Kathy Griffin isn’t afraid of Donald Trump anymore.
Nine months after the comedian was pilloried for posing for a photo with a fake severed head of the president, she made her first major TV appearance on Real Time with Bill Maher. And she began by thanking the host for being one of the few people to stick by her throughout the ordeal.
“I really want to thank you for being one of the first and only people to publicly support me and say what happened was bullshit,” Griffin said. “Because I got texts from celebrities that were like, ‘Um don’t tell anybody I sent you this text, but I support you all the way, I love you,’ Jerry Seinfeld,” she added, before insisting she was joking.
If we weren’t living in “The United States of babies,” Maher said, then Griffin could have just apologized and then moved on, but instead the incident nearly ruined her career after she was called out by the president and first lady, and did lose her an annual New Year’s Eve gig on CNN among other things.
“Imagine if you took the worst selfie in the world, went to bed, woke up, and you found out that the president tweeted about it, which then mobilized the alt-right, Fox News, everybody else,” Griffin said, noting that she was ultimately protected by the First Amendment, “while we still have one.”
Later, Maher asked Griffin if she still would have held up the Trump head if she could do it over again. “I’d do Mike Pence,” she said. “No, I’m kidding!”
She also addressed Donald Trump Jr.—“that Cro-Mag, barely human, whatever his deal is”—who went on Good Morning America to say she “deserves everything that’s coming to her” at the height of the controversy.
“I’m not decimated,” she said to a huge cheer from Maher’s audience.
Griffin ended by revealing a “small victorious announcement”: she has booked an upcoming stand-up show at Carnegie Hall as well as another “in Trump’s backyard” at the Kennedy Center.