Q&A with Kathleen Madigan

Katherine Coplen

For such a funny person, Kathleen Madigan’s pretty serious. She’s serious about selling tickets; she’s serious about being done with podcasts; and she’s really serious about jokes. Jokes like “I am going to hell and I’m looking forward to it. I’ll finally get to meet Madonna.” Or “If man evolved from monkeys and apes, why do we still have monkeys and apes?” Or “Kids: It’s like living with homeless people.”

Madigan, 47, has spent time in Iraq and Afghanistan (on a USO Holiday Tour with Lewis Black and Robin Williams), but her time on NBC’s Last Comic Standing may have been more grueling, as she told us during a recent phone interview.

NUVO: I heard you say on a morning radio show when asked about your plans for the future: “I haven’t planned anything thus far, and it’s turned out great.” Still not planning?

Kathleen Madigan: I don’t plan anything. I mean, things happen. The night before last, I was taping another Ron White Salute to the Troops special for CMT that they show all year long. It’s the third one, and I didn’t plan on that. I just like telling jokes, so as long as I have gigs, to me that’s fine. I don’t really want to be in movies, I don’t want a sitcom. This was my goal, to tell jokes in front of real people without television cameras; to just have a live night and then go to the bar. That was the plan, and it’s worked out perfectly.

NUVO: I feel like those younger comics are flipping over to the insane comedy podcast scene. Comedians are the only group of people that will break every boundary in interviews – way more interesting to me than musicians or politicians. Do you listen to any comedy podcasts? I know you’ve been on quite a few.

Madigan: I think [the podcast scene] is like comedy clubs. There’s too many now. Comedy went from a bunch of really good clubs to billions of clubs and now we’re back to just the good clubs. I think the podcast thing – there’s probably ten people that should actually be doing it, and now everybody’s doing it. I mean, I’m surprised my mom doesn’t have one. It’s that overdone.

I don’t want to be mean, but [podcasters], come on, I’ve done a hundred of these. You’re too late. I’m done. I’m out. I mean, Marc Maron’s [WTF] is great and worth doing. There’s probably ten that are worth it and the rest, it’s just an hour with my moron friend. Just come over to the house and then you can tape what we talk about. But I do not want to go to your weird garage in god knows where with my GPS that’s going to have to find your apartment. No. It’s just too crazy. [Some of them] get like 2,000 listeners. What does that mean, really? How does that translate into somebody coming to a show? I guess, maybe it does. It seems like a distraction. If you’ve got to focus on your podcast, just go write some jokes.

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