The 61-year-old Emmy-winning comedian announced on Tuesday's Jimmy Kimmel Live that she has now beaten cancer after living with a lung tumor for 10 years.
"I'm cancer free!" she told the ABC late-night host as the audience cheered when she reflected on having surgery in August to remove a portion of the afflicted organ. She now speaks a few octaves higher as her body heals, though she's rolling with the complications and has defined her current speaking voice as "Minnie Mouse meets Marilyn Monroe."
She also recounted an encounter with one of her doctors, in which she said he felt emboldened to try out his personal comedic material on her, given her line of work: "No joke, I go in, and he's describing how they take half your lung out. He goes, 'It's kind of like a balloon. We do it laparoscopically and we poke it. When we take it out, it kind of looks like a used condom.'"
Griffin went on to express appreciation for the gay community she's long adored, and noted that she's since changed her unofficial drag queen name to reflect her circumstances.
"A drag name should have sort of a nod to someone fabulous," she said. "The gays love Eva Longoria, so what if I'm Diva Halfalungoria?"
Finally, Griffin discussed returning to work after a period of uncertainty following a 2017 photoshoot with photographer Tyler Shields that showed the star posing with a bloodied mask made in Donald Trump's likeness.
Griffin documented the fallout from the incident in her 2019 documentary A Hell of a Story, including being interviewed by the Secret Service as the subject of a federal investigation as well as being placed on the No Fly List at the time. She also lost several sponsorship deals and was fired from CNN's annual New Year's Eve broadcast, which she regularly cohosted with former friend Anderson Cooper.
"I think I'm an actress again, guys!" she said of her ongoing role on season 5 of HBO Max's Search Party. "Apparently the young kids don't know that I'm a 'terrorist,' you know the MAGAs think I'm a terrorist!"
ABC Kathy Griffin announces she's cancer free on 'Jimmy Kimmel Live.'
Search Party season 5 debuts Jan. 7 on HBO Max. Watch Griffin discuss returning to work after her cancer-free declaration in the Kimmel clip above.
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