Kathy Griffin on Exiting Fashion Police: “I Don’t Really Feel It Was My Best Work”

Kathy Griffin
Kathy Griffin decided to leave E!'s Fashion Police after just seven episodes. Paul Archuleta/FilmMagic

Kathy Griffin is happy to put the Fashion Police behind her. The 54-year-old comedienne has been upfront and honest about her decision to exit the E! show, since she made the announcement last week. In a new interview on SiriusXM’s The Howard Stern Show, the late Joan Rivers’ replacement got candid about her seven episodes critiquing red carpet celebrity style.

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“I don’t really feel it was my best work, I’ll be honest,” Griffin admitted. “I stand by my specials and my series. The lane that that show was in was so specific that they weren’t able to make the transition to the comedic lane that I work in. I just don’t think that it’s really what I do. I think Joan was the master of the one liners and the zingers.”

Joan Rivers and Kathy Griffin
Joan Rivers and Kathy Griffin were longtime friends before Rivers’ death in 2014. Kevin Winter/Getty Images

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In hindsight, the redhead admitted, “I probably shouldn’t have taken the gig,” but noted that she felt inclined to after, “Melissa [Rivers] was the one who called me and said ‘You’re the only person that I feel my mom would have given her blessing to.’ For me, Fashion Police is not Joan’s legacy. As a 54-year-old female comic still in the game, what Joan did was so much bigger than that.” 

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Griffin’s reason for exiting the show seemed separate from that of co-host Kelly Osbourne, who abruptly left after Giuliana Rancic’s controversial comments about her friend Zendaya’s dreadlocks. 

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After confirming that Rancic’s joke was written for her and not by her, Griffin agreed with host Stern that Osbourne may have used the incident as an excuse to leave the show. 

“I do kind of get that feeling,” she said. “Look, I think that Kelly has said post [Fashion Police] that she had four or five such great years with Joan, and to me that means it’s not the same as it was with Joan. And I’ve got to be honest, I kind of felt the same way.”

Fashion Police Cast
Joan Rivers, Kelly Osbourne, George Kotsiopoulos and Giuliana Rancic of the original Fashion Police. Brian Bowen Smith/E!

She went on to claim that there is no bad blood between herself and Osbourne. 

“We’ve been friends, and I know Sharon [Osbourne] very well,” Griffin said. “I know that there was a genuine relationship between Kelly and Joan, and I would say that Kelly is still grieving and has been very open about that. She was devastated at the funeral and we talked a lot. Any shade between us was all falsified and made up.”

When it came time for Griffin to publicly make her exit from Fashion Police, she sought assistance from an unlikely place. 

In a recent conversation with funnyman Judd Apatow, Griffin recalled saying, “I’m going through this thing with Fashion Police where I want to be funny, but I’d almost rather comment on the whole evening. Does it have to be just about the dresses? These women are already so perfect.”

She then asked Apatow for Lena Dunham’s contact information and approached the Girls creator about crafting a statement for her exit from the show. After posting, she sent an email to friends in the industry asking for their support on social media. 

“I said, ‘If you are comfortable’ — you can read the email, it’s online — and I said, ‘I’m going to write a statement,’” she confirmed of the note, which BuzzFeed posted last week. “I don’t feel there’s a lot of support out there for female comics.” 

In addition to not feeling comfortable with the material on Fashion Police, Griffin also revealed she didn’t feel safe sharing information based on how much was leaked to the press. 

“I’ve never worked on a show with so many leaks,” she said. “It seems like ‘sources say’ were constantly calling. TMZ and Radar Online were constantly calling. It’s a leaky boat over there. I got a little paranoid.”

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