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Kathleen Madigan headlines Cache Creek

By Richard Freedman
Daily Democrat

Kathleen Madigan returns to Cache Creek resort and casino in Brooks on Dec. 13.

Some comics lug everything on the road from T-shirts, CDs and DVDs. Not Kathleen Madigan. No, thanks. This stand-up considered one of the nation’s funniest humans packs her clothes and her comedy.

And that’s about it.

“A lot of comics, it’s about the ‘merch,'” Madigan said. “I’d feel like a circus. Not that I think comedy is too high and mighty. But we’re not like the Rolling Stones. Or Larry the Cable Guy. He probably makes more in ‘merch’ than telling jokes. I’m just not sales person. The whole thing is strange.”

It’s early morning and Madigan is “in the middle of Missouri” nursing a cold at his sister’s house. Since her constant tour schedule dictates she take the stage in Roanoke, Norfork, and Durham, by golly, that’s where Madigan takes her act and handkerchief. “It’s the glamorous life,” she said. Fortunately, that’s a Thanksgiving break before the 5-foot-1 dynamo performs at Cache Creek resort in Brooks on Sat., Dec. 13. And don’t think Madigan doesn’t realize there are slot machines a few feet away.

“I love video poker,” she said. “That’s my thing. It’s crack for me.”

The casinos offer lots of work for Madigan. And that makes her happy.

“Whenever you get a chance to vote ‘yes’ for a casino, do it,” said Madigan. “I’ve learned more about Indian tribes while walking through a casino and gambling than I ever did in school.”

After 26 years in the business, Madigan has solidified her spot not only as a premiere female comic, but as a comic. Period. Count Jay Leno, Ron White and Lewis Black among her biggest fans with credits that include a nomination as the 2014 American Comedy Award for Best Concert Comic.

“It’s nice, but sometimes it doesn’t make sense,” Madigan said, noting some lists include standups and actors.

Not that Madigan’s complaining.

“I’ll take an extra trophy if anyone wants to give me one,” she said.

There is one award Madigan covets. When she was 13, she shot 15 of 15 underhanded from the foul line and won her local “hoop shoot” contest.

“I’m not embarrassed to admit that,” Madigan said. “I got the trophy and retired. I wasn’t going to get any taller. I quit as champion.”

There’s no doubt this Missouri master of mirth has paid her dues. And she knows what it takes to arm-wrestle her way to the top.

“For most people, seven to 10 years,” Madigan said of the struggle. “By the time I was 33, I was paying rent. I was doing just OK. But I was only one person. I couldn’t raise a family.”

And she surely couldn’t afford a pet. Not one with four paws.

“I got a fish tank and had a freshwater shark. It committed suicide,” Madigan said. “I got home and it had jumped out of tank and was on the couch. It killed itself.”

At least the career’s doing well. There’s a home in West Hollywood and one “down by a lake” in Missouri. Not that Madigan enjoys Southern California.

“It’s a terrible place,” she said. “Soulless, narcissistic ball of egos. The only nice thing is the weather. Los Angeles people are never going to resonate with me. Thank God when I went to L.A. I already had friends there who had come from Texas, Ohio and Washington.”

Fortunately, there’s the rest of the country.

“I still like the road, like traveling,” Madigan said.

With Madigan at Cache Creek is opening act and friend, Chuck Martin, who, she said, “looks like every other white guy.”

Madigan admires Martin as an Emmy-winning writer, a job she wouldn’t want when “half the people in the room aren’t funny who I’d want to punch in the face and everyone’s a boss.”

Maybe doing this stand-up thing is good after all.

“I never worked well in groups,” Madigan said.

Nor does she expend a ton of energy on stage. No, no cartwheels for this gal.

“I don’t even move,” Madigan said. “I’m paid to stand there and tell jokes and that’s what I’m doing.”



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Comedian to perform at Norfolk’s Attucks Theater

By Yiorgio
The Flagship
November 21, 2015

Comedian extraordinaire Kathleen Madigan will be performing live at the historic Attucks Theater in Norfolk Nov. 21, at 8:00 p.m. Over her distinguished 25-year career, she has performed in many parts of the world and nearly every standup television show ever made.

From Leno to Letterman, to Conan to Ferguson, from HBO and Comedy Central specials to Showtime and Netflix, Madigan has seen and done it all, and she recently sat down to talk about her career and bringing her show to Norfolk.

Yiorgo: Why did you decide to become a stand up comic?

Kathleen Madigan: I’m from Ferguson, Missouri and most of my jobs were in restaurants and working at bars. I’ve always liked to tell jokes and get that immediate cash. I went with a buddy of mine across the street from where I was working where they had open mike and because there were only like 30 people maybe in the crowd we decided to go for it. It was not a big leap for me because I did that across the street anyway as a bartender. First I did it as a hobby but once a hobby is bringing in more than what you’re making to survive you say I’m going to do the hobby then. The key is to make it over the hump of what you need to exist week in and week out.

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The road, not TV, is the place for comedian Madigan

By Tad Dickens
The Roanoke Times
November 20, 2015

Kathleen Madigan is sure she has found the greatest job on earth in stand-up comedy.

Lots of comics use their careers as a springboard for television or movies. Madigan, who plays Jefferson Center on Sunday, has done plenty of TV, but doesn’t much enjoy it.

“I don’t really want any of that,” Madigan said in a phone call last week. “When I first went to L.A., I thought, OK, I’ll see what all this is about — sitcoms, all that stuff. It’s not for me.

“Life is too short for me to be investing in stuff that I don’t even like. Would it be good to have my own sitcom? Maybe. But first of all, you’d have to go through so many walls and layers of nonsense I can’t even explain it. Then it has to get on the air. Then it has to be popular. Then is has to stay on for four years to get into syndication if you’re really going to get your bang for your buck.

“Even if I loved it, I don’t know if I would go through that, and I don’t like it at all.”

Madigan, 49, was reminded recently when she joined her friend, comic Lewis Black, on the set of The Big Bang Theory. Another friend joined them over the course of a full day. While Black waited for his scene, Madigan and their friend drank a half-bottle of wine, took naps, walked the TV studio lot twice, ate dinner in the commissary and went over Black’s lines with him.

“All of this for what is going to be a 5-minute scene? Oh, no no no no no, no, no, no, noooooo. No, no, no.”

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Comedian Kathleen Madigan enjoys the life of a comic

By Mike Holtzclaw
Daily Press
November 20, 2014

A comedian can never admit to being happy. It’s part of the job to complain about things, to be aggravated and befuddled by life’s indignities.

To be funny, you’ve always got to have something under your skin.

Just don’t tell Kathleen Madigan.

“No complaints — zero,” she said in a recent phone interview. “I have a wonderful job and I’m doing exactly what I want to do. Things couldn’t really be any better.”

Madigan, who performs at Chrysler Hall in Norfolk on Friday night, swears she is not exaggerating her good fortune in describing her satisfaction with life.

“There’s this image of comedians as miserable, depressed, brooding people,” she said. “I have this friend who used to be a comedian, and now he’s a director and writer and stuff. Last time we talked, he said, ‘I’m working on this thing, and I’ve been at it 12 hours today.’ He sounded tired. I told him, ‘You quit the greatest job on the planet – you could have worked 90 minutes today!'”

The 49-year-old St. Louis native has risen to the top of her field — Lewis Black calls her “the funniest comic in America, bar none” – with a comedic style that reflects her Midwestern upbringing.

She is sarcastic, but not mean. She is not profane, but she doesn’t go out of her way to be squeaky-clean either. She talks about politics, but not in a specifically partisan way.

“I really do feel like the political system we have now is absurd,” she said. “Whether you’re talking about Republicans or Democrats or Tea Party or whatever it may be.

“On the night of an election, everyone says, ‘How is so-and-so going to feel when they wake up the next morning after losing?’ I’ll tell you how they’re going to feel. They’re all millionaires. All of them. They’re going to wake up and say: ‘Oh, my god, I lost! But – oh, yeah – I’m still a millionaire.’ Mitt Romney and John Kerry are the same person. They have seven homes, private jets and a staff. What are the issues they’ll fight for? Easier access to private airports?”

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Politics, Netflix, and The Pope with Kathleen Madigan, Coming to the Attucks

By Katie Anderson
Alt Daily
November 10, 2014.

Kathleen Madigan is just funny. She makes us laugh without yelling or making silly videos, and somehow makes it through a whole show without once mentioning dieting.
She was nominated for a 2014 American Comedy Award for Best Club Comic and has a new hour special, “Madigan Again,” on Netflix. We talked with Madigan about the new media model, Congressional gridlock, and why the old Pope had shitty taste in designer footwear.

AltDaily: We are so happy that you’ll be back to the Attucks.

Kathleen Madigan: Thanks.

I just saw your Netflix special and it was, as usual, very funny. How was it different working with Netflix as opposed to say HBO or Comedy Central?

I’ve had specials on HBO and Showtime and Comedy Central and the problem working with those guys is that they will say, “Okay Kathleen, your special is going to premiere at
such and such time at such and such and such hour” and I’d say “Okay, great. How many times are your going to show the special?” and they would say “We don’t know” and I would say “If you figure it out can you tell me?” and they’d say “No we can’t do that.”


I know. I was like, “Why are you keeping this a secret from me?” And it would be random, like my mom would text me “you’re on Showtime right now, if you’re supposed to be getting money, your father and I are keeping track”… So you can stop doing that, mom. Now when people ask me where they can see me, I can say that I’m on Netflix 24 hours, 7 days a week. Plus, younger people don’t even get involved in cable and all that stuff.

I don’t have cable anymore. I have Apple TV.

And Netflix pays just as well. There’s just no downside. It’s what the networks just don’t realize. Meeting with these network people is like talking to your grandparents and talking to the Netflix guys is like talking to your weird 25-year-old neighbor who has a very nice house but HOW? He’s always wearing a hoodie and carrying coffee around. (Both laughing.) I want to talk to the people who are thinking of the next thing and not of the past and how awesome they were.

They do take things off of Netflix. Do you talk about how long it’s going to be on?

Oh yeah, you can make a million arrangements. When (this special) runs out I can say “Hey guys, can you keep this one going?”and they’ll go, “Sure let’s work on a secondary price.” It’s called the second buy. It’s like re-leasing a used car. I mean, it’s still a good car so do you want to renew your lease or do you want me to take it somewhere else and try to sell it?

I know you’ve performed a few times for the troops through the USO. I’ve heard that the war is over, but I can tell you as someone who lives in Norfolk that people keep getting deployed. So do you have any plans to go back to perform in Afghanistan or Iraq?

Here’s what I know I won’t do. I called Lewis Black the second Obama said that we’re sending troops to Syria and I said, “Okay, here’s the thing: No, no and no.” Because Assad scares me and I think it’s weird that he’s an eye doctor. But Isis has added a level… I’d really think twice. I mean, we performed in Mosul and Isis owns it now.

Did you see the Frontline this week about Isis?

Yeah I did. I love my country and I do feel sorry for all the troops getting deployed. I will go to any base on US soil and do free shows but I’m too scared (to go to Iraq). Nor would I go to West Africa where they’re sending National Guard people to help with Ebola. And God love the people willing to help but I said to Lew, don’t even think about saying yes if they call us, cause we usually go together.

How you feel about the new Pope?

I’m a huge fan of the new Pope. My mom has always been in line more with Catholicism than I have been, but I love that he’s new thinking but still old school. He went to a special thing recently and gave a shout out to all the exorcists. There you go! Those guys never get a shout out.


He went to a conference about the devil and there were about 300 approved exorcists and I’m like, “This is so old school!” And ever since I saw the movie The Exorcist, I do believe in the devil and I believe that there are crazy things going on and I’m glad that this Pope has got it in check. And my dad went to a Jesuit high school, college, and law school, and I’m a huge fan of the Jesuits because they make you think outside of the box. This Pope is so Jesuit—can we have some critical thinking? Can we have someone who can do a syllogism? But I do worry that he may be so progressive that the old school contingency might try to get rid of him. And I would never want to see that happen because he’s the first bright light in the Catholic Church in a very long time. I was so creeped out by the old Pope. I mean, really, you’re going to wear red Prada shoes? First of all, clearly, you’ve never seen the movie The Devil Wears Prada, so how about not Prada? And second of all you’re the Pope! You shouldn’t be wearing Prada. You’re the leader of the Christlike people! Jesus had sandals, not even good ones.

Jesus did have some bad sandals.

The Pope did say the other day that he believes in angels, and my mom said, “Isn’t that nice” but that’s one that that he kinda has to. He just can’t say, “Oh that whole ‘angel’ thing? I’m not really on board…”

Oh yeah and the angels are at least half of the merch at the Cathedral gift shops…

(Laughing). Exactly, you can’t cancel the gift shop!

Do you think Obama will do anything wild in his last years in office?

No. He always seems like he’s about two weeks behind. I don’t know if there’s just too much to do or what. Like the Ebola thing, there is no cohesive leader here, clearly. Lew was all on board with Obama but he’s not a wizard, he’s just a guy who has to go along with all of the other crazy crap that other presidents go through and try to get along with people who hate his guts…

Well, it doesn’t appear that anything is going to get easier for him…

I was having a conversation with a nice reporter guy who said, “I can’t remember a time where this country was more polarized…” and well, there was the Civil War. I mean, that was pretty bad, pulling out bayonets and cannons. I think most Americans are somewhere in the middle going “enough already with this nonsense.”

It’s the gridlock more than anything.

I also think it’s because they’re selfish bastards. Most (Congresspeople)… it’s all about them and what kind of clip are they going to get for their next campaign commercial and too many rich people, and they’re already rich, and the jobs (in Congress) don’t pay so you know that it’s got to be about their ego because why else would you do it?

Do you think you think campaign finance reform would help?

Absolutely. There should be caps. If I wanted to run for Senate, well, I can’t. I can’t buy a TV commercial. We’re creating dynasties of generations who have the money and then they rule us. It’s bizarre. They’ve completely disenfranchised all normal people. That’s why I think people looked at Steve Forbes and said, “Yeah, okay him. He’s a billionaire and so he clearly doesn’t need more money…” but his eyes were just too weird.


It’s like how I felt about Dick Gephardt. And I’m from St. Louis and I want to root Dick Gephardt on but you can’t be a president without eyebrows. There’s something weird looking about you.

You would think that someone could fix that, too.

Yeah someone could have used a little eyebrow pencil and helped the guy out



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