Published Jul 22, 2016Kathleen Madigan's Madigan Again is the account of a sane woman living in an insane world. Bearing witness to the misdirected anger of her peers, the increasingly erratic behaviour of her aