Kathy Griffin has a history with the Creative Arts Emmys. She once gave an acceptance speech so provocative that the Catholic League condemned it.
So naturally, the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences invited her back — as host.
“I’d like to think that that’s why I got the gig — that I was so offensive and shocking last year that they thought maybe I could put this thing on the map,” the comedian joked about hosting the lesser-known Emmy ceremony, which honors technical and other achievements.
During the Creative Arts Emmys telecast — taped last weekend and airing Friday — Griffin, who’s won two of the awards, maintained her tradition of irreverence.
In her opening monologue, she referred to them as “the Shmemmys.” She shared a film clip of her writhing naked in anguish after losing an Emmy. She also joked about getting intimate with Jon Gosselin and knocked “American Idol” exec (and former choreographer) Nigel Lythgoe down to the ground with her dance moves.
Producer Spike Jones Jr. said his team chose Griffin “because we wanted to rock the house.”
But not without limits.
“We do not give her free rein,” he said. “We’re very much on top of it.”
The star of “Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List” said she took the hosting gig because “these are my people.”
“This is our moment to shine,” she said. “It’s the hair, makeup, lighting, editing, art directing and then categories I’ve never even heard of. This is the type of show where you’re going to see stuff you would not see on a real awards show.”
Unlike most Hollywood awards shows, the Creative Arts Primetime Emmys aren’t televised live. Saturday’s ceremony was taped as it stretched on for four hours. (An edited version is set to air Friday on E!)
“It’s a lot of non-celebrities and there are literally like 75 categories, so it goes on and on and on,” Griffin said. “You have to make it interesting to the at-home audience. That’s where I come in. I make long awards shows fun and interesting.”
But it’s not always easy, she conceded.
“Sometimes I have to take my clothes off and pixelate my private parts to get a laugh.”