There's one reason and one reason only comedian Eddie Griffin is returning to Savannah for a performance Oct. 5 at the civic center.

"They got money," he says teasingly. "I'm coming to get it."

But Savannah really is a good place to perform, Griffin says. 

"You all have a lively, quite an involved, audience," he says. "You all get in it."

To get to Savannah, Griffin will have to time his arrival around his regular gig in Las Vegas. 

"I'm at the Rio every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday," he says. 

Even with a regular gig, Griffin doesn't follow a script. 

"I never know what I'm going to say when I walk out on stage," he says. "That's the beauty of it."

But whatever he says is certain to be hilarious. In his very first time onstage, Griffin brought down the house. 

"One night, me and my cousin were out bar hopping," he says. "He bet me $50 I wouldn't go on stage."

Griffin surprised everyone by taking that bet. 

"I was broke," he says. "I needed that $50."

He got up and ripped on his cousin and everyone else in his Kansas City, Mo., neighborhood. Originally asked to do three minutes, he performed off-the-cuff for 45 minutes, and the audience loved it. But his comedic career actually began long before, all the way back in the first grade when Griffin first realized he was funny. 

"I think I was 6 years old," he says. "I was the class clown over the years."

After his success at the open mic, Griffin bought a one-way ticket to Los Angeles to pursue a career in comedy, becoming a regular at The Comedy Store. After two months, he was chosen to open for Andrew "Dice" Clay, which led to appearances on Russell Simmons' "Def Comedy Jam" and other top comedy shows. 

At The Comedy Store, Griffin met his hero, Richard Pryor, who became his mentor. He also appeared on stage at the legendary Apollo Theater.

In addition to producing successful comedy albums, Griffin turned to acting. His films include "Undercover Brother," "John Q," "Scary Movie 3" and "Norbit."

From 1996 to 2000, Griffin and Malcolm-Jamal Warner co-starred in the hit UPN television series "Malcolm & Eddie."

A singer as well as a comic, Griffin performed on two tracks of Dr. Dre's album "2001." He also has appeared in commercials and has done voiceovers for "Black Dynamite," the animated Adult Swim series.

A storyteller rather than a joke teller, Griffin wants to give the audience as much enjoyment as possible. 

"I'm the last of a dying breed," he says.

"In a story, you can get so much more out of it. It's like doing a Picasso instead of a stick figure."

A multi-talented man, Griffin started his career as a dancer, opening his own studio at age 15. He even choreographed the Kansas City Chiefs' halftime shows.

When pushed, Griffin says he does have some idea what topics will come up in Savannah. 

"We're definitely going to be talking about the political scene," he says. 

"I'll talk on how Congress and the Democrats and Republicans are acting like bad kids on the playground and just don't want to play with each other,. Meanwhile, the school is losing the championship."

And family will probably come up, too. Griffin remains close to his family and friends in Kansas City. 

"I was just there last weekend," he says. "My mom is visiting me right now."

And with nine kids - six boys and three girls - Griffin has plenty to laugh about. 

"I have one son out of college and eight to go," he says. "The oldest is 28 and the youngest is 3.

"They are hilarious. The stuff they do and say, when you really think about it, is very, very funny."

A hands-on father, Griffin enjoys being with his kids. 

"That's what keeps me motivated," he says. "I'm not going to miss out on all those gems."

An animal lover, Griffin used to have pets, including a pair of cats. 

"One had a right hind leg that looked like a sock," he says. "The little one used to stay in the shoes in my house, so they were Socks and Shoes. They ran the house."

An actor who has appeared in numerous films, Griffin currently is looking at three projects, including movies for Universal and Warner Brothers. 

"One will be a comedy, the other a drama," he says. 

"I'm looking to branch out into drama. For 30 years, I've done the comedy thing. Now I want to sink my teeth into some meaty characters."

At times a screenwriter, Griffin plans to do more writing. 

"As soon as I can put the children up for adoption so I have time," he jokes. "I will have all the little Griffins on sale this week."

In the meantime, Griffin is looking forward to his upcoming performance. 

"Come out and enjoy the show," he says. "Savannah is one of the finest places to perform and I'm looking forward to coming back."