by Andrew Wantuck
This week I spoke with the Kathleen Madigan about her Dad’s acting ability, her green room demands, and her why the Canadian government may put her in jail.
Andrew: What is going on with your dad?
Kathleen: I was just home. I am filming a DVD in New York and I told my parents that I need them to come as part of the DVD extra package and be on camera and my mom said “I don’t ever want to be on camera.” and my dad said “That’s fine, I’ll take all her time and do hers too.” He is pretty fired up to be a DVD extra package and he would like everyone to know that he is qualified to be an actor, because in high school he was in the play The Rifle Man.
Andrew: [laughs] This is your fourth comedy album. What changes about the process as you gain experience from album one to four?
Kathleen: I become much more demanding. I demand that there be a twelve pack of Amstel Light. I don’t just put beer anymore. I put Amstel Light. I like to have wine back there in case I have guests that have a palette that is more sophisticated than mine. I am going to pick the curtain that is behind me, instead of just saying “I don’t care, whatever.” It’s the little things that matter. It’s the little things that make me happy.
Andrew: Do you worry that Wal-Mart or Target or some other major corporation may have a problem with the language?
Kathleen: No, because they make a clean version of it anyway. That is what they did with my last CD for it to be sold at Wal-Mart. They make a special batch for them. Like a special batch of cookies without nuts. It’s the no nut brownie pan for Wal-Mart. I’m not kidding. They make a special version for them.
Andrew: It’s not just bleeped out. It’s literally a different set?
Kathleen: Yes, it is just bleeped out. But it is a whole different batch of CD’s. You know what I mean, like one will say explicit and then the other one just says, whatever, Wal-Mart friendly, I don’t know what they put on it. I’ve never looked for it in Wal-Mart. I bet my brother has.
Andrew: [laughs] You recently did a USO tour, is that correct?
Kathleen: Yeah, I say recently, but it wasn’t that recently. Let’s just act like it was.
Andrew: [Laughs] Great. What’s that experience like?
Kathleen: [Laughs] Well, I could never be in the army, because as soon as I put on the flight jacket, I fell over with 33 pounds. It is one fourth of my body weight. Apparently I have been slouching my whole life because there’s this steel thing in the back that makes you stand up straight and I was in such horrible back pain from standing up straight, that I had to sit down. Then it hurts even more, because the thing jams into your ass. It was winter. It wasn’t even hot. If I had that thing on in a 120 degree heat, I would fall over, literally, just fall over. Then I don’t know what happens, do you get in trouble, do you get kicked out, do you get fined? I don’t know what happens if you just lay there and cry and say I can’t do this. Discharge? It was fun though. The soldiers were very happy to see us and I was glad we went, but I am glad it’s not me going over there.
Andrew: It was you, Lewis Black, Kid Rock, and Kelly Pickler. What is it like hanging out with that crew backstage?
Kathleen: Well, Kelly Pickler was the best, because she is so hilarious, but she doesn’t know why she is hilarious. One night she goes “Kathleen, do you think the guys would mind if we went down and slept in their tent.” Because ours was freezing. And I said “Well, I certainly don’t think they would mind if you went and slept their tent, Kelly.” I said ”Well, let me shimmy out of my reading glasses and I’ll walk down there and ask them.” Kid Rock was great and he’s done a bunch of those tours. Nobody on the tour was a pain in the ass. It was just like everybody was normal, no diva nonsense, fun. And you you don’t want to get stuck with a crab ass, it can be a much longer two weeks. He was totally awesome and cool.
Andrew: Why do you think it is so much more difficult for a woman to get a sitcom on a major network?
Kathleen: I think because they always believe that advertisers want a higher demographic of men and they think that men are more inclined to watch a male lead and women will also watch a male lead, but maybe not the flip. Does that make sense. Like maybe guys won’t watch Roseanne.
Andrew: Right, but Roseanne was hugely successful.
Kathleen: Everything Marcy Carsey did was. She did Rosanne, she did Grace Under Fire with Brett Butler. I don’t know, I just think because they are just idiots. Some times a very complicated question has a very simple answer and the simple answer is they are idiots. They don’t know what’s happening in the real United States of America.
Andrew: I am sure you’ve pitched a zillion times to these guys. What happens when you bring up the next logical follow up point of, it isn’t even that ground breaking. It’s been done, it can be successful?
Kathleen: They say yah, you know that’s a very good point. Would you like another bottle of water? Then you know what I say “Yes, actually I would like three, because I know nothing is going to come out of this meeting, but at least I’m leaving with three bottles of Fiji that I didn’t have before I walked in.” I’m not going out of there empty handed. Fiji water is expensive.
Andrew: [laughs] Have you done your taxes? Do you do your own taxes?
Kathleen: No. I never did. My dad did them for me. And then he would just yell at me about money that I had spent that I didn’t even have. And then I thought okay, I can’t let him do this anymore. So now I have an accountant, but I have to go in there, I have to file in every state you work in, and there is this pile of folders, and they talk and I read the enquirer, and they talk some more, and then I look on my blackberry on TMZ, and then I am doodling pictures. I’m not even paying attention. I sign anything. God knows what’s on those papers. I can totally understand how Willie Nelson just went right down the toilet. If we were good at business, we would be business people, we’re comedians. I don’t have the attention span for it. I do think I have the correct amount of intelligence if I tried. Maybe. That’s a maybe though. I’m not even positive about that.
Kathleen: But, I cannot pay attention that long. I got a letter. For some reason there’s this ongoing fight with Canada. Where they say I owe them $3200, which I don’t. And I got another letter about it and I just started crying. I can’t take it. I yelled. I called an accountant. It’s like don’t even send me this. Just pay ‘em. Whatever. You know what, just give a gift to Canada of $3200. I don’t want this mail when I come home. There is going to be liens on your accounts, because you didn’t do the hoop-de-ho.
Andrew: You live in West Hollywood now, not at the beach. What do you miss about Hermosa?
Kathleen: I liked being closer to the airport in Hermosa and I also like being able to jump in the ocean to get all the airplane grit off me. I don’t miss the 20-something vomiting behind my car.
Kathleen Madigan will be headlining The Comedy & Magic Club on Thursday, April 15th through Saturday, April 17th 2010. For Reservations (310) 372-1193 or comedyandmagicclub.com. ER.