Comedian Kathleen Madigan has been in the stand-up business long enough that’s she’s seen the changes in media over the years from the interviewees perspective. Or rather, she’s heard it. There are two things that stand out. First, whereas interviewers who called her used to at least know a little something about comedy, now the person asking the questions might have read her Wikipedia page before picking up the phone, and that’s about it.
“It used to be very specified, like there was the theater review person who just wrote about plays and stuff, and there was the movie guy and then you had the concert lady,” she said. “Now it’s just all so blurred. I think people are getting stuff thrown on their desk and you can tell they don’t know what they’re talking about. It’s like if someone said ‘Hey, Kathleen, you have to call and interview this opera lady.’”
“Stuff just flies into my head and then I say it out loud onstage,” the 47-year-old comedian says during a phone interview from her home in Los Angeles. “I do have words written down so I remember the topic — like, I’ll write ‘post office,’ or whatever, so I remember what I’m talking about, but I don’t write jokes.”
It’s a habit that might have been influenced by the environment in which she grew up. She describes her parents and siblings as funny in a sarcastic way — without them putting any effort into it.
“Mom’s funny in a dry, dark way. My dad’s more of a storyteller guy … I would be a version of my dad, edited maybe.”
For such a funny person, Kathleen Madigan’s pretty serious. She’s serious about selling tickets; she’s serious about being done with podcasts; and she’s really serious about jokes. Jokes like “I am going to hell and I’m looking forward to it. I’ll finally get to meet Madonna.” Or “If man evolved from monkeys and apes, why do we still have monkeys and apes?” Or “Kids: It’s like living with homeless people.”
Madigan, 47, has spent time in Iraq and Afghanistan (on a USO Holiday Tour with Lewis Black and Robin Williams), but her time on NBC’s Last Comic Standing may have been more grueling, as she told us during a recent phone interview. Continue reading
When comedian Kathleen Madigan vistied Traverse City for the first time four years ago she was pretty excited as she pulled up to City Opera House to perform.
“I was like, ‘Wow! Look at all of these people lined up,’ and I said to the person who picked me up at the airport, ‘Hey that guy looks like Michael Moore.’ Of course my driver explained to me it was Michael Moore,” said Kathleen Madigan. “Then I learned there was this big Film Festival coming to town in a month and that the line was actually for people trying to get tickets to see Madonna.”
Madigan ended up having a full house that night and now she is back for an encore performance on Thursday, February 14 at the City Opera House. Madigan was already scheduled before the Traverse City Winter Comedy Arts Festival dates were set but now her “Gone Madigan” performance will serve at the Fesitval’s opening event. Continue reading
Comedian Ron White introduced her during one of his recent Salute to the Troops comedy specials on CMT as “the funniest woman on the planet,” and she’s been on the Tonight Show more times than even she can count, so why isn’t this celebrated comic who’s widely revered by other comedians not more famous?
“My career has never been a bonfire, it’s just one more log on the fire at a time,” Madigan said in a phone interview from her L.A. home that she rarely stays in. “It’s all just another thing to add: a comedy special, CMT, Sirius radio.” And the list goes on, from VH1′s I Love the (insert decade) specials to Celebrity Poker Showdown to a 2011 Showtime special, Gone Madigan.
She first came to the attention of middle America on the second season of Last Comic Standing, an NBC reality show that pitted comics against each other for a TV contract. Continue reading