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5 Around Town’s 5 favorite things about Kathleen Madigan at Charleston Music Hall

By Dani Dudek
Feb 09, 2015

Comedian Kathleen Madigan performed at the Charleston Music Hall on Saturday with opening act Vic Henley. Madigan has appeared in numerous TV talk shows and has her own one hour special called “Gone Madigan” that premiered on Showtime and is now available on Netflix Here are our 5 Around Town five favorite moments of the packed show in Charleston.

1 – When the Alabama born Henley talked football in the South, he called Steve Spurrier “the head cock” and joked about how silly the rest of the country is for thinking their teams are real football teams.

2 – Henley’s Paula Deen accent is spot on. His recipe for fried lard? Not so much.

3 – Joking about Bill Cosby’s alter ego, Madigan said, “He’s not Cliff Huxtable! I wouldn’t see a cast member from Gillian’s Island and wonder, how’d they make it off the island?”

4 – When making a very timely statement about the Brian Williams scandal, Madigan told a story about being on an overseas mission with Lance Armstrong. “I had to listen to Lance talk about himself for two hours and didn’t throw him out of helicopter. I shoulda gotten a medal!”

5 – Discussing how to get people to cough up money for any kind of fundraiser, Madigan suggests using Sarah McLaughlin. Have you seen those sad animal ads? That’s the way you make things happen!

The laughs didn’t stop there. Madigan followed up her night in Charleston by live tweeting the Grammys, making statements like, “Kanye wore his best Al Sharpton velour track suit tonight. He and Kim deserve each other.”

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Kathleen Madigan is one happy stand-up

By: Maria Martin
Charleston City Paper
February 4, 2015

Kathleen Madigan has performed on every late night show you can think of, from The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and The Late Show with David Letterman to Conan and The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson. She’s also done many comedy specials — one of which, Madigan Again, is currently available to stream on Netflix — and won several comedy awards, including the American Comedy Award for Best Female Comedian.

But the comedian began her comedy career on a whim. Twenty-five years ago, she was working as a bartender next door to a comedy club and one day, she and a friend went to the club for a drink. The comedy club happened to be hosting an open mic night, and she and her friend each tried it out for fun. After that, Madigan just kept doing it. “You just keep going to open mic nights until you get enough time to do, like, 10 solid minutes,” she says. “Then there are gigs around every city that pay $20, $50, and you just hope you get asked to do one of those.”

Through her persistence, Madigan’s comedy career emerged. She can’t point to one moment when she realized that she was going to be able to make it as a comedian. “It’s kind of a day-by-day thing. There’s no one thing or time or moment, you just keep doing something every day, and you just keep getting a little bit better each day,” she says. “It’s very, very slow.”

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A few words with comedian Kathleen Madigan

The State
February 3, 2015

Months ago, fans of comedian Kathleen Madigan made plans to catch her first appearance in Columbia. The show sold out early on – despite the fact that local audiences tend to have a commitment phobia.

Madigan’s Midwestern, middle-aged humor – making fun of her parents, speaking in dialect – has made her one of the most popular standup comics in the country.

“Very accessible and very, very funny,” said Katie Fox, director of the 400-seat Harbison Theatre at Midlands Tech, the venue, in its third season, that’s bringing Madigan to town.

Fans are coming from as far away as West Virginia to laugh with Madigan, booked at some point by nearly every late-night and standup TV show. She loves performing and has turned down a host of writing jobs to stay on the road 300 days a year.

So take heart: Locals who didn’t jump at the chance to see her Friday night are likely to get another shot before long.

