For eight long years, comedian Kathy Griffin stood alongside Anderson Cooper on CNN on New Year’s Eve in Manhattan and embarrassed the hell out of him. In 2017, after Griffin held a replica of President Trump‘s bloody head by the hair for laughs, CNN cut her off. So did her supposedly close friend Anderson, for which she has never forgiven him.
Now she has embarrassed the network again. In a New Year’s Eve tirade bursting with sour grapes, she revealed that CNN Prez Jeff Zucker cut her salary for asking for a raise. She also squealed that the network had considered SNL‘s Leslie Jones as Anderson’s sidekick before settling on AC’s best bud Andy Cohen, whose one-note personality is boring and elephantine.
“I worked my way up by the 10th year at CNN to get a fee of $150,000,” Griffin tweeted. “By the way, just as a point of reference, Anderson Cooper regularly bragged for years his annual CNN contract was $10 million a year.”
She conceded that $150K is also a decent salary.
“I know $150,000 is a hell of a lot of money for one night of work (although when I was doing it, I certainly put in more than one night of work) but trust me Leslie has paid her dues and when you are a female comic starting out, you do gigs for free sometimes for years,” she wrote.
Griffin was pleased that so many missed her after watching Cohen’s overcooked performance. (I hope his new baby comes with an umbrella. Also, it’s not as if Cohen brought out Anderson’s funny side by forcing him to do Tequila shots that made him yelp in terror and pain. It brought out his more sentimental nature as he ended the evening practically in tears in as he issued a call to anyone lonely or contemplating suicide.)
“I’m so flattered and touched by all the comments saying that you miss me co-hosting the New Year’s Eve telecast,” Griffin tweeted. “I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the positivity and I want you to know how grateful I am. So, I wanted to share some juicy gossip I heard about the telecast.”
She bragged, “I’ve been in the business for over 30 years. I’ve gotten to know everybody. A few little birdies told me some juicy nuggets.”
The gossip was that the “hilarious” Jones “was in talks to co-host CNN’s New Year’s telecast” with Cooper this year. Griffin was “elated” when she heard the news. “If I can’t get this gig, I will cheer for Leslie,” she wrote. “I don’t know her, but I thought it was such a great idea for CNN to have a woman of color over 50 who is so sharp, improvisational and hilarious.”
I broached CNN PR for a comment. If there is one, I’ll provide it.
Griffin dished that Jones was dropped from consideration after NBC Universal wasn’t down with the idea of her appearing on a different network. She cracked, “The Jeff Zucker I knew for years could make this happen. What say you, Jeff?”
She barreled on, “You have to admit, it didn’t make sense the NBC Uni wouldn’t have a problem with Andy Cohen, who also works for NBC Uni, appearing on CNN, but would have a problem with Leslie? Since Leslie didn’t work out, CNN couldn’t find one woman standup comic star to cohost? Jeff?”
She eventually told on Zucker, saying that in her eighth year of hosting she asked for a raise and he “docked” her 30 percent: “I’m sorry to say I took the pay cut because I truly enjoyed making you all laugh.”
Griffin won’t likely pipe down anytime soon. She has resolutions, and all of them involve speaking up.
“Resolution #1: Try to make as many people laugh, giggle, gasp in shock, throw their heads back and have a belly laugh for as long as possible.”
“Resolution #2: I have learned it is essential to stick up for others in ways I truly wish others would have stuck up for me. I have done that more than ever in the past year and will continue to do it no matter what.”
And her last: “I will stay positive, be as brave as I can in my comedy, never quit and never let the old boys club keep me silent or out of work.”