By: Rodney Ho
Atlanta Journal Courier
February 12, 2015
Kathleen Madigan is one of those stand-up comics who comes across so casually and comfortably on stage, she could just as easily be in your living room with a glass of chardonnay after dinner just hanging out.
Her low-key charm is decidedly anti-Kardashian. She isn’t all about bolstering her brand. She isn’t creating a line of jewelry or coming up with a reality show focused on herself. She isn’t gunning for a starring role on a sitcom.
Madigan just loves to stand up on a stage and tell stories.
She will talk to the press to promote her comedy dates, including her upcoming two shows at the Variety Playhouse Feb. 28. She found Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch’s reluctance to speak to media before the Super Bowl grating.
“He was being a big baby,” she said. “My Midwestern work ethic has no patience for that. Just answer the questions and be gone.”
Madigan has been in the comedy game for a quarter century. She has been able to make a good living spinning jokes. And she likes the freedom of being the boss. But she is big enough that she has folks handling her booking, her books, her publicity, even her online presence. “I don’t really want to be a boss but I have to have employees,” she said.
She is no Donald Trump. Her firing style tends to be as laid back and real as her stand-up. She said she often remains friends with them. “Usually, they know it’s not working out. They end up agreeing with me,” she said.
Her best buddy is Lewis Black, the irascible stand-up who is performing at Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre May 1. “He has a tour manager, a bus driver, a merchandise guy. I sometimes hang out with him on the road. It’s fun but not fun enough for me to deal with all that responsibility.”
She is popular enough in Atlanta that she can do two dates at the 1,000-seat capacity Variety, where she performed last in 2013.
“It’s kind of raw,” Madigan said. “It’s kind of clubby. I like the vibe. I’d rather do two shows there than one in a larger theater that feels sterile and uptight. Some of these places, I feel like I should be doing a lecture on dolphins, they’re so serious.”