How to go
What: Kathleen Madigan
Where: Taft Theatre, 317 E. Fifth St., Cincinnati
When: 8 p.m. Thursday, May 15
More info: 513-232-6220 or www.tafttheatre.org
Kathleen Madigan is the consummate working-class comic. She’s on the road 300 days out of the year, she’s done every late show and late-late show countless times. She counts Lewis Black as a friend and Joy Behar and Jon Stewart as acquaintances, but she has never sought (or received) the red-carpet treatment.
“I’m more like the woman you see at the bar,” she said. “My parents live in the Ozarks and I have a condo about two coves down from them. I’d rather be there, where I recently saw two women get into a fistfight, which I hadn’t seen in awhile. I don’t know whether that’s something to be proud of.”
Madigan’s topics typically involve her long-settled family, her Irish Catholic upbringing, her relentless singlehood and the “slow demise of CNN.”
“That’s just what I like, what I’m interested in,” she said. “The jokes change, though sometimes I’ll rotate something in from my last special. Once, I was doing a benefit with Lewis Black, and I wanted to do some jokes I’d done about him. But I couldn’t remember them, so I had to buy my own CD on iTunes.”
Although some media outlets have deemed Madigan ripe for sitcoms (a wise-cracking, martini-swilling mother-in-law was one suggestion), and she spent a brief stint writing for Garry Shandling, she has never aspired to any gig that involves being constricted to a cubicle or studio set.
“For me, normal was about running out and joining the circus,” she said. “I’ve never felt weird about (being on the road a lot) or about being single, because most of my comedian friends are, too. You have to find your own ‘normal’ if you find yourself in an ‘odd normal.’ “
Nevertheless, she does feel sympathy for her comedian friends who do aspire to such heights.
“There doesn’t seem to be any rhyme or reason to any of it,” she said. “(Lewis) should’ve gotten a show a long time ago. It seems to be for people who play the game. I don’t play it, and (Lewis) doesn’t play it, which is good, because we’d suck at it even if we tried.”