Kathy Griffin Opens Up About Leaving Fashion Police: “I Probably Shouldn’t Have Taken the Gig”

Kathy Griffin
Kathy Griffin spoke with Howard Stern about quitting Fashion Police after only seven episodes Theo Wargo/Getty Images

Fresh off quitting as the host of E!'s Fashion Police, Kathy Griffin admits she regrets taking the job in the first place.

"I probably shouldn't have taken the gig," Griffin told Howard Stern Monday. "Melissa [Rivers] is the one who called me and said, 'You're the only person that I feel my mom would truly have given her blessing to.' So that was kind of the decider."

Shortly after Joan Rivers's death last September, Griffin was rumored to have been the first choice to fill the icon's fabulous shoes on Fashion Police. Griffin was initially very hesitant to even admit she was in consideration for the gig. She eventually did take the job, of course, and last week announced that she was stepping down after just seven episodes.

"I don't really feel it was my best work," Griffin admitted of her time on the show. "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."

Griffin's short time on the show was marred by reported behind-the-scenes drama with "sources" seemingly confirming some backstage gossip on a weekly basis. "From the jump, like even before I started, I don't know why but I've never worked on a show with so many leaks," Griffin said. "It's a leaky boat over there."

The biggest such scandal was Giuliana Rancic's "patchouli and weed" joke heard 'round the world which precipitated the departure of another one of the show's hosts, Kelly Osbourne.

"I was, you know, a little surprised by [Kelly Osbourne quitting]. Because it was like an 'up and I'm out of here' and she is pals with Zendaya so she felt like, I think, she was like sticking up for her pal," Griffin said. When Stern asked her if she thought Osbourne had used Rancic's controversial remarks as an excuse to leave, Griffin said that she did. "I do kind of get that feeling. I think that Kelly has said post [leaving] that she had four or five such great years with Joan. And, to me, that means, 'You know it's not the same as it was with Joan' and I've got to be honest, I kind of feel the same way."

Later in the show, Griffin revealed that Lena Dunham was instrumental in crafting the statement which Griffin posted on Twitter and Instagram announcing her departure.

"Lena really showed up for me and I called her out of the blue, I know her a little bit, but I've gotten to know her and I really admire how she's a young, successful woman and a hardcore feminist and she's of a different age than I am. I'm 54, she's 25 I think, and I said, 'Would you mind helping me craft this statement? I wanna kind of say it the right way.' And she's such a good writer and so she helped me tremendously," Griffin said. "So we put it together and then I reached out to some friends and I said, 'If you're comfortable, I'm gonna take some heat from this, from the Piers Morgans of the world.'"

E! has claimed that Fashion Police will continue without Griffin and Osbourne, though the network has not addressed who might replace the two. 

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