Kathleen Madigan can claim a rare combination: she’s both a popular and a comic’s comic.
AltDaily: You recently published a great blog post about The Masters Golf tournament. Did you get some good feedback about it?
Kathleen Madigan: Yeah, 99% of it was positive. And now they’ve let women in [to the country club that hosts the event] and I knew that they would never do it on someone else’s timeline because they are kind of childish and they wanted it to seem like it’s their idea and they would do it when no one was paying attention and that’s exactly what they did.
What is your joke writing process like?
Things just fly into my head. Like recently they said that they were going to raise the price of stamps again and one of my friends was like “that’s ridiculous!” and started going off and I said “are you serious? As long as I am alive, I cannot believe that I can walk into a building with a piece of paper and for 49¢ and look an another human being and be like ‘will you please take this to Alaska?’ and they’ll do it!” The Post Office is magical! I think it should cost like $100.00. I hear people complain that big government doesn’t work, and I’m sure that for some things it doesn’t but I’ve never lost a piece of mail. Every bill has always arrived. So I don’t sit at my computer and write jokes. I just go live my life and have a lot of conversations.
Now that you are doing these theater venues, where do you test out material, are you still going to clubs?
Yeah, I’m going to the club tonight. Even if I’m in a theater I’ll still try out new stuff. At this point by the time I have a thought and I take it to stage, odds are that it’s pretty funny. It may not be great but it’s not going to be show stoppingly horrible.
Do you miss comedy clubs?
I do miss the clubs because when you’re doing the theaters, it’s just you and an opening act and I switch up the opening acts which is good because then I hear what’s going on. But the clubs are where you really hear about everything that’s going on. The other good thing about clubs is you’re in one place for like four nights but with the theaters it’s like you’re like back to one nighters, which is kind of how you start comedy.
Those club employees are probably the closest things to coworkers that you have.
A lot of comedians aren’t doing the road so hard as I would say that the group that’s my age. That’s how I made my friends, my lifelong comedy friends. When I was an opening act, Ron White, Jeff Foxworthy and Carrot Top were headliners in clubs. They weren’t famous, but I just worked with them so much on the road that they became my friends and they still are. I still golf with Ron but we just don’t get to work together as much anymore which kind of sucks.
Your last DVD, Gone Madigan, is seamless, just perfect. Do you think that is the best set that you will ever have?
I don’t know if it is the best set I will ever have, but it is definitely one of my favorites. I liked the material, I liked the venue I liked everything about it. We’re shooting one in the Spring in Detroit which outside of my hometown is the place where I sell the most tickets. I have the best crowds [in Detroit]. I don’t know, Gone Madigan may be the best one but this will at least tie it. I told the directors [of the next DVD] that I don’t want “flashy,” I just want a camera on me like you’re watching the show as if you were at the show. Keep it simple and let the jokes do the work and off we go.
How do you pick the openers for your act?
Usually I’ll know someone in the area that is also funny. Our job is so not corporate–that’s why hanging out in the clubs is really good because that’s where we get all of our information. Some of the gigs, I’m not even certain of the guy or the woman but somebody told me “they’re perfect” and I trust that person.
Who is opening for you in Norfolk?
It’s Tony Deyo, who Tammy Pescatelli recommended to me. So if someone like Tammy, whom I’ve known for 15 years, says that he’s perfect I just believe them. I don’t even question it anymore.
I know that you’ve done USO shows. What other military work have you done?
Well, I do a ton of stuff for the Wounded Warriors because I really do think that’s an awesome [organization]. When we go do USO tours, in Iraq and Afghanistan, and we go to the hospitals before we do the shows and you see the injuries that these men and women are coming home with and then what? If they bring them to Walter Reed, but their family is in Seattle, where do you get the money to travel?
But honestly working for the Wounded Warrior program makes me really happy. I’ve never had crowds as good as the troops. They’re so happy and grateful that we’re still showing up in Afghanistan even though no one really remembers that we’re at war, they don’t even bring it up in the Presidential debates.
Speaking of the Presidential election, why do you think that the GOP bit it so bad in the election? Not that they lost by a landslide but it certainly shocked them.
(laughing) Watching Karl Rove on Fox News insisting that they weren’t losing was like watching one of those movies of Hitler in the bunker still making plans to attack someone. Dude, your own people are telling you that it’s over! I think the GOP is in too much of a panic. I think the real reason they lost is that nobody can latch onto Mitt Romney as a person. I do think that the GOP needs to examine its demographics and try to be more inclusive but all of them overlooked the fact that Mitt Romney doesn’t have a personality that is easily attachable. Even George W. Bush… so many people just liked that he was a cowboy, they can relate to that. I can’t think of one group that was passionately excited about Mitt Romney. It’s like John Kerry…
Yeah, he was their John Kerry…
Right, well they are kind of the same guy. Their personalities are extremely flat. I don’t know, maybe at home they’re hilarious. I don’t think it’s the party per se and I think they are completely overreacting. Mitt Romney was like the corporate CEO that you never get to meet so you don’t know what he’s like.
Thanks for talking with us, have a great show!
Hey, you’re welcomed and have a great weekend!
Kathleen Madigan will be performing Saturday December 1 at the Attucks Theater in Norfolk. Showtime is 8pm Click here to purchase tickets to Kathleen Madigan’s show. You can find out more about the Fabulous Kathleen Madigan at her website: http://www.kathleenmadigan.com/.
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