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Is Kathy Griffin too outrageous even for the Joan Rivers spot on ‘Fashion Police’?

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After months of speculation, E! has announced that Kathy Griffin will become one of two new additions on “Fashion Police.” She’ll be filling the shoes of the late Joan Rivers along with another newbie, Brad Goreski (a.k.a. Glasses von Bowtie) from Bravo’s “The Rachel Zoe Project” and “It’s a Brad, Brad World.” Fixtures Kelly Osbourne and Giuliana Rancic will still be around, too, although the show is changing slightly. Instead of airing weekly, E! will air 17 episodes during the year, pegged to big red-carpet events.

That just leaves one question: How long can Griffin hang onto the job? She is, of course, perfect for the gig. Her whole shtick is about making fun of celebrities, which she has done spectacularly well during stand-up specials and on her Bravo show, “Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List.” So picking apart red-carpet outfits will be no problem. But she also has a tendency to take things too far sometimes. Or, basically, all the time. Let’s look at some of her go-to gags that could jeopardize her future on “Fashion Police.”

Foul language

Griffin believes the reason she was banned for years from the “Late Show With David Letterman” is because she curses like a sailor. Letterman ultimately lifted the ban, in 2009, after her Bravo show took off, but she clearly hadn’t learned any lessons from the black-listing. She behaved herself — sort of — during that first Letterman outing, but she dropped an F-bomb later that year during her annual New Year’s Eve show with Anderson Cooper on CNN. The year before she said something unprintable to a heckler, because she thought they had gone to commercial break. (Sure she did.) Perhaps CNN Worldwide President Jeff Zucker put it best when he told the New York Times in 2008: “She does not have a seven-second delay in her head, which is part of Kathy’s charm and also what’s dangerous about her.”


When Letterman finally let Griffin back on his show in 2009, she was pretty staid — relatively speaking. She did make fun of Oprah (which always seems like a bad idea), but she didn’t curse. So Letterman had her back and, in 2012, she took off her dress during the interview.

In truth, it was a reenactment. She had already done the same thing with Cooper a couple weeks before during their countdown special. Letterman rolled with it slightly better than Cooper did. When the CNN anchor turned to see Griffin in her bra, he looked utterly flabbergasted and said, “Oh, my Lord. What, are you kidding me?” But then Cooper, ever the professional, pulled it together enough to tell Griffin that she has a “rockin’ body.”

Making fun of celebrities/Saying potentially slanderous things

It’s interesting that E! is hiring Griffin at all, considering all the pain she caused them in 2005, during a red-carpet special before the Golden Globes. At one point, out of nowhere, Griffin said: “We did hear a rumor that little Dakota Fanning entered rehab today, and we wish her the best.” This was not true, and Fanning, who was 10 at the time, was not pleased. (Or, at the very least, her handlers weren’t.) E! had to publicly apologize on its Web site and on air, and the network also donated money to UNICEF on Fanning’s behalf. Griffin has also reportedly been banned, forgiven and rebanned from “The View” due to some things she said about Barbara Walters and personal lubricant.

Making large, powerful groups very angry

Griffin doesn’t just skewer celebrities. She likes to goad other powerhouse groups, too, such as Catholics and Scientologists. During an acceptance speech for a Creative Arts Emmy for “My Life on the D-List,” she walked away with an award AND a reprimand from the Catholic League. Her speech started: “A lot of people come up here and they thank Jesus for this award. I want you to know that no one had less to do with this award than Jesus. He didn’t help me a bit. If it was up to him, Cesar Millan would be up here with that [darn] dog.” It only got worse from there.

Attempting sex acts on air

Here’s another gem involving Griffin mortifying Cooper: Last year, she made several references to his “sack” before dropping to her knees and attempting to give Cooper his “Christmas present.” Yikes. And yet, CNN has announced that Griffin and Cooper will return this year for another round. She seems to be upping the ante each year, so there’s no telling what she’ll do later this month. The fact that she’s renewed her annual gig could signal that she has a chance at sticking around at E! for a while. But the network better have some fancy stationery ready for issuing all the inevitable apologies.