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Madigan in December 2008 during the <a href="/content/USO" style="color:blue">USO</a> Holiday Tour
Madigan in December 2008 during the USO Holiday Tour

Kathleen Madigan (born September 30, 1965) is an American comedian and TV personality. In addition to her stand up comedy performances, she is a regular guest on a variety of U.S. television programs.

Early life and education

Kathleen Madigan is one of seven children in the large Irish Catholic family of Jack and Vicki Madigan, a lawyer and a nurse respectively.[1][2] She grew up mostly in the St. Louis suburb of Florissant,[3] although the family also lived for periods of time in House Springs, Missouri and in the Lake of the Ozarks region of central Missouri.[1] Madigan received the first eight years of her education largely in private Catholic schools, although she also attended the public school of the Osage.[1] It was there she excelled as a student athlete, participating in volleyball, track, and basketball.[1] In the latter, she set a record by winning the 1978 Mid-Missouri Hoops Shoot Championship. At the time 4'5" tall, she was the shortest person to ever win the event.[4][5] She shot under-handed, sinking 14 of 15 attempts.

Madigan attended McCluer North High School, graduating in 1983.[6] She admitted in a 2012 interview with St. Louis Magazine, however, that she participated in few activities like float decorating or prom, choosing instead to work at a steakhouse where she could make up to $200 per night.[1] Madigan attended University of Missouri–St. Louis for two years, but, according to Madigan, all she did was accumulate $7,000 in campus parking tickets.[1] At Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, she earned a B.A. in Journalism in 1988.[6] While at SIUE she was in charge of the student newspaper and also served an internship with the St. Louis Blues professional ice hockey team.[7]

Professional career

Madigan first took a job in print journalism, working for the St. Louis-area Suburban Journals newspapers as well as the publications department of the Missouri Athletic Club. At the same time she performed stand-up during "open mic" nights at St. Louis area comedy clubs. She credits her father, Jack, with encouraging her to try a comedy career.[8] Her growing popularity at these soon led to the offer of a paying job in stand-up from The Funny Bone, a nationwide chain of comedy clubs.[1] With a thirty-week booking of guaranteed dates, Madigan gave up her jobs in Missouri. She cites Ron White, Richard Jeni and Lewis Black among her influences in those early comedy club days.[1]

Among the TV shows and specials Madigan has appeared on are Last Comic Standing, I Love the 90s: Part Deux, I Love the '80s 3-D, and Celebrity Poker Showdown. She also starred in her own HBO Half-Hour Comedy Special and a Comedy Central Presents special. She is a veteran of The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Late Night with Conan O'Brien, Late Show with David Letterman, and The Bob and Tom Show.[9] She also hosts a radio program, Blue Collar Comedy, on Sirius XM Radio. Madigan has twice participated in USO shows in support of American troops, touring both Iraq and Afghanistan along with fellow comedians like friend Lewis Black.[10] She sometimes writes material for other comedians, as was the case in 2004 and 2005 when she was a writer for Garry Shandling when he hosted the Emmy Awards telecast.[10] In 2016, she made an appearance on Jerry Seinfeld's web series Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee.[11]


In 1996, Madigan won "Funniest Female Stand-Up Comic" at the American Comedy Awards.[12]

Personal life

Madigan is single and lives in Los Angeles most of the time. She also owns a farm in the Midwest and, according to her, "spends inordinate amounts of time" with her family there.[9] Madigan has four brothers and two sisters.[8] She has often drawn on her father as both a source of comic material and work ethic.[7] In the past, she dated Lewis Black. Their split was amicable, and she still considers Black her best friend.[13]


  • Kathleen Madigan (1998), later reissued as Live (2000)
  • Shallow Happy Thoughts for the Soul (2002)
  • In Other Words (2006)
  • Gone Madigan (2011)
  • Madigan Again (2013)
  • Bothering Jesus(2016)
  • In Other Words (2005)
  • Gone Madigan (2011)
  • Madigan Again(2013)
  • Bothering Jesus(2016)

Television appearances

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