Maggie Griffin: Out of the Box



What do you think is the most embarrassing thing Kathy has ever done in public?
It would have to be the New Year’s Eve thing with Anderson Cooper. I was a little unhappy with that. She did things when she was a kid that weren’t really embarrassing but were laughable. There was one time when she was 8 or 9 years old and wore this crummy wig I bought at Sears to church. She even put on makeup. The wig was full in front but separated in the back. I didn’t know she did it because she’d slipped out of the house. She came home and was so proud of herself and told us that everyone was looking at her. I couldn’t help but laugh. Of course they were looking at her — she looked horrible! I didn’t tell her that, though. I just told her they were looking at her because they were surprised to see her in the wig. All I could think about was that people must have thought, What were Maggie and Johnny thinking to let their kid out looking like that?

What goes through your mind when she does these outrageous things?
My first thought is, That’s just Kathy. She’s always been like that. She’s always been a free spirit, a “don’t rain on my parade” kind of girl. I really admire that in her. I think it’s wonderful. I don’t have the courage to do things like that.

Do you do things that embarrass her?
Oh, everything I do embarrasses her. No matter what I do, she says “There you go embarrassing me again.” There’s really no explanation for it. She enjoys it and I just laugh.

In your book, Kathy mentions that you now have as many gay fans as she does. Why do you think gay people have had such a positive response to you?
First of all, they’re wonderful to me. If I’m sitting having a cup of coffee, they’ll come up to me and ask if they can sit with me and talk. And I just love them, and I’m happy things are getting better for them. They say I’m just like their mom or their grandma. We always have a lot of laughs. I like the fact that they love Kathy so much.

Did you have gay friends before Kathy became famous?
I honestly never thought I knew gay people, but I was having a talk with two fellas who lived across from us when I was in the condo in West Hollywood and I mentioned that. The fellas were Randy and Steve, who are two of the best guys you could ever know in your life. Randy said, “Maggie, you knew gay people, but you didn’t know they were gay.” That’s exactly the truth. I knew them, but I didn’t think about it. I didn’t care and I don’t care now. If I like them, I like them.

Tags: Books