Kathy Griffin Will Use Decapitated Trump Head Controversy in U.S. Tour

It's been ten months since Kathy Griffin posed for a photo holding a model of Donald Trump's bloody, decapitated head. At the time, Griffin faced endless criticism from conservatives and liberals alike. She lost her appearance on CNN's New Year's Eve broadcast with Anderson Cooper. Her final tour date was canceled. U.S. Senator Al Franken called off a photo event with the comedian.

The backlash has quietened down, but Griffin isn't done with the photo just yet. The 57-year-old stand-up comedian is laughing about the incident in her world tour, which launched overseas in October and will kick off its North American leg in May. The tour is titled "Laugh Your Head Off" and deals heavily with the scandal Griffin endured last May.

In an interview with the AP published Monday, Griffin said the jokes in her tour serve as both comedy and a warning to her audience: "If it happened to me, it can happen to you."

"It shouldn't happen to an American citizen," Griffin said, referring to the hatred she received from everyone to Twitter trolls to Cooper himself. "If there's one amendment I'm familiar with it's the First Amendment. I know it back and forth and it's how I make my living."

Griffin won't be toning anything down for her comedy comeback. "Am I shocking sometimes? For sure. Do I go too far? I hope so. That's my job."

Though Griffin may have lost Cooper as a friend in the scandal, there was one celebrity who she said reached out to her during the backlash: Jim Carrey. "Jim's advice was right on, which is, 'Lean into this topic and you'll find the comedy.' And luckily I found a lot of comedy while hibernating." And that's exactly what Griffin is doing with this new tour.

This isn't the first time Griffin has used the May 2017 scandal for comedy material. In October, Griffin walked onto the stage at the annual Aid for AIDS fundraiser Best in Drag Show in Los Angeles dress in a Trump mask, with both her middle fingers raised.

The "Laugh Your Head Off" tour went well for Griffin in New Zealand, Australia and Europe—and it turned out the controversial photo gave her an advantage with foreign comedy lovers. In a January interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Griffin noted: "In Iceland, at one point I asked, 'How do you guys even know me?' And people just started yelling out, 'The picture!'

Can that buzz be replicated to sell tickets to her shows in the U.S.? So far it seems the answer is yes. The initial San Francisco and New York shows are already sold out, each with an additional date added.

Griffin told the AP, "I'm trying to sort of get people to forgive me and get people to come back to me or give me a chance. And it's interesting. It's really like I'm starting all over again."

Kathy Griffin Will Use Decapitated Trump Head Controversy in U.S. Tour | Culture