Meanwhile, here’s an email Madigan sent in response to our query about Jim Cantore, the Weather Channel meteorologist. About a year ago, Cantore shrugged off a college student in Charleston who, in a highly publicized stunt, ran into the weatherman during a live broadcast about a coming storm. Cantore kneed the kid and kept right on talking. Madigan – who may have dealt with a heckler or two of her own during a 25-year career – rhapsodized:

“Jim Cantore’s episode in SC is EXACTLY why I love the Weather Channel. Not that I want Jim injured, but it’s really the only reality show on TV. …

Jim has no script and is thrown into crazy weather with crazy people all around him and both are capable of mayhem at any time. Yes, that’s a channel I want to watch. And even I have bouncers at a theater. Not Jim.

“You’re on your own, sir. Hope you’ve been to the gym lately. This tornado could throw a board at your face or a kid from Charleston might do a Jackie Chan impression to your groin.



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No one likes the pro bowl. Not even the players. Maybe the spouses because I’m sure there’s good swag, but I’m not interested in a stranger’s spouse getting free hats. I’m sure it’s nice to be nominated and get the cash but if I’m gonna watch a bunch of millionaires do their job in a half ass careless manner, I’d rather watch Congress. The Pro Bowl started in 1951 and it seems like something from the 50’s. It’s so outdated, it should be shown in black and white. And we should air the commercials that were airing them. The entire concept is meaningless so I’m throwing this out to King Goodell:

GET RID OF THE PRO BOWL. Starting in 2016, it doesn’t exist. INSTEAD, create the REALITY BOWL! Here’s how it works. You open up a fantasy league, just like all the ones that exist and open it to everyone in the country. The top 2 winners of the regular season will now be heading to Hawaii to draft their new team from the pro bowl selections. They have to coach, do media and everything else a manager/coach would have to do. Play call, etc. They are allowed one coach to help them. They will be in the locker room, sideline and everywhere else exactly as managers/coaches. Every football fan thinks they know what plays to call so let’s see them do it.

I would kill to see my brother or brother in-law shit in his pants if he was the winner. Even if I didn’t know the two people, it would be hilarious to watch. Gambled on as a real game as well with Vegas odds. The halftime show would be features on the two winners. EVERYONE would watch and knowing how much of a money whore Mr. Goodell is, I don’t see how this idea can’t move up the ladder and become a reality. For once, do something proactive rather than stand at a podium lying your ass off to protect various criminals and or crimes. Fantasy football is the most gambled on event in sports.

Make it work Roger.



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Comic Kathleen Madigan Enjoys Being Her Own Boss

By Jeff Walker, Entertainment Writer
Low Country Today
January 22, 2015

Although she earned a degree in journalism from Southern Illinois in 1988 and worked in the profession for a short time after college it wasn’t until she got on stage during an open mike night that Kathleen Madigan found her true calling. For over 25 years the St. Louis native and gifted comedian has been making people laugh with her signature brand of laid back comedy.

Working at a newspaper by day Madigan tended bar at night when the light went off. “I didn’t mind my day job, I just wasn’t into it all that much. I could write but it didn’t pay much. Besides I was making more money part time bartending than I ever did writing peoples stories.” The night life fit her better. “I like hanging out with the bar people and having a beer or two. The 9 to 5 grind wasn’t me.”

Often she and her friends would drop by The Funny Bone in St. Louis.

“We were basically going out for a couple of drinks and to have some fun. One night during open mike night I took the stage. I guess I was just young enough or stupid enough to give it a shot. Before I knew it, I was going back every week. I was making people laugh and having a lot of fun.” The national chain of comedy clubs recognized Madigan’s potential contracting her to open for big names all across the country. “I quit my day job and didn’t give it a second thought.”

Raised in a large Irish Catholic family Madigan said her father was cautious but supportive. A self made man he put himself through college working as a pipefitter ultimately becoming a lawyer and a judge. “I don’t think my dad was overly enthusiastic about quitting my day job. He was a classic workaholic but also very supportive of his kids.” Madigan is one of seven siblings.

Throughout the early 1990’s Madigan cut her teeth. “I was slowly making a name for myself opening for fellow comedians who were probably 8 to 10 years older than me and had been doing it that much longer.” Madigan was opening for the likes of Lewis Black, Brett Butler, Richard Jeni, and Ron White. “They were the headliners. Some of them had done TV and I was still honing the craft.”

After a year and a half Madigan was promoted to the feature act, the second comic in the three person rotation. Another two years passed and she became the headliner. For
Madigan it meant she had to keep getting better so she could be a regular on the late night TV circuit. “Every comic wants those Tonight Show gigs.”

In 1996 Madigan won ‘Best Female Stand-Up’ comedian at the American Comedy Awards. “That was a boost for me. It meant better gigs and more money.” Financial gain was one of her early motivators. “I never thought I’d make a career out of comedy. I liked working in bars and clubs and if I could make more money by telling jokes on stage that was a bonus.”

By the time the 2000’s came around Madigan recorded several comedy albums and made numerous appearances on the late night talk shows from Leno to Letterman. Over the
past decade Madigan she has released 2 DVD’s, filmed two HBO Specials and appeared on three Comedy Central Specials. She had hit her stride and now she was a much sought
after headliner and in demand writer for fellow comedians.

Madigan helped kick off the second season (2004) of NBC’s Last Comic Standing. Although viewers may have thought the show was all about finding unknowns it quickly came about giving travelling comics exposure. “I was reluctant at first because I had been at it for almost 15 years but some of my friends in the industry said go ahead. I did reach
an audience that maybe didn’t know who I was and it did give me more exposure. So there was an upside.”

John Heffron would win that year which featured some of the best comics still working today, among them Todd Glass, Tammy Pescatelli, and 2005 winner Alonzo Bodden. Madigan would in later years return as a judge. With her star on the rise the networks came calling however Madigan prefers to shy away from sitcoms. “I like doing my own thing, being my own boss. I’m not sure I could show up every day and commit to a regular work schedule.”

Ironically although she’s appeared on The Tonight Show 15 times she says she grew up not watching Johnny Carson or paying attention to comics that came before her. “Growing up in the 70’s I wasn’t old enough to stay up and watch it. By the time I became a teenager I had others things that interested me. When it came to TV we watched more sports than anything else. I definitely come from a sports loving family. My becoming a comedian just sort of happened.”

Fast forward to 2015 and Kathleen Madigan is one of the hardest working and most popular comics touring the comedy circuit. Her girl next door humor resonates with young and old, male and female. “I don’t do the type of comedy where I feed off the crowd or exchange banter. Basically I go out on stage and do my show. I might build off the energy in the room but my main goal is to make them laugh and hopefully forget anything bad happening around them.”

Like many comedians Madigan follows a routine but tries to change it up as topics present. “I have my set material but I change it up from time to time. I adlib on occasion but I pretty much know what I’m going to say when I get out on stage. If there is something topical in the news or something that is really stupid going on I might throw that in. I don’t always follow my own script.” Newer material comes through observation. “I watch people and I watch the news. Stupid and funny happens all around us.”

In an entertainment field primarily dominated by men Madigan is in a league of her own. She has landed at the top of her profession and is well respected by fellow comedians. She performs all over the world, is comfortable in small clubs and Las Vegas casinos and regularly joins the USO entertaining our troops. It is easy to see Madigan has made it on
her own and on her own terms.

A quick look at her website gives visitors a glimpse of what others in the business are saying about her. The likes of Leno, Lewis Black, and Ron White extol her talent. “It’s great when people come up to me and say you’re funny but when my colleagues acknowledge it that means so much more to me. They know what we have to go through to get where we are.”

Where Madigan will be on February 7th 2015 is the historic Charleston Music Hall when she brings her ‘Madigan, Again’ tour to the low country of South Carolina. “Looking forward to coming to your town, maybe I’ll have some time to enjoy what the city has to offer.” Tickets are still available by calling 800-514-3849 or visiting the box office at 37 John Street. Madigan will perform at Harbison Theatre in Columbia, SC one night before she plays Charleston

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