Just when I thought I was about to get a little burned out on Kathy Griffin, the mouthy redhead hit me with a "My Life on the D-List" season premiere that had me shout-laughing with delight (when you see the Liza Minnelli scenes, you'll shout-laugh too).
"D-List" is back for its sixth season, and while Kathy herself admits that maybe she's no longer actually on the D-List (or at least not at the bottom of it), she still has the occasional D-List moment.
Perhaps the best D-List moment in the premiere episode is when Kathy tries to clear the air with "Law & Order: SVU" star Mariska Hargitay about an incident between them years ago when Mariska was Kathy's Groundling student (Kathy writes about it in her book). You guessed it. Not only does Mariska not remember the embarrassing moment, she doesn't even remember knowing Kathy there. It's classic D-List.
And speaking of Mariska, this first D-List episode centers around Kathy's guest star turn this past season on "L&O:SVU," and how unnerved she was at the prospect of having to actually act on a "real show" (her last dramatic acting role was on the "X Files" in 1999). Even for someone as outgoing and uninhibited as Kathy Griffin, the job turns out to be a confidence-crippling challenge. There's some laughter on the set, as you might expect, but also a surprising number of tears. And to her credit, Kathy isn't afraid to let viewers see her vulnerability and insecurities. On the last day of shooting, a broken-down, no-make-up Kathy tells the camera, "I've let go of the artifice . . . I've been stripped of my vanity. I have been stripped of any adorable attitude I may have had on the first day, and I'm here to work."
Another really cool part of the episode happens before the L&O gig, when Kathy goes to Liza Minnelli for acting lessons. I'm pretty sure Kathy intended the "acting lessons" as a comedy bit for the show (and an excuse to have Liza on), but wonder of wonders, Liza actually gives her some real acting advice. Liza is a hoot. She looks great, and I think it's one of the better star cameos I've seen on "D-List."
Kathy's "D-List" entourage is also back: assistants Tom (minus eyelashes) and Tiffany, and of course, Maggie, the adorable mom. Maggie has her own place this season, and is still doing her part to keep Kathy's ego from getting too A-List. "I think if it wasn't right, it would be more on your part than hers" is how Maggie tries to delicately finesse one of Kathy's "Law & Order" setbacks.
Some of the other gems you can look forward to this season are Kathy's trip to Wasilla, Alaska, to visit her "boyfriend" Levi Johnston, a toddler beauty pageant, cameos from Kristin Chenoweth, Suze Orman, and Lauren Conrad, some home construction, and a public pap smear. See? There's something there for everyone.
"Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List" Season 6 debut airs Tuesday night on Bravo at 9pm.