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Comedian Kathleen Madigan to bring the laughs to Riverside

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.”

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Free Beer and Hotwings Morning show interview

Kathleen was a guest on the Free Beer and Hotwings show talking about her upcoming Laughfest appearance, jokes and family.

Listen here!

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Kathleen Madigan Talks LaughFest, Jokes About Family And Family Names

Free Beer and Hotwings Morning Show
February 27, 2015

We talked to Kathleen about a bunch of topics including the incredible LaughFest lineup, the feeling when things aren’t going well on stage and about how her family feels when they’re the butt of the jokes. She’s one of our favorites and we had a great time talking to her.

Click here to listen to the interview

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Top Comedians Perform at Gilda’s Laughfest March 5-15

February 26, 2015
Edge Media Network

Gilda’s LaughFest announced that this year’s Signature Event will celebrate the festival’s fifth year, and five years of smiles in West Michigan, with a lineup of returning LaughFest comedians coming together for the first time ever. Additionally, LaughFest has announced the remaining acts for the 2015 Festival, which runs from March 5-15.

The Signature Event will take place on Tuesday, March 10 at DeVos place and will be hosted by Michael Kosta, the winner of LaughFest’s 2011 stand-up competition. The event will feature headlining acts from LaughFest’s past years including Jim Breuer, Kathleen Madigan, Sinbad and Justin Willman. Additional LaughFest acts announced today include Cristela Alonzo, Orny Adams, Hen Sapp, Improv Cinema and Don’t We Boys with Dubalicous.

“This is our fifth festival and Signature Event, so to celebrate those five years of smiles and Gilda Radner’s legacy of laughter, along with the fifteen year anniversary of Gilda’s Club Grand Rapids, we’re bringing back some of LaughFest’s most talked about acts to our Signature Event,” said Wendy Wigger, president of Gilda’s Club Grand Rapids and LaughFest. “These performers will come together for an amazing evening of laughter and entertainment while supporting the mission of Gilda’s Club.”

“I’ve always been aware of the way that Gilda paved the way for female comics,” said Breuer, who was named one of Comedy Central’s 100 Greatest Stand-ups of All Time. “She left such a lasting impression on the comedy industry and SNL fans. While she left us way too soon, her legacy lives on through the incredible work of Gilda’s Club. I had a great time at LaughFest in 2013 and can’t wait to get back to Grand Rapids to be a part of this amazing event.”

Winner of the American Comedy and Phyllis Diller awards for Best Female Comedian, Madigan has a successful comedy career that spans 25 years. She’s appeared with late night performers Jay Leno, David Letterman, Conan O’Brien and Craig Ferguson. Her third hour-long special, “Madigan Again,” was named one of the best comedy albums of 2013 by iTunes.

“I was really happy to hear that I was invited back to Gilda’s LaughFest in Grand Rapids,” said Madigan. “I did it in 2011 and was blown away with this relatively small city that just blew the doors off of how to do a festival. I’ve been correctly quoted that its the best festival in the country right now. No politics, just all funny people. I was a big Gilda Radner fan and paying tribute to her with a great festival is perfect. And, from performing in Michigan for 25 years, it’s hard to find better crowds. I’m coming early to watch other comics. Can’t wait!”

Read the full article…

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Kathleen Madigan’s got love for ATL comedy

By: Kate Douds
Creative Loafing
February 26, 2015

Talking with Kathleen Madigan is like talking to an old friend — assuming the old friend has a wicked sense of humor and approximately zero tolerance for bullshit. Her stand-up
is no exception.

“I’m the lady at the end of the bar, basically, who walks in and you say, ‘Oh, how’ve you been?’ and then I just keep talking,” Madigan says. “Normally I would not talk for an
hour and 15 minutes to a stranger, but that’s the comedy show I do.”

That being said, Madigan’s fans are far from strangers. Over the course of her career she’s performed everywhere from California to Afghanistan, having developed a significant
following along the way.Her three stand-up comedy specials, including her most recent Detroit-based performance, “Madigan Again,” certainly hasn’t hurt. And although she chooses not to involve herself in the world of television and film, Madigan certainly doesn’t limit her humor to the stage. The comedian engages with fans via social media as well, live-tweeting everything from the Grammys to an episode of “House Hunters.”

Her interpersonal style and comfortable stage presence played a big part in the choice of venue. “[Variety Playhouse] is small,” Madigan says. “They said, ‘Do you want to move on to another venue?’ And I said I’d rather stay there and do two shows, just because of the vibe of the place. It just has a very casual, fun, very upbeat vibe.” Plus, there’s a bar across the street called [Euclid Avenue] Yacht Club that I really like [laughs].”

Although Madigan is a St. Louis native, she does have a history in Atlanta. Madigan once worked at the Funny Bone in Buckhead, as well as the Punchline Comedy Club. Madigan admits she doesn’t frequent clubs as much as she did as an up-and coming-comedian, but she is no newcomer to local comedy. “I was saying to a couple friends of mine, that [the Punchline] was one of those rooms that for whatever reason was just perfect,” she says. “I know that they’re closing in March and they’re going to try somewhere else, but I don’t think they can physically move the building and that’s what I would like them to do.”

After more than two decades in the business, Madigan’s ability to work her way up with few — if any — roadblocks is an accomplishment in itself. Having learned a lot from comedians she opened for along the way, such as Ron White and Lewis Black, she affirms there’s something to be said for just being able to naturally talk to people.

“[Stand-up] is not a matter of opinion: you either got laughs tonight or you didn’t,” she says. “It’s one of the two. And if you do get laughs, they’re going to want to hire you and pay you. I’ve been very fortunate and very lucky, because I just stumbled into something that is fun and it comes pretty easy to me. We feel that we’re getting away with it; we’re so lucky.”

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