The Kathy Griffin Collection: Red, White & Raw Paul Miller

The Kathy Griffin Collection: Red, White & RawPaul Miller
Featuring seven of Kathy Griffin's stand-up specials between 2009 and 2011, this comprehensive box set works as an ersatz time capsule of pop culture. Going through her consistently hilarious comedy acts chronologically, there's a definite sense of diarized nostalgia that reminds us of media phenomena recently passed while giving us a weird inside look at Griffin's personal, behind-the-scenes experiences with the more absurd aspects of celebrity culture. Having an outsider's perspective, she discusses her experiences on The View in 2009's "Balls of Steel," pointing out her personal amusement at Barbara Walters and Latoya Jackson refusing to be on set at the same time as her. Moving on to a dinner party she attended with Suzanne Somers, Morgan Freeman and Sharon Stone in "Does the Bible Belt," Griffin recounts Don Rickles telling Freeman that he should be serving the food, moving on to Stones' proud retelling of her soon-to-be-published short story about how every day we choose not to kill animals or people, using words like "morn" to describe her childhood hunting trips with her father. And while her imitation of Stone's fake laugh and crazed disposition is amusing in itself, it's the story about sitting next to Uma Thurman at the Quentin Tarantino roast that stands out in the "50 and Not Pregnant" special. Pointing out Thurman's disapproval of the many John Travolta gay jokes, Griffin discusses trying to encourage Thurman to stand up in the middle of the roast and demand that everyone stop. Also making fun of Steven Seagal: Lawman and acknowledging the horrors of Hoarders ("Is that a dead cat under your faeces covered stack of newspapers?"), she talks about taking Levi Johnston to the Teen Choice Awards and accidentally insulting Claire Danes at the Emmy's. Each story is injected with Griffin's trademark irreverence and naturally candid disposition, capturing the square root of weirdness in any given scenario. Even better are the absurd amounts of deleted scenes included with this DVD set, which were mostly cut by Bravo because they were too taboo for TV. In one, she discusses Justin Bieber "fingerbanging" Selena Gomez. (Shout! Factory)