By Lori Hoffman
Atlantic City Weekly
April 21, 2014
Kathleen Madigan is an earthy, hilarious stand-up comedian who loves her job making people laugh, usually for 300 dates a year, an insanely busy schedule. Luckily for her fans in our area, Atlantic City has been a regular stop the last few years, including this Saturday at the Trump Taj Mahal.
In a conversation with Atlantic City Weekly, Madigan revealed a treasured Lewis Black story, her favorite current news event and that she misses Jay Leno.
You had a new streaming special on Netflix added in September, Kathleen Madigan Again. Is streaming the next big market for comedy?
It’s a million times better for us. When I did a special for HBO or Showtime, they would tell me the premiere date, then [couldn’t tell me when else it would be on or how many times]. My mom would call and tell me it was on but I don’t think my mom should be in charge of that. With Netflix, I can say it’s always on, whenever you want it to be on. It’s so much better and they don’t edit anything.
Promotion for everybody these days involves social media. How much are you into that
side of the business?
I love Twitter because it limits everybody to 140 characters and you don’t have to decide if you’re my “friend.’ I have a friend who helps with Facebook and the Web site. With Twitter I’m really involved. I love it and people are funny. I’m good friends with Lewis Black and he argues with me, ‘But it’s not verified.’ ‘So, I don’t care Lew. So what if I thought Jon Bon Jovi was dead for a day. He’s not dead. So now it is good news.’
You’ve made Atlantic City a regular stop. How are the audiences here?
They’re great. There seems to be a lot of my people and by people I mean the Catholics and then break it down to the Irish and I’ll take all the Italians too, There seem to be a lot of people that grew up the same way I did and can relate to a lot of what I’m saying.
Do you have a favorite Lewis Black story?
We were in Afghanistan and they issue you all your stuff. You have to wear the flack jacket all the time and the helmet. It is so heavy. He puts it on and his glasses are always dirty. He always looks semi-homeless. I tell him, ‘You look like an adult with special needs.’ He goes, ‘this is why I come here to encourage people and keep the troops happy. They fight for people like me who are completely incapable of doing this.’ ‘Lewis, if we had a whole army of you and me, we would win every war. If we came over a mountaintop they would just start laughing and then we could kill them.’
You’ve done The Tonight Show 25 times. Do you miss Jay Leno?
I do. I got real sad the last time I did [the show with him] and I went to the final taping. I worked with Jay a million times just in clubs. He’s a great guy, like an older brother who never gets emotionally involved with things. It’s just business. He got so emotional during that last taping and I was very sad. It was like watching a cat cry. That’s impossible. I do miss him. It felt like home appearing with him.
You know he’s playing in Atlantic City the night before you do?
Yes. I knew he was there the night before. He’ll fly out right after the show. He doesn’t stay for beers. I’m the stay-for-beers person.
Has there been anything in the news lately that caught your attention as good comedy material?
I’ve really talked a lot about the Malaysian airplane. I’ve been obsessed with it. My entire life I assumed that when all of us got on a plane that was doing over water that somebody smarter than us on land knew where we were at all times. And guess what? They don’t. They [warn you] about fires, water landings, mountain crashes, but they never say, ‘In the event that we go missing . . .’