Chattanooga Now Comedian Kathleen Madigan checks next show off her perpetually short to-do list

Chattanooga Now Comedian Kathleen Madigan checks next show off her perpetually short to-do list

February 16th, 2017 by Barry Courter in Chattnow Outabout

Kathleen Madigan

Photo by Contributed Photo /Times Free Press.

If you go

› What: Kathleen Madigan: Bothering Jesus Tour.

› When: 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 17.

› Admission: $30 in advance, $35 day of.

› Phone: 423-521-2929.

› Website:

Kathleen Madigan readily admits she's not a Type A personality, the kind of person who wakes up every day and makes a list of new goals.

But that doesn't mean she doesn't have goals. She has two, in fact.

"My only goals are to go onstage and tell jokes and to pay my rent," she says. "My sister tells me to stop saying that, but it's true.

"I always set as my goal the one that's right in front of my face. But I will say that I want to tour Canada in the fall. Not many comedians do that. It's really complicated and there is no money, so I want to do that."

Madigan will appear at Track 29 on Friday, Feb. 17, so she'll likely meet both of her goals this week anyway.

It comes up because so many comedians today say they want to appear in movies and on television. Madigan says she has zero desire to do either.

"I don't have the patience for it," she says.

She's never wanted to, but she had her convictions confirmed after good friend and fellow comic Lewis Black asked her to join him on the set of "The Big Bang Theory" while he filmed a guest spot.

"I said sure, and we were there, like, seven hours. In that time, I split a bottle of wine with a friend, did a little shopping and memorized all of Lew's lines and then the whole script. There is not one thing about it that appeals to me. I liked bartending better."

The closest thing she has done to TV that she enjoyed was a spot on Jerry Seinfeld's online feature called "Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee."

"That was actually a lot of fun," she says. "It was not like normal TV shows. We really did just go get coffee for four hours. I could have moved on into dinner and drinks."

She says the webisodes aren't exactly what Seinfeld originally conceived, but they're close enough.

"He wanted it to be like the old days when we'd all sit around after doing a show and talk and laugh," she says. "We had no money then, and it was fun."

Madigan has been a working comic for 25 years. She's appeared on every late-night show out there, finished in the Top 3 on Season 2 of "Last Comic Standing" and was a judge on Season 5.

She was raised in a large Catholic family in Missouri and recalls liking the chaos of being one of seven children.

"I never thought our family was particularly funny, but I did realize that small families were boring," she says.

Being one of seven also might have led to her love of doing stand-up.

"Stand-up is so solitary."

She says while things would get chaotic in her house, "I'd just sort of go over here and do my thing."

Contact Barry Courter at or 423-757-6354.

What they're saying

What other comedians are saying about Kathleen Madigan:

“The funniest comic in America, bar none.” — Lewis Black

“Easily one of the best comics alive.” — Ron White

“One of America’s funniest female comics.” — Jay Leno


Watch Kathleen Madigan’s Comedian in Cars Getting Coffee” spot:

Kathleen Madigan on:

› Aliens: “I think there’s aliens. I just think they’re smarter than us, and that’s why we don’t know they’re here. Like fish don’t know we’re up here, but we’re certainly snagging them whenever we feel like it.”

› Children: “I’d like to have kids. I get those maternal feelings. Like when I’m laying on the couch and I can’t reach the remote control. It’s like, ‘Boy a kid would be nice right now.’”