Kathleen Madigan brings 'Hot Dogs and Angels' tour to Ridley’s

Kurt Anthony Krug
Special to The Detroit News

Kathleen Madigan has been offered sitcom jobs – whether it’s as an actress or as a writer – but she’s turned all of them down flat.

“No, I can’t do any job that involves being somewhere and showered in the morning. I’m just not good at it,” said Madigan, who splits her time between her native Missouri and Los Angeles when she’s not on the road.

The Southern Illinois University Edwardsville alumna and winner of the Phyllis Diller Award for “Best Female Comedian” just wants to tell jokes.

Award-winning comedian Kathleen Madigan will perform her "Hot Dogs and Angels" comedy tour at Mark Ridley's Comedy Castle in Royal Oak Oct. 10-12.

“I didn’t start doing open mic to become an actor on a sitcom or in a TV commercial,” explained Madigan. “Those things never ever crossed my mind. For a few of us working, telling jokes was our main goal. I don’t have any more goals. Can’t you ever have a goal, reach it, and enjoy it? Our society is being driven by Type A lunatics who say you have to set more goals. Well, maybe they do, but we all don’t. Have a seat, grab a drink and enjoy the fact you achieved the goal. Maybe that’s the Irish in me talking, though.”

This weekend, Madigan is bringing her “Hot Dogs and Angels” comedy tour to Mark Ridley’s Comedy Castle in Royal Oak, a venue where she appears at least once a year. She’ll perform five shows there, beginning Thursday.

“Kathleen Madigan has been appearing at the Comedy Castle for (more than) 25 years. Metro Detroit audiences snap up her tickets as soon as they go on sale," Ridley said in a statement. "With almost a new hour of material each time she hits the stage, Kathleen is the most prolific and funniest comedian on today’s comedy scene. Personally, I count her as one of my best friends in this business and it is a highlight having her at the Comedy Castle each time she comes to visit and perform.” 

Madigan has been influenced by comedians Ron White, Lewis Black and the late Richard Jeni. She’s performed internationally at festivals in Ireland, England, Hong Kong, Australia and has filmed seven Montreal Gala Shows at the Montreal Comedy Festival for CBC TV. She’s also done USO tours in Afghanistan and Iraq.

“I never realized how middle America I am until performing overseas,” said Madigan. “It all works out but needs some tweaking when the crowd isn’t all Americans. It’s a good challenge and it’s made me a better comedian." 

A veteran of the late talk show circuit, she’s appeared several times as the guest of David Letterman, Jay Leno, Stephen Colbert and Conan O’Brien on their TV shows. She’s written material for Garry Shandling when he hosted the Emmy Awards in 2004. She’s also written for “Lewis Black’s Root of All Evil” series on Comedy Central in 2008. In 2016, she appeared on Jerry Seinfeld’s web series “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee.”

Her Netflix comedy special “Bothering Jesus” has been well-received.

“I love working with them. They’re the young people," she said. "Network TV will need to adapt quickly to even have a chance to stay in the game. Netflix gets it and makes it so easy for us. Instead of it being a battle of content and rules, it’s just fun – what it’s supposed to be. (Judging) by what just regular people tell me, it seems like a lot of people have seen it and liked it. Especially younger people, which is great.” 

However, for Madigan, it all goes back to being on stage – her first love. She does 250-300 shows/year. She’s looking forward to performing at the Comedy Castle this weekend.

“It's just a fun club,” she said. “And the staff are always so great. Fun folks.” 

Madigan’s favorite type of crowd is a Midwest crowd because it’s how she grew up.

“I always have new jokes but it's usually about my family, the Midwest, the news and stuff like that,” she said. “I’m friends with Mark and I love the crowds there, so I just keep coming back!”

Kathleen Madigan’s ‘Hot Dogs and Angels’ tour

Mark Ridley’s Comedy Castle, 310 S. Troy, Royal Oak

Showtimes: 7:30 p.m. Thursday; 7:15 and 9:45 p.m. Friday; and 7 and 9 p.m. Saturday

Tickets: $30 for the Oct. 10 show; $35 for the Oct. 11-12 shows.

Visit www.comedycastle.com.