By Diana Sholle
Inland Valley Daily Bulletin
Kathleen Madigan catapulted to fame when she was a finalist on the second season of NBC’s “Last Comic Standing.” But the award-winning comedian said she still prefers to create a comfortable atmosphere each time she steps onto a stage.
“I want it to feel like a giant bar conversation,” explained Madigan, a regular panelist on Comedy Central’s “The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore.” “I talk about just normal, everyday stuff like family and current events.”
Madigan plans to bring her no-nonsense style of comedy to Riverside’s Fox Performing Arts Center on March 7 to share her down-to-earth take on the ordinary, observations she’s made during her more than two decades as a comic.
While Madigan became a household name in 2004 when she was one of the top three finalist in “Last Comic Standing,” her career spans more than 25 years with a humble start at open-mic nights at St. Louis comedy clubs. Now Madigan, who was recently nominated for a 2014 American Comedy Award for Best Concert Comic, has credits that include being a judge on Season 5 of “Last Comic Standing” and the star ofcomedy specials on HBO and Comedy Central.
Still, some of her favorite performing has been for the troops.
Madigan has traveled with such celebrities as Lewis Black, the late Robin Williams and Kid Rock to Iraq and Afghanistan to perform. She is currently taping her fifth “Salute to the Troops” project with Ron White scheduled to be released in April, with proceeds from the DVD sales to go to helping the troops, she said.
Though Madigan loves performing and is a natural at the microphone, she never had aspirations of being an actor, or wanted the challenges that comes with being a celebrity. It’s why she’s never considered working on a mainstream sitcom.
“I think it would be great to be like John Grisham, who writes all these best sellers and has lots of money, but can go anywhere he wants — no problem,” she said. “There’s something to be said for anonymity.”
But that doesn’t mean the comic doesn’t appreciate the fanfare.
“I see my brother and his wife and how hard it is for them to coordinate their schedules, make arrangements for the kids and have a night out,” she said. “These people who come and see me, I appreciate them; not only spending the money on a ticket, but the effort it took to get there.”