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Kathleen Madigan won’t try to be happy, but she will try to make you laugh

Kalamazoo Gazette
Mark Wedel

Kathleen Madigan is happy, really.

Friday, Feb. 15, the comedian will be headlining Miller Auditorium for her first time. That’s a larger venue than the State Theatre, which she played in 2005 and 2010.

She’s been getting larger venues and doing more TV. In early February she did a CMT “Comedy Salute” special with Ron White in Las Vegas. And she’ll be taping her own special somewhere in the Midwest in May.

Madigan doesn’t want a sitcom, doesn’t do movies. “I don’t really do other stuff, so I’m always just kind of happy,” she said from her home in Los Angeles.

Other than standup, no other goals? “I had one, and achieved it, and am pretty happy.” She paused. “I just looked in my purse. I don’t have any more goals.”

As seen in her 2011 special, Showtime’s “Gone Madigan,” she often brings up the subject of her sister, who is always happy and perky, “like a golden retriever.”

Madigan is of the personality type who doesn’t make an effort to be cheerful all of the time.

“I really don’t!” The need to be happy constantly, “I think it’s a myth, I don’t know where it started, I put some of the blame on Oprah, probably, that you have to be happy all the time. What? That’s a bad goal,” she said.

“Life itself is chaos, and I don’t even say this in a bad way.”

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Comedy Salute to the Troops in VEGAS!

Kathleen joins Ron White for the third year on his Comedy Salute to the Troops to benefit the Armed Forces Foundation. The one night only show will be held at the Mirage Las Vegas and filmed for CMT. Joining Kathleen and Ron will be Josh Blue, Brian Reagan, Ralphie May and John Caparulo. Here are the ticketing details….

Ron White’s Comedy Salute to the Troops
Wednesday, February 6, 2013
7:30 pm
Terry Fator Theatre
Las Vegas, NV
Tickets available via the Mirage Website

The Armed Forces Foundation is dedicated to providing comfort and solace to members of the military community through financial support, career counseling, housing assistance and recreational therapy programs. They offer these vital programs to active-duty and retired personnel, National Guard, Reserve components, and their loved ones.


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The following shows went on sale over the weekend…

01/12/13 – West Point, NY – Eisenhower Hall Theatre

02/13/13 – Chicago, IL - City Winery

02/15/13 – Kalamazoo, MI – Miller Auditorium

04/25/13 – Madison, WI – Barrymore Theatre

And don’t forget that Indianapolis, Thousand Oaks, Louisville and a whole host of other tour dates are also on sale!

Get all the ticketing info here…


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Actor? Nah. Madigan would rather do her act.

Will Harris

Kathleen Madigan is having far too much fun telling jokes to pursue a TV career.

It’s not that Madigan, a veteran stand-up comic who performs at the Attucks Theatre in Norfolk on Saturday, is wholly against the idea of following the dozens of comedians who’ve made the migration to TV land. It’s never been one of her goals.

“I just don’t have any strong desire other than to keep writing and telling jokes,” she said. “I never got into this job to be an actor. To me, that’s like when people ask me, ‘So what are your other goals?’ And I’m, like, ‘Well, I don’t have any. This was the goal!’ And then I feel bad.

“But then I think, ‘Wait a minute, why should I feel bad about that?’ I mean, the goal was to tell jokes, to have fun, to make enough money to pay the bills, and to put enough money somewhere so that in retirement I’m not eating cat food… and I’m doing it.”

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Kathleen Madigan and Cedric the Entertainer discuss their trade

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.

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