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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

Photos from OAR’s performance at Artpark


August 3rd, Artpark

The gloomy weather and chance of showers didn’t keep many from opting out of the OAR show last night. There was little breathing room between the thousands of fans who made their way to Artpark to watch OAR jam—music so reminiscent of many folks’ college days. And to everyone’s luck, the weather held up throughout the night.  Special props to the trumpet and saxophone players who joined OAR.  The set was even more fantastic than most fans expected! —emilie hagen

Photos by Neil Kryszak

Summer People at Mohawk Place

You can’t take yourself too seriously in the summer, because after all, summer is all about fun…at least that appears to be the motto of 7-piece indie-rock band Summer People, who advocate that carefree mindset all year long. The early-twenties rockers hailing from Syracuse, Binghamton, and Ithaca, have played shows in friends’ basements, crowded coffee shops and will upgrade to the Mohawk Place on Friday (July 8). Their music is just as sporadic as their live show—sometimes bluesy, sometimes heavy, always experimental, and always impulsive. While they’re a bit of a hot summer mess, (self-described as “bloody, sweaty, bueno”), their energy and unpredictability make for good live show. They’ll play songs off their sophomore album Teamwork, featuring tracks such as “Fish Fry #1” and “Fish Fry #2,” paying homage to Upstate New York’s beer battered favorite. Come have fun with Summer People and opening acts White Bison, the Mordaunt Sisters, and Wooden Waves. You’ll love them and they’ll love you.

—emilie hagen

9pm. Mohawk Place, 47 E. Mohawk St. (465-2368/ $8