Comedian Kathleen Madigan on Allergies, Lewis Black, and Which Joke She'd Take Back
Photo by Luzena Adams.
Kathleen Madigan is just here for the jokes. In her 25-plus year career in standup comedy, she has bypassed the coveted sitcom and movie route that so many comedians strive for and stayed doing what she really loves instead – simply
New Times: What tour does this make? I know you are constantly on tour so it’s a hard thing to keep track of?
Kathleen Madigan: Yeah, I wouldn’t even know. Twenty-fifth? Twenty-sixth, because I’ve been doing standup for 26 years.
I noticed on Twitter you are having all kinds of allergy issues on tour. How is that going?
Oh yeah, I really am! I’m allergic to laundry detergent, so at
Besides the travel woes, what subjects are you thinking about lately? What will be coming up in your act?
I usually talk about the same things just in different ways but my family, traveling on the road, politics. Politics is always big. The same things I’ve been talking about over the years.
Who do you trust to bounce new material off of?
I’d probably go to my friend Lewis Black. We don’t really do that but if I were going to, I’d run it by Lew, probably.
What is his off-stage demeanor like? I imagine him as super excitable, but maybe he is the opposite
He’s actually just very silly. He’s goofy, he’s silly. But I like to get him riled up. Certain subjects get him riled up but he’s not always that crazy. If he was, he’d have a stroke.
You are often referenced in with Lewis Black, Jim Gaffigan, and Brian Regan but are left out of the realm of "lady comics" or the female comedian clutch. Was that ever intentional on your part? Or just something that happened?
No, it’s just who you end up being friends with and who you start out with. You get booked randomly with people and then you get booked with other comics a bunch and you get to know them better. That’s why I’m such good friends with Ron White because we were working this chain of clubs called the Funny Bone and I’d open for him and for whatever reason I kept ended up with Ron. You end up spending Tuesday through Sunday with someone and you will either really like them or not and with Ron, he’s still one of my really good friends and we talk all the time and go golfing. But all of those guys, Jeff Foxworthy, John Pinette, I just ended up working with those guys so much you just end up as friends.
You have been on every single late-night show in the last two decades. Obviously, there are a lot of new faces of
It’s still a lot of fun but
It’s more places for you to be seen, though.
Yeah, and you’re really doing it now for your own five-minute clip that you’re going to post on all your own sites. I did David Letterman like seven times, and I never had anyone come up and say, "Oh, I saw you on David Letterman and that’s why I came to the show." Never. Now Sirius radio, a Showtime special, and Netflix special? Absolutely. But the late night shows you just keep doing them because it keeps your name going but it’s not really effective, it doesn’t really do anything. It’s fun! But it doesn’t really do much anymore.
In your 25 years is there ever a joke you would take back?
No, absolutely not. No.
Kathleen Madigan will perform two special South Florida club dates in preparation for recording her next special later in March. Wednesday, February 24, show at Fort Lauderdale Improv begins at 8 p.m. with a $30 admission. Thursday, February 25, show at Palm Beach Improv starts at 8 p.m. with $30 admission as well. Ticket information can be found at PalmBeachImprov.com and FTL.Improv.com.
Get the Arts & Culture Newsletter
Find out about upcoming performances, exhibitions, openings and special events happening in the South Florida art and theater scene.