Thursday, June 7, 2018

Laughing Stock: Is Blarney in the Blood?

Posted By on Thu, Jun 7, 2018 at 3:00 PM

click to enlarge Kathleen Madigan performs at the Rialto Theatre June 14. - LUZENA ADAMS
  • Luzena Adams
  • Kathleen Madigan performs at the Rialto Theatre June 14.
“I don't think you can make an unfunny person funny,” says Kathleen Madigan. She’s responding to notion that she’s a natural comedian. Her comedic storytelling style belies her heritage; it’s akin to the Celtic oral tradition of blarney, a colorful twist of truth and fiction, structured and paced for maximum side-splitting. Her gift is a keen eye for the ridiculous in everyday life.

Asked how her comedy has evolved since her first open mic at age 23, she says “I haven’t changed in 30 years. I don't know if that's a good thing or a bad thing. I was never really dirty. I've never done celebrity gossip. I'm most apt to talk about travelling and silly stuff and my family,” Madigan says. Her steady flow of fresh, true-ish tales turns out a growing audience for her TV and Netflix specials and 250 tour dates year after year. “It is a lot but it's still a lot of fun, so I guess when it's not any more I'll just stop.”

She’s performed on nearly every standup show ever made, and has done three Comedy Central specials, Madigan has no interest in scripted television series’ or movies. “I don't like the waiting around,” she says. “I don't like having all those coworkers and bosses. I just want to be my own boss.”

She's won the American Comedy Award for "Best Female Comedian" and the Phyllis Diller award for "Best Female Comedian." She remains the only comedian in the history of NBC's Last Comic Standing to go unchallenged by any other comedian; no comedian would say they were funnier. And she’s repeatedly voted an audience favorite by Sirius FM listeners.

Asked what current comedians are bubbling under big careers, she suggests Dusty Slay, Raanan Hershberg and Bryan Hamilton, all of whom she deems naturally funny. “I think you can sing or you can't. Comedy is sort of the same thing.” But she holds out hope for the multitudes of hopefuls. “If you do have it, you go practice it and you get better and better. But if you don't have it, people can keep trying and have fun with it. As long as you're not getting paid to be funny, it doesn't matter.”

Madigan performs at the Rialto Theatre at 8 p.m., Thursday, June 14. Tickets for the all-ages show are $26 to $42, available via rialtotheatre.com. She says she is looking forward to playing the Pop A Shot in the green room.

Tags: , , ,

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Previously in the Range

More by Linda Ray

Today | Sun | Mon | Tue | Wed | Thu | Fri
Saturday Tour & Tasting

Saturday Tour & Tasting @ Hamilton Distillery

Saturdays, 3-5 p.m.

All of today's events | Staff Picks

Staff Pick

Tucson's Birthday Party at 1912 Brewing Company

Tucson is turning 141 years old and we are going to Celebrate with Beer Raspados!… More

@ 1912 Brewing Company Mon., Aug. 20, 6-9 p.m. 2045 N Forbes Blvd Ste 105

» More Picks

Submit an Event Listing

Popular Content

  1. 18 Great Things to Do in Tucson This Weekend: August 17-19 (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)
  2. Banner - UMC Phoenix and Tucson Named Best Hospitals (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)
  3. Arizona Still Grappling with Question of How to Prevent School Shootings (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)
  4. Third Contaminated Well Near D-M Shut Down (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)
  5. UA Research Finds Workplace Bias Differs for Single vs Married Parents (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)

© 2018 Tucson Weekly | 7225 Mona Lisa Rd. Ste. 125, Tucson AZ 85741 | (520) 797-4384 | Powered by Foundation