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An Interview with Comedian Kathy Madigan

Kathy Madigan

One of the funniest women in America performs at Kleinhans this week

Something in the name Kathy generates hilarity. Next to Kathy Griffin, another Kathy has got jokes—Kathleen Madigan. You may have seen her on NBC’s Last Comic Standing as the only female comic to ever go unchallenged. She’s made David Letterman feel uncomfortable and impressed Jay Leno with her hysterical observations of everyday life. Recently named one of the “Nine Funniest People on the Planet,” she will be stopping by Kleinhans Music Hall  on Friday (Sept 9), as part of the BPO Nation event series. AV caught up with Madigan early Saturday morning to talk about her experience in Afghanistan, China and feelings about the upcoming election.

Artvoice: You like to talk about sports, politics, aliens and smoking. What’s on your agenda for your current tour?
Kathy Madigan: I always talk about my family because they’re easy material—Irish Catholic drunken family. And probably politics because that’s starting again. I cannot believe the amount of crazy people who are for real running.

AV: Anyone in specific?

KM: Michele Bachmann. They have tapes of her saying the rapture is coming soon. I said to my friends, I don’t want a president who thinks it’s the last call. I do like that the John Huntsman guy speaks fluent Chinese. We’re going to need someone to answer the phone when they start calling for their money back.

AV: What was it like entertaining the troops in Afghanistan?

KM: We went to one foreign operating base and there were 150 Humvees lined up but no bathroom! I’m like you’ve got 150 Humvees here but nobody one can pick up a porta-potty? Really? The state fair figured that out, why don’t you call them and find out where they release all their porta-pottys. It was unbelievable to me! How do you not treat your soldiers better than that?
AV: You perform overseas quite a bit. Is there ever a disconnect in your delivery with the language barrier?

KM: Oh yeah. China was ridiculous. They had someone prompting on stage with us. I’m like are you kidding me?  The shows are terrible. All I wanted to do was get out of there.

AV: So you would tell a joke, wait for it to be translated, and then maybe hear a laugh?

KM: Yeah, and then they wouldn’t get it anyways. It just became a 50 minute staring contest. I pretended it was the Olympics of staring and it was the United States against China and I totally won.

AV: Who would you encourage to come out to the show on Friday?

KM:  All of my stuff is light and ridiculous. So it’s not like I really have a point. Anyone who just wants to have fun. And maybe the Irish Catholic working people. I would probably remind them of their cousins at the family picnic who drink too much beer in the chair. I’m that lady. —emilie hagen