The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Kathy Griffin on sexism in stand-up: ‘Nothing’s changed.’

Kathy Griffin on the red carpet at the Kennedy Center for the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor ceremony on Sunday that honored Eddie Murphy. (Matt McClain/The Washington Post)
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If veteran funny girl Kathy Griffin were to spearhead a women-in-comedy awareness project, it would be called the “It Gets Worse” campaign.

As the lone comedienne walking the red carpet at the Mark Twain Prize ceremony at the Kennedy Center on Sunday night, Griffin, 54, regarded her solo status with little more than a shrug.

The ceremony’s lineup included plenty of guys in dark suits, such as Tracy Morgan, Arsenio Hall, Jay Pharaoh, Trevor Noah, George Lopez and Chris Rock. Griffin was the only woman.

“I’m actually the diversity hire for the night, and I couldn’t be happier about it,” Griffin joked.

“Look, this is my world. I’m so used to this,” Griffin continued. “Sexism is alive and well in stand-up, so for me to be the only girl comic, I’m like, ‘Ah, of course. Typical. Nothing’s changed.”

Still, Griffin pointed out that she had a blast with the boys all weekend. Apparently the comedy set like to hang off stage and spend a lot of time texting one another (although Pharaoh said at one point that he was still waiting to get Morgan’s cell number).

“I love all these guys,” Griffin said, “and I love when they let me join in the conversation.”

But, she added, that didn’t mean that the famously, uh, candid comedian would hold anything back from busting her besties’ (Griffin has known Dave Chappelle for 20 years) chops.

Wait, so she can bust Eddie Murphy’s chops, so to speak?

“Oh, it’s easy,” said Griffin, assuming a boxer’s stance in her three-inch heels. “I’m like a career chop buster, if you know what I’m saying. I treat a man’s lower regions like a bag at the gym.”