Kathy Griffin at the North Shore Center for the Performing Arts

Kathy Griffin at North Shore Center“The world is ending – f*ck it,” Kathy Griffin said on Feb. 18 near the top of her late set at the beautiful North Shore Center for the Performing Arts before sharing countless “wrong, but hilarious” stories about her interactions with celebrities from the A-List to the D-List. One of the comedian’s goals with this tour – entitled the Celebrity Run-Ins Tour in honor of her 2016 book of the same name – is to share funny one-of-a-kind stories that can’t be heard from any other stand-up act, as they were all lifted directly from the life of Griffin.

Of course, Donald Trump was a focal point of the funny. “You guys, I know him,” Griffin stated, noting that America’s 45th President – or “precedent” as she calls him thanks to his comedy-inspiring Twitter spelling errors – once appeared alongside her as a guest star on “Suddenly Susan.” She admitted to being fascinated by his nest of hair, which she examined up-close during the occasion, and she compared it to a cantilever roof overhang that has been expertly crafted by visionaries in the field.

Tales of Trump’s questionable foundation, the rumored Russian “golden shower” video and an unlikely golf cart ride with The Donald and Liza Minnelli further demonstrated Griffin’s ability to find comedy gold in her interactions with President Trump.

“There’s warships off the coast of Connecticut, let’s have some fun,” she said flashing a giant smile.

Kathy Griffin at North Shore Center

Griffin’s performance style welcomed the packed crowd into her world with warmth and intimacy. Beat for beat, the set was full of expertly crafted jokes, yet she was able to generate an atmosphere that was akin to catching up with an old friend. Instinctively, she read the crowd’s mood and gave them more of what they wanted – stories of her mom, Maggie, interacting with celebs – and less of what they shied away from – jokes about Melania and Barron Trump – during the marathon two-plus-hour set. Perhaps, this closeness to the audience can be attributed to the fact that Griffin grew up locally in the Chicago suburbs, but more likely it’s simply who Griffin is as a performer, and each and every fan feels like they were at a truly special show.

A Thanksgiving dinner party with living legends, Christmas with Andy Dick and a Megyn Kelly clash at The Hollywood Reporter’s Women in Entertainment breakfast were also permeated with delicious gossip and hilarious one-liners, but it was Griffin’s recollection of a New Year’s Eve performance that was the absolute highlight of the night.

The incident in question was Mariah Carey’s disastrous NYE showcase, which was riddled with botched lip-synching, awkward audience interactions and baffling commitment. The “Emotions” singer blamed the debacle on sound issues, but Griffin – who was less than 50 yards away hosting CNN’s coverage with Anderson Cooper – has another theory on how the events unfolded. She shared her hysterical – and seemingly accurate – analysis with fans while demonstrating that there’s more than one way to have a wardrobe malfunction.

Griffin is set to continue her Celebrity Run-Ins Tour throughout this year. Head over to KathyGriffin.net for more information and follow her on Twitter for a daily dose of hilarity.

Laurie Fanelli is a Chicago-based writer and photographer who specializes in live entertainment coverage. She is at home at major music festivals like Coachella, Bonnaroo and, of course, Lollapalooza and...

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