By Ryan Meehan
Kathleen Madigan has been in the funny business for over two decades. Her work has landed her numerous spots on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” and “The Late Show with David Letterman”. She starred in her own hour comedy specials for HBO and Comedy Central and her most recent special, “Gone Madigan,” premiered on Showtime in December and is available on DVD. She remains the only comedian in the history of NBC’s “Last Comic Standing” to go unchallenged by any other comedian–meaning no other comedian would say they were funnier than her. Madigan was a finalist in season 2 of “Last Comic Standing” and a judge on season 5.
FOH: As a comedian that would rather perform live as opposed to write for other comics, does that give you more focus on the writing process used to create your own material and how would you describe that process?
KM: I wish I knew how to write a joke. I don’t really know. Stuff just flies into my head. I don’t usually take writing gigs unless it’s a comic who I understand their point of view and the rhythm of how they speak.
FOH: How did the Dr. Phil thing happen?
KM: That was weird too. He has Sirius radio in his car and loves the comedy channels. He heard me a lot, liked me and mentioned that to my pal Ron White. Then Dr. Phil decided that he’d like some of his shows to be lighter in tone and a little more fun so he asked if I’d come by and I said sure. He’s actually very funny and cool.
FOH: Who are your favorite comics to work with?
KM: I love working with Lewis Black. We’ve known each other so long we can finish each others thoughts. Which is also extra good because neither one of us has a much of a memory anymore so we have double the chance of one of us remembering a thought.
FOH: What is your favorite club to work here in the states?
KM: I lovvve the Comedy Castle in Detroit because the crowds there are just awesome and my hometown, St. Louis, is very similar to Detroit so I connect well with them. I also love a club called Zanies in Nashville. I like the southern crowds. They’re always a bit more animated and vocal.
FOH: You’ve mentioned in a couple interviews that you’re really good friends with Lewis Black. Do people who meet you expect you to be a little bit angrier than you actually are due to your friendship with him?
KM: Ha! No, I don’t think so. If Lewis had gone to a Catholic School, all that anger would have been wiped out of him by some overly active nuns and he’d be calm like me.
FOH: Do you ever worry that standup has suffered from oversaturation as there are so many individuals doing it nowadays? And after 22 years do you find it any harder to write jokes now because there are so many comedians out there?
KM: No, there are always a lot of people trying standup but not many stick with it. If you’re funny and stay with it, you’ll end up where you’re supposed to be. Most of my jokes are so much from my point of view, I rarely end up criss-crossing material with other comedians so it doesn’t bug me. I’d actually like more women to try but the lifestyle tends to make a lot of them quit.
FOH: What do you have planned in the next twelve months?
I’m gonna tape another special, keep writing jokes, keep doing regular TV spots on the late night shows, try to keep getting upgraded on every jackass airline in America and I’d like my golf game to go to the lower 80’s. I’d also like to get new glasses because the entire time I’ve been typing this I keep thinking, “God, I need new glasses.”
You can catch Kathleen this Friday, October 28th at the Waterfront Convention Center in Bettendorf, IA.
Kathleen’s official website: http://www.kathleenmadigan.com/
Kathleen on YouTube
Kathleen on Facebook
Kathleen on Twitter
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