A Quick Chat with Stand-up Comedian Kathleen Madigan

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Kathleen Madigan. Photo by Natalie Brasington.

Kathleen Madigan. Photo by Natalie Brasington.

Kathleen Madigan has won both the Phyllis Diller award and the American Comedy Award for “Best Female Comedian,” but it is senseless to label her as a woman comic. She is just fall-on-your-face, pee-in-your-pants funny. She has written and produced “Root of All Evil” on Comedy Central and is the only comedian in the history of NBC’s Last Comic Standing to go unchallenged.

She performs Friday night at the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts. I caught up with her Thursday on her Los Angeles phone for a few questions.

DM: Does your comedy resonate with people in the South?

KM: I’m from Missouri, which is kind of half and half. My stuff is based on family stuff so it resonates with almost everyone.

DM: Are you from a big family?

KM: Yes, there were seven kids. We had a lot of fun. Mom drank her way through it.

DM: How does that inspire your monologues?

KM: That’s most of the material. My family comes to the shows. Everybody’s good with it.

DM: Who do you think is funny?

KM: Lot of comedians, Bill Burr on Netflix, Jim Gaffigan. There’s a lot of funny people my age (she’s forty-something).

DM: What other comedians have influenced your style?

KM: Ron White, I like his approach.

DM: What makes you different from others in your field?

KM: I focus on family stuff, big family. We’re Catholic – but not committed. I talk on real events rather than politics.

DM: Other than TV, where can I see your work?

KM: Netflix has two specials, YouTube, and iTunes. (And theTobin Center Friday night and several CDs.)

DM: You’ve done a couple of USO tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. What was it like performing for our troops?

KM: They are best audience of all! They don’t get a lot of performers so they’re a really great crowd. The young soldiers are appreciative. Afghanistan had a lot of National Guard people who are older, some in their 50s, so it made a very balanced crowd.

DM: You toured Iraq with Robin Williams. What was that like?

KM: Robin was just the nicest person. He’s very soft spoken; his voice sounded like a hypnotist. He was a real joy to be around.

DM: Have you been to San Antonio before?

KM: Oh, yes, 20 times. I played the River Center Comedy Club years ago. Maybe some of my old fans will come out to see me.

Kathleen Madigan will perform in the H-E-B Performance Hall at the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts Friday, Jan.9, 8 p.m. Tickets are $24.50 and $34.50.

*Featured/top image: Kathleen Madigan. Photo by Natalie Brasington.

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