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Kathy Griffin: ‘Being Offensive Does Pay Off’

hollywoodexclusive1Kathy Griffin tells us she aims to insult "as many deities as possible" when she hosts the Creative Arts Emmy Awards Sept. 12.

It was just two years ago that the "My Life on the D-List" star started an uproar with her Emmy acceptance speech, in which she declared, "I want you to know that no one had less to do with this award than Jesus" — and claimed "This award is my god now."

Now, a chipper Griffin notes, "Two years ago I told Jesus to suck it and this year they asked me to host (BEGIN ITALS) the same show (END ITALS)! Who would'a thunk it?! You know, being offensive does pay off every so often. You know why? Because I'm a believer in truth, a big truth teller. Let's just spin it that way."

She's also — not surprisingly — unrepentant regarding her Dakota Fanning joke of 2005, that the then 10-year-old actress had entered rehab, a joke that got her fired from doing the E! Channel's red carpet coverage and earned her the wrath of Steven Spielberg at the time

Now, a cheerful Griffin theorizes that Dakota is "probably a big fan of mine and I'm probably a role model for her." So much so, "She can play me in a film. I can just see her with a red wig on; in fact I have a couple. And after she's done playing Cherie Currie (in "The Runaways"), she can play me in the Kathy Griffin story, called 'Suck it, Fanning.' Starring Dakota Fanning, as Kathy Griffin."

What is really going on with Kathy, whose Bravo show is up for its third Outstanding Reality Program Emmy this year, is her Sept. 8 release book, "Official Book Club Selection: A Memoir According to Kathy Griffin."

It will offend people, of course. "Get ready," she says.

MEANWHILE: The tireless Griffin was in fine form last week at the TCA Press Tour party thrown by NBC-Universal and its affiliated channels. She drastically reduced the possibility of any of the media present mis-identifying her or failing to notice her presence by carrying around her own introduction sign with 3-inch-high letters saying "Kathy Griffin, 'My Life on the D-List.'" Hey, no sense hanging back at a time like that.

Chevy Chase also got press to look by coming up to Jay Leno — who was surrounded by writers while trying to grab a bite of dinner — and loudly calling out, "Hey, Jay!! What's up?!" "Oh, hey!" Jay shouted back, laughing. "Good to see you!!" "Are they bothering you or anything?!" Chevy asked. By the time the two hollered congratulations on each other's new shows, half the media herd went off following Chevy. Jay, of course, has his 10:00 p.m. show coming on five nights a week this fall. Chevy's playing the oldest guy in a community college study group in the forthcoming "Community" comedy from Dan Harmon ("The Sarah Silverman Program") in which Joel McHale also stars.

THE INDUSTRY EYE: Tom Selleck steps back into his role as lawman Jesse Stone mid-September for the next in his popular series of TV films for CBS, "Robert B. Parker's Innocents Lost." Selleck is not only starring in and producing the film, he's also among its credited writers.

FAST ON HIS FEET: Wayne Brady will most certainly be making use of his considerable improv skills again when he steps into Monty Hall's old role as emcee of CBS's brand-new version of "Let's Make a Deal" this October. He's made a great living doing improv already, of course — and he tells us he couldn't have done it without an enormous amount of practice and hard work. "It's from years of doing theater and years of doing improv. I've always treated it as another facet of acting," says Brady. "I've been doing it since I was 16. I thought it was a nice arsenal to have in my back pocket. I was lucky enough that it led to 'Whose Line Is It Anyway?'" He adds, "You learn every time you do it. I was a good improviser to begin with, though — otherwise I wouldn't have gotten the job. But after being with those guys and doing it all the time, I think it definitely helped my game."

REALITY GAVE THEM A ROLE: Casting forces have been on the lookout for real teenage shopaholics, ages 12 to 20, for a planned reality series. Producers are stipulating that candidates for the show must have proof of their free-spending ways, as in credit card receipts or bank statements. No pay involved, just exposure. It's for a children's show. We just hope there isn't a plan to make kids think being a shopaholic is something to aspire to.

The call has gone out for an "elite gynecologist" — yes, really — for a forthcoming "docu-soap" that will shoot in New York or Los Angeles. Producers want the real deal, a medico known as the top doctor in town with patients for whom money is no object. Candidates may refer themselves, or be referred by patients. This one, of course, is for pay.

With reports by Emily-Fortune Feimster.

To find out more about Marilyn Beck and Stacy Jenel Smith and read their past columns, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.

COPYRIGHT 2009 MARILYN BECK AND STACY JENEL SMITH

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