Kathleen Madigan talks Netflix, friend Lewis Black, Sally Lunchbox, more

by: Dylan Gadino
September 24, 2013

Over the past decade, Kathleen Madigan has quietly become one of the country’s most successful comedians. Although she’s been on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno 15 times, Late Show with David Letterman six times, Conan twice, the Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson (and more), it’s not like she’s she has own talk show. And yet, she’s in the midst of criss-crossing the country performing at our nation’s finer theaters– all on the strength of her stand-up skills. It comes on the heels of her newest hour special Madigan Again, taped at the Royal Oak Theater in Detroit this past May. It’s currently available exclusively on Netflix and will be released on iTunes, CD and DVD on Oct. 8. I recently chatted with Kathleen about the new special, about her close friend Lewis Black (who opened for Kathleen for her special), about her early life in a Missouri suburb and much more. Check it out below! And be sure to catch Kathleen when she returns to Late Show with David Letterman this Friday, Sept. 27.

So how’s it going, Kathleen?
It’s going really great, Dylan. The last 10 years have been really good and now it’s really, really good. It gets to that point where you’re like, hey guess what— I don’t care about anything. It’s just a relief to go, ‘I’m good. I have a nice little house; I have a little farm in Missouri. I don’t care anymore, but in a good way. In a healthy way. It’s a positive ‘I don’t care.’

I’m glad to hear that.
All these people are like, ‘Don’t you want a sitcom?’ Why would I want to do that? Tell me one good reason that I would stop this life. I don’t think people understand. This was the goal. I just want to tell jokes and make money and not have to worry. I wasn’t a theatre major; I don’t want to be an actor on TV. This is what I wanted to be when I grew up. And then people ask, ‘Well what’s your next goal?’ ‘Hey, easy. I’m Irish. You’re lucky I came up with one. Just enjoy the ride. ‘What does your vision board say next?’ Uh, nothing.

Last year when the canceled all the soap operas I think it was CBS that called and they said they had an idea for you for a daytime show for me. And I don’t go to meetings anymore, ever. I’m not going to lunch. You can call me for drinks, but I’m otherwise, I’m done. I learned my lesson. And it’s not even that I’m tired. I’d rather just walk around my block. But I said ok, I’ll go. And when I get there, these people were describing their ideas for a daytime show, saying it’s sort of a theme show mixed with The View. It was just a pile of garbage.

But I sat there and I listened and then one of them said something like, ‘Every day you’d do a sketch about…’ and I said, ‘Whoa whoa, every day?’ And she was like, ‘Well, yeah.’ ‘Well, here’s the thing. I am not your lady. I don’t do anything every day except maybe drink one Bud Light Platinum or a nice glass of red wine.’ I said, I’ll make a list of women who would enjoy this; I could think of a lot of people who would be really appropriate but I should not waste anymore of our time and I will steal three bottles of Fiji water on my way out.

People are like, ‘Why not put your name in for The View?’ No, I don’t want to go somewhere every day. I don’t want a job. My dream job would be a thousand dollar-plus-air feature act. But that doesn’t exist anymore. But back in the day you could get $850 plus airfare and be the middle act. Everybody hollers and screams, what’s next? There is no next. This is it.

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