All I want to do is tell jokes.” In that sardonic, working-class tone that fans of her comedy know so well, Kathleen Madigan declares this during a recent phone interview. For the past couple of decades, the Florissant, Mo.-born Madigan has been first and foremost a touring stand-up comedian, hitting the road (and USO tours overseas) with such comics as her good buddies Lewis Black and Ron White.
The 47-year-old Madigan has always wanted to be successful as a working comedian; breaking into other forms of entertainment never really appealed to her. “I don’t really want to spend my life trying to be, like, on sitcoms and movies,” she says, on the phone from LA. “I mean, if somebody said, ‘Oh, here’s the part and you can guest-star,” and I happen to be home, sure. But I’m not gonna go try and audition and, you know, try to battle it out with the network.
Her experiences appearing as a contestant on the second season of Last Comic Standing, the stand-up reality competition, certainly didn’t help matters much. “I just thought the whole thing was kind of really poorly done on a lot of levels,” she remembers. Madigan initially thought it would be fun, as well as bring her more exposure. However, she didn’t like how the show was trying to portray comedians.