tour in Mexico, Canada, and the United States, including a stop in Boston June 21 at the Boch Center Shubert Theatre. The tour name alone is defiant: The Laugh Your Head Off World Tour.
‘‘I’m trying to sort of get people to forgive me and get people to come back to me or give me a chance,” she said. “And it’s interesting. It’s really like I’m starting all over again,’’ she said. (AP)