ST. PETERSBURG — Comedian Kathleen Madigan will bring her stand-up act to the Tampa Bay area for one show on Friday, Jan. 20, 8 p.m., at the Duke Energy Center for the Arts — Mahaffey Theater, 400 First St. S., St. Petersburg.
Tickets start at $43. Visit TheMahaffey.com.
Throughout her 25-year career Madigan has performed on nearly every late-night television show, bringing laughs to Leno, Letterman, Conan, Ferguson and the “The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore.”
Madigan has filmed at least five appearances on “Ron White’s Comedy Salute to the Troops” series that airs on CMT. She was nominated for a 2014 American Comedy Award for Best Concert Comic and her third hour-long special, “Madigan Again,” which iTunes named one of the Best Comedy Albums of 2013, premiered exclusively on Netflix to rave reviews.
Madigan has released six CDs and four DVDs and also has starred in a Showtime special, two HBO specials and three Comedy Central specials.
“I just want to tell jokes,” Madigan said. “I didn't start doing open mics to become an actor on a sitcom or in a TV commercial. Those things never even crossed my mind. I just like to tell jokes for an hour or so and laugh.
“For a few of us working today, this was our goal. We don't have any more goals. Can't you ever have a goal, reach it, and then enjoy it? This society is being driven by type A lunatics that say, 'You have to set more goals.' No you don't. Have a seat and enjoy the fact that you're here. Maybe that's the Irish in me talking, though."
It's been a career of 300 nights a year on the road.
"We don't get time off like a band,” Madigan said. “Our tours never end. That's why it makes me laugh when people say, ‘how long is your tour?’ Well so far, 25 years."
She's gone from one-nighters to club gigs, to theaters, to headlining the Mirage in Las Vegas.
She's won the American Comedy Award for Best Female Comedian and the Phyllis Diller award for Best Female Comedian. Although she's turned down many writing jobs because she enjoys performing more, she has written and produced for Lewis Black's "Root of all Evil" on Comedy Central and for Gary Shandling's Emmy monologues. She's done two USO tours to Iraq and Afghanistan.
“There's no better show on earth than a show for the troops,” she said. “Trust me, no crowd is as happy to see a show as 1,000 soldiers in Kabul. I do USO shows at home here in the U.S., too, but the further people are away, the more they appreciate it. I don't think they get paid enough for a hard job so I like to do something for free when I can."
She remains the only comedian in the history of NBC's Last Comic Standing to go unchallenged by any other comedian — meaning no comedian would say they were funnier than her. Madigan was a top three finalist in Season 2 and and a judge on Season 5.
Originally from St. Louis, Madigan splits her home time between Los Angeles and Missouri.