Comedian Kathleen Madigan has been in the stand-up business long enough that's she's seen the changes in media over the years from the interviewees perspective. Or rather, she's heard it. There are two things that stand out. First, whereas interviewers who called her used to at least know a little something about comedy, now the person asking the questions might have read her Wikipedia page before picking up the phone, and that's about it.
"It used to be very specified, like there was the theater review person who just wrote about plays and stuff, and there was the movie guy and then you had the concert lady," she said. "Now it's just all so blurred. I think people are getting stuff thrown on their desk and you can tell they don't know what they're talking about. It's like if someone said 'Hey, Kathleen, you have to call and interview this opera lady.'"
And two, the sheer numbers of interview requests have gone up exponentially.
"Now we're counting blogs and websites as media," she said. "It could be a guy in his basement in his underwear who has a blog, but I guess it doesn't hurt for me to talk to him. I think in the end, in five or 10 years or so, it'll wash out as to what's real and what's not, but right now, everything kind of is. It's just fragmented right now."
In other words, Madigan might get stuck for hours on the phone doing interviews.
"You could literally talk about yourself to different people for 24 hours a day, for a year. It'd be wonderful if you were a narcissist; you couldn't wait to wake up every day," she said. "But it's the four interviews in between the other 12 that just drag. They suck your soul out."
It's just that type of conversation that makes Madigan good at what she does. She can talk about any subject and the woman is so put-it-all-out-there honest that you can't help but laugh.
Madigan returns to town for a show in Beaver Creek tonight. Why does she keep returning to the Vilar Performing Arts Center?
"Mainly because they ask," she said. "I just go where the gigs are. That and I like to be up there when there's snow; I don't ski, but I drink in the chalet and wear clothes like I might ski, but I won't. Basically I like my Ugg boots and to drink alcohol when it's cold outside."
And why does the Vilar Center ask her back?
"Kathleen Madigan is one funny woman and is at the top of her game," said Kris Sabel, executive director of the Vilar Performing Arts Center. "She is as seasoned as they come in the world of comedy and will have you laughing so hard it hurts."
While Madigan has been saying for years that she's going to book less gigs and take it easy for a bit, she never does.
"I always say I'm not going to do that many this year, but then they come up and I go. It's all good though, I still like it. If I had to stay home in the same place and do the same thing, I'd go nuts. I really like telling jokes and going to places I've never been before."
And even after more than two decades of touring, she's still going to places she's never been.
Gillette, Wyoming, for instance.
"Well Lewis Black and I decided we should go to cities where comedians don't go, then it would be like entertaining the troops. They'll just be appreciative that you show up."
She gets fodder for her shows the same place she's always gotten it: Her family, politics, a few television shows or two, religion - expect at least a few jokes about the new Pope - and recent news items. As a general rule she doesn't touch celebrity drama.
"I just say no to a crapload of those E and VH1 (celebrity) shows because I don't know anything," she said. "I thought Kevin Federline played for the Detroit Red Wings. See, I shouldn't even be allowed on. I don't even know if Brittany Spears is married at the moment."