Comedian Kathy Griffin delights at Mohegan Sun performances

Erica DaSilva

The room darkened as Gwen Stefani’s “Hollaback Girl” echoed throughout the room filled with excited fans screaming and clapping. No, it wasn’t a Gwen Stefani concert, but rather the ‘Queen of the D-list’ herself dancing out onto the stage. Kathy Griffin smiled gratefully, tossing her fiery red hair, as she looked around the intimate venue, noting “this is such a nice place to talk so much (expletive) about people in.”

The crowd included those in their twenties to fifties, from all backgrounds and ages, waiting for the gossip to commence. This was the first night of four that Griffin would be performing in front of an audience in the Mohegan Sun Cabaret Theatre in Uncasville.

Fans may remember Griffin from her role on NBC’s “Suddenly Susan” or from her multiple TV appearances on sitcoms including “Seinfield.” More recently known for her controversial stand-up act turned Bravo television special “Kathy Griffin is not Nicole Kidman,” and a weekly reality series also airing on the cable network, Griffin quickly admitted to those in attendance that she has a slew of lawyers watching her back, but that did not deter the comedienne from candidly offering her opinions on recent pop culture happenings.

At the Mohegan performance, Griffin touched on everything and anyone in the pop culture spectrum, including how “Tom Cruise (is) coming from Mars” and how “Oprah thinks she is Jesus.” Embracing her self-appointed D-list celebrity status, she feels no shame about saying what she thinks about her entertainment industry peers.

Griffin also let the Mohegan audience in on her recent professional complications. Fired by the E! network for publicly remarking that young actress Dakota Fanning completed a stint in drug rehab, Griffin has since been replaced by “American Idol” host Ryan Seacrest, as the channel’s red carpet reporter. Slightly bitter about the millions Seacrest is being paid, Griffin jokes in her act that it is OK, only because Seacrest needs the funds to pay for his “Mystic Sun tanning sessions.”

Griffin’s finale at Mohegan was a clear crowd favorite, as she recalled how she became locked out of her hotel room recently while taking her dogs outside, shortly after waking up. Explaining that her attire included nothing more than a t-shirt, demonstrated exactly what happened by unbuttoning her black pants. The audience thought she was going to stop there but, in true Griffin fashion, she did not, proceeding to pull down her pants revealing just a pair of black bikini briefs. After telling her crazy story, which served as the show’s closing bit, Griffin pulled up her pants and thanked the crowd before exiting the stage, leaving the audience still smiling.

For more on Kathy Griffin, visit her Web site,