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Critics: Griffin’s ‘Glee’ cameo ‘went over like a lead balloon’

Posted by joshpainter on March 17, 2011

– by Josh Painter
Bully “comic” Kathy Griffin, whose idea of quality material is to attack Sarah Palin’s children, made her appearance on the Fox hit show “Glee” this week. Sadly for the Palinophobes, the cameo, which had been hyped by gossip blogs and other Palin-hatin’ leftist websites, appears to have been a FAIL, even if not of EPIC proportions. At Mediaite, which is anything but a Sarah Palin fan site, Matt Schneider reports:

Given the rhetorical back and forth between Griffin and Palin, the cameo was highly anticipated, but went over like a lead balloon. EW’s television critic Ken Tucker called Griffin’s bit part “the evening’s dud moment in the episode written by show co-creator Ryan Murphy.” Tucker continued “It’s hard to believe that Murphy couldn’t come up with any better lines than, “I am not a witch” (a snicker at Christine O’Donnell) and ‘Obama is a terrorist.’”

While Glee plays with topical themes and hot-button opinions regularly, the hit show rarely enters political territory in such a blatant fashion. Yet given that Griffin’s appearance was so quick, many “Gleeks” (the term affectionately(?) describing fans of the show) probably didn’t even know who or what Griffin was attempting to mock. Especially since a line like “I twittered that Obama is a terrorist” likely takes a comedic backseat for most to fellow guest star Loretta Devine’s former stripper, who became a nun just because she needed a place to live.

Glee’s Executive Producer Ryan Murphy is a fairly brazen contributor to what some call the “culture war” dialogue, and it certainly seems like he and Griffin had conspired to score some cheap points by reducing Palin to a one-dimensional caricature. The irony is that this particular scene is far more likely to create good-will for the flagging former Governor because of an unfair portrayal, only fueling the notion that the “liberal Hollywood elite” are out to get Ms. Palin. Scenes like this make such a comment seem less a by-product of paranoia, and more of a legitimate case.

TIME’s TV critic James Poniewozik also panned Griffin’s potty-poor performance:

“Glee can be sharp and topical enough that I thought it could actually do something clever with the much-publicized cameo. Instead, the performance hinged on expected gags (‘I am not a witch’) and Griffin delivered it all with a stiffness that felt more like a recitation than a performance. As one line in the judges’ deliberations said, I mostly felt pandered to. (And I can only guess what Glee’s conservative viewers—and to anticipate the response, Glee has conservative viewers—would have thought.)”

And Entertainment Weekly’s Ken Tucker quipped:

“In an otherwise above-average episode of Glee, the much-publicized appearance of Kathy Griffin guest-starring as a Sarah Palin parody fell as flat as Brittany’s speaking voice… Palin has called the comedian a ‘bully,’ but after seeing Griffin meekly recite a lame joke about gay rights not being in the Constitution, the former Alaska governor must be feeling pretty cheery…”

Even critic Matt Richenthal at TV Fanatic, who was hoping for “some good Sarah Palin mockery,” had to admit that Griffin’s “Glee” appearance:

“…felt shoved in and out of place here, like producers lost a bet to Kathy Griffin and had to pay up via such a cameo.”

Heh. Looks like it’s back to the D-list for has-been never-was, no-talent, no-class Griffin.

Cross-posted from Texas for Sarah Palin

– JP

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