Honoree: Kathy Griffin
Kathleen Mary Griffin American comedian and actress. She has starred in several comedy specials for cable TV and has released several comedy albums. In 2007 and 2008, Griffin won Primetime Emmy Awards for her reality show Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List. She has also appeared on TV and on film numerous times, mainly in supporting roles.
Born in Oak Park, Illinois, she moved to Los Angeles in 1978, where she studied drama at the Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute and became a member of the improvisational comedy troupe The Groundlings. In the 1990s, Griffin began performing as a stand-up comedian and also appeared as a guest star on several television shows. She achieved wider recognition after her role as a supporting character in the NBC sitcom Suddenly Susan (1996–2000).
Her Bravo reality show Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List (2005–2010) became a ratings hit for the network and earned her two Emmy Awards for Outstanding Reality Program. Griffin has released six comedy albums, all of which received Grammy Award nominations. Her first album, For Your Consideration (2008), made her the first female comedian to debut at the top of the Billboard Top Comedy Albums chart. In 2009, she released her autobiography, Official Book Club Selection: A Memoir According to Kathy Griffin.
Griffin has taped numerous standup comedy specials with HBO and Bravo. For the latter network, she has recorded 16 television specials, breaking the Guinness World record for the number of aired TV specials on any network, by any comedian in the history of comedy.
In 2011, she also became the first comedian to have four televised specials in a year. Aside from her comedy career, she is an LGBT activist involved in causes such as same-sex marriage and the repeal of "Don't ask, don't tell". She has also participated in two USO tours. Griffin is known for her conversational style and controversial statements on celebrities, religion and sexuality. After being nominated for six years in a row for the Grammy for Best Comedy Album, she won the award in 2014.