Comedian Kathleen Madigan believes that some pope should choose the name Hilarius II. She points out that there was a Pope Hilarius I from 467-469. “How did he pass up being Hilarius II?” she asked in an interview some years ago.
If you think Madigan has an opinion on just about everything, you’re right; although it turns out she was off a few years on the papacy of Hilarius I. The good news is that she’s a comic and not an historian, so it’s all right. Comedic license and all that.
For nearly 30 years, Madigan has been touring 250 nights a year and squeezing in hour-long specials and performances on every late night show. She has made 25 appearances on The Tonight Show and rode around with Jerry Seinfeld in his Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, series. She’s clearly doing something right. Madigan has won the American Comedy Award for Best Female Comedian and the Phyllis Diller Award in the same category. She has written and produced for Lewis Black’s Root of All Evil for Comedy Central and done multiple USO tours to Iraq and Afghanistan. Those audiences, she said, are the best and she’d much rather have her job than theirs.
Madigan recently helped launch a new venture, She’s So Funny, a new Sirius curated full-time comedy channel showcasing a wide variety of female comedic talent. The goal is to give listeners the chance to laugh at their female comedians from the past, the stars of today and the rising stars. Madigan joins Tiffany Haddish, Amy Schumer, Tig Notaro and other current favorites, as well as archived work from legends like Joan Rivers and Lily Tomlin.
At a time when many comedians are cast in sitcoms as the wide-cracking best friend or other joke machine, Madigan has no interest in taking that on. “I just want to tell jokes,” she said. “I didn’t start doing open mics to become an actor on a sitcom or on a television commercial. Those things never crossed my mind. For a few of us, working and telling jokes was our main goal. I didn’t have any more goals. Can’t you even have a goal, reach it and enjoy it? Our society is driven by Type-A lunatics who say you have to set more goals. Well maybe they do, but we all don’t. Have a seat, grab a drink and enjoy the fact that you made it to the goal. Maybe that’s the Irish in me, talking tough.” That description seems fitting as she’s been described as “the bawdy aunt” that won’t mind if you take a drag off her cigarette or a sip from her wine glass while your parents aren’t looking.
Madigan, a native of St. Louis, has performed around the world. She says that performing for audiences in other countries requires tweaking of her jokes, but that it’s a challenge that makes her a better comedian.
Madigan is widely regarded as one of the funniest women doing stand-up today, but many believe the gender qualification isn’t necessary. The Detroit Free Press noted that “Along with Lewis Black, Brian Regan and Jim Gaffigan, she’s one of the funniest stand-up comedians of her generation.” Period.
Come and see for yourself and be prepared to laugh.