Kathleen Mary Griffin is an American comedian and actress who has starred in television comedy specials and has released comedy albums. In 2007 and 2008, Griffin won Primetime Emmy Awards for her reality show Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List. She has also appeared in supporting roles in films.
Griffin was born in Oak Park, Illinois. In 1978, she moved to Los Angeles, where she studied drama at the Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute and became a member of the improvisational comedy troupe The Groundlings. In the 1990s, Griffin began performing as a stand-up comedian and appeared as a guest star on television shows, including a supporting role on the NBC sitcom Suddenly Susan (1996–2000).
The Bravo reality show Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List (2005–2010) became a ratings hit for the network and earned her two Emmy Awards for Outstanding Reality Program. Griffin has released six comedy albums, all of which received Grammy Award nominations. Her first album For Your Consideration (2008) made her the first female comedian to debut at the top of the Billboard Top Comedy Albums chart. In 2009, she released her autobiography Official Book Club Selection: A Memoir According to Kathy Griffin. After being nominated for six years in a row for the Grammy for Best Comedy Album, she won the award in 2014.
Griffin has recorded numerous standup comedy specials for HBO and Bravo. For the latter network, she has recorded sixteen television specials, breaking the Guinness World record for the number of aired television specials on any network. In 2011, she also became the first comedian to have four specials televised in a year. Griffin is an LGBTQ activist who supports same-sex marriage and the repeal of "Don't ask, don't tell". She has participated in two United Service Organizations (USO) tours. Griffin is known for her conversational style and statements about celebrities, religion and sexuality, including holding a mask stylized as Donald Trump's severed head in 2017, which provoked a United States Secret Service investigation and later became the basis of her concert film A Hell of a Story (2019).