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Sherri Richards, Published September 27 2012

LAST CHANCE: Win tickets to Kathleen Madigan's Oct. 5 show

FARGO – Kathleen Madigan’s favorite stand-up comedy gigs haven’t been her repeat appearances on Jay Leno’s Tonight Show, or any of the other TV talk shows she’s graced.

Instead, she thinks back to a comedy festival in Ireland she performed at for six years that was “an awful lot of fun,” and a trip to Nantucket

“We didn’t get paid hardly any money, but I’d never been to Nantucket,” she says. “I was with comics I liked, so maybe that was it.”

Fun seems to be more important than fame for Madigan, a stand-up veteran with four CDs and two DVDs under her belt, including her most recent “Gone Madigan” TV special.

She was a finalist on season 2 of “Last Comic Standing” and judge in season 5, and has performed on the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff’s USO Holiday Tour of Iraq and Afghanistan.

Her touring schedule is nonstop intentionally, she says.

“We’re not like a band. They go on tour for a year and take a year off. We just have to keep going. There’s no big break and then a new tour. The more I work the more I write. But that’s just me, I’m better the more I work,” she says.

Madigan will make her Fargo debut Oct. 5, in part thanks to comedian Lewis Black and his 2010 Fargo Theatre show.

“Lewis Black was there and said it was awesome. I made him go in first like the Marines and report back to me and he said it was great,” she says.

Madigan talked with SheSays earlier this month about her 23-year comedy career.

How do you describe your comedy routine?

I’d say it’s sarcastic and light and silly and fun.

What influences your writing?

Really just everything that happens around me in my real life. It’s all true. I don’t sit around writing joke jokes. It’s all just true stuff, whether it’s my family or the news or stuff that just really happens in everyday life.

How did you get into comedy?

It was just an accident. I just walked into an open mic at a bar that was next to the bar I worked at and just started doing it for fun.

Have you faced any barriers in your career because of your gender?

I don’t think it really matter as far as actual stand-up comedy goes. You’re just funny or not. You either get the next gig or not, depending on if you were funny.

I think in TV it can matter because they’re not as apt to give a female stand-up a sitcom as they are a male a sitcom. I think they’re much more quick to give it to a guy. Or even late-night programming. Look at the late-night shows, it’s all white guys. They’ve got the market on that.

But as far as stand-up goes, I think it’s pretty fair.

We’re seeing an unprecedented number of female driven network programs. Do you think that’s changed the way people perceive female comediennes, or are the two worlds separate?

With the TV, it’s not the female stand-up as it is some of the female comedic actors. Which is fine, I’m glad for them, but it wouldn’t be the same. I still think with female stand-ups, we’re still on a different rung in television’s eyes.

What should people know about you as a person?

What you see on stage is me. I’m the same person. Some comedians, they’re very different off stage than they are on stage. I’m the same person, maybe more energy on stage.

Any advice for aspiring comedians?

If you really like it, just don’t quit. A lot of people, they get into it and then things don’t go the way they thought and they just quit too soon. You’ve just got to keep going. I mean, if you’re funny. There’s a lot of people that don’t quit that should quit, which is weird. And there’s a lot of people who shouldn’t have quit who did. I’m a big fan of quitting if you’re the right person to quit. But, you know, it takes forever to be a good stand-up. I think people get impatient.


What: Kathleen Madigan

When: 8 p.m. Oct. 5 (door opens at 7 p.m.)

Where: The Fargo Theatre, 314 Broadway

Info: For mature audiences. Tickets are $27.50 to $37.50 plus fees. (701) 205-3182

Online: www.kathleenmadigan.com

Readers can reach Forum reporter Sherri Richards at (701) 241-5556

Win tickets to see Kathleen madigan

You could win two tickets to see Kathleen Madigan Oct. 5 at this SheSays-sponsored event. Enter to win two tickets to see comedian Kathleen Madigan by filling out the attached form at the bottom of the story. Must be 18 & older.