Comedian Kathleen Madigan has appeared on pretty much every late night TV show – from Leno to Letterman, Ferguson to O’Brien.
Just don’t look for her to have her own show anytime soon. Not because there haven’t been offers, but because she simply not interested in having one.
“I just know how much work is involved and I know the odds of it ever really getting on television, much less being good, are so slim to none I don’t want it badly enough,” Madigan said. “I say that out loud and people don’t believe that. I’m like, ‘I don’t know what else I can do to make you believe that I didn’t get into this to be an actor.’”
Madigan, the award-winning stand-up comic, will bring her show to the Birchmere in Alexandria for three nights, beginning Friday.
In September, Madigan released her third hour-long special, “Madigan Again,” which premiered exclusively on Netflix before being available for purchase on CD, DVD and digital download. iTunes named the special one of the best comedy albums of the year.
Although it’s nice to hear the kudos, Madigan said she just keeps moving forward.
“You just keep going because they could say it was the worst one,” Madigan said. “Then what are you going to do? You can’t really take it that seriously. It’s nice when people say that, but you can’t start putting all kinds of credence in that.”
Madigan said she knows comics that are quick to say they don’t listen or pay any attention to reviews.
“Yeah, you do,” Madigan said. “Like, if I read one comment out of 50 that said I sucked, then I’m going to say that person just doesn’t like me. That’s fine. Not everyone is going to like you. But if it’s 49 out of 50 who said I was horrible, you’ve gotta pay attention to that.”
The popular comedian, who grew up in a suburb of St. Louis, has been performing her stand-up shows for 25 years. Madigan said there’s nothing really special to what she’s done over the years, just that she’s kept going.
“People say, ‘Oh, what put you over the top?’ There is no one thing; you just keep doing it,” Madigan said. “Everything is get up, get up, and keep doing it.”
Madigan is quick to point out that she gave herself little outs over the years. For example, she would tell herself if she didn’t make a certain amount of money within the year, she would look for something else.
“At some point, you’ve got to go, ‘Wait a minute. Is this the right thing or should I start thinking about doing something else?’” Madigan said. “So far, every year it just keeps getting better and better. So I see no reason to quit. I don’t even know what I’d do now. I don’t even have a resume!”
Luckily for Madigan, she doesn’t have to polish off that hypothetical resume. Her shows are selling out across the country and, according to her, venues are asking her to add extra performances to accommodate the demand.
Touring is just fine for Madigan. She spends about 300 days a year touring. When she does have free time, she spends it with her family in Missouri. In the meantime, Madigan is being courted by television producers left and right. Her mind, however, is pretty much made up.
“Not that I would compare myself to him, but Willie Nelson is just always going to be on the road,” Madigan said. “He’s never getting off the bus. That’s what he does. You do what you do. I think when stand ups started getting sitcoms, all these other people who wanted a sitcom got into stand up. … They use it as a door to a different world.”