The Observations of Kathleen Madigan

Northern Express
Rick Coates

When comedian Kathleen Madigan vistied Traverse City for the first time four years ago she was pretty excited as she pulled up to City Opera House to perform.

“I was like, ‘Wow! Look at all of these people lined up,’ and I said to the person who picked me up at the airport, ‘Hey that guy looks like Michael Moore.’ Of course my driver explained to me it was Michael Moore,” said Kathleen Madigan. “Then I learned there was this big Film Festival coming to town in a month and that the line was actually for people trying to get tickets to see Madonna.”

Madigan ended up having a full house that night and now she is back for an encore performance on Thursday, February 14 at the City Opera House. Madigan was already scheduled before the Traverse City Winter Comedy Arts Festival dates were set but now her “Gone Madigan” performance will serve at the Fesitval’s opening event.


She began her comedic career as a journalist working at various suburban St. Louis newspapers after graduating from journalism school in 1987. On weekends she would frequent openmic comedy clubs until one day she decided to give up her day time gig to pursue standup full time. She packed her bags and moved west.

“If you want to be in comedy and just traveling the circuit you have to live in either LA or New York,” said Madigan. “I chose LA since this is where most of the late night shows take place.”

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