For a comedian with dozens of TV and radio appearances, national tours and industry honors under her belt, Kathleen Madigan has remained surprisingly candid about her motivations.
Of course that’s part of the 48-year-old Missouri native’s charm — unlike some of her peers, who put their stand-up on hold for acting careers, or whose material grows fussier and more self-satisfied over time, Madigan is an old-school touring performer with an unpretentious take on her craft.
“I do it for the sake of doing it,” Madigan said over the phone from Los Angeles this week. “I don’t write a joke for any other reason than to see if I can convey a funny thought in a way that you get why it’s funny. It’s like hitting a golf ball correctly: I just want to see if I can do it again.”
Like Jim Gaffigan, Brian Regan and some other comics, you play Colorado pretty consistently and always do really well here. Do you have any idea why that is?
I have no idea. One reason might be that I was in the regular rotation at Comedy Works for years, and you end up building a sort of presence within the city and doing morning radio and everything. Denver’s one of those cities I visit once or twice a year and have been doing so for 20 years, almost since I started, like at the Funny Bones in Columbus or Cleveland. And Colorado people really take to comedy. You’re one of the good ones.
We like to think that about ourselves.
It’s weird too because when I was there last time, we drove from Beaver Creek to Durango and all I did was cry the whole way because I was so terrified of (the drive). But I did think everything John Denver said was true. I know people think he’s cheesy, but I get it. He was singing about that stuff in the ’70s and it’s still true! It just stays like that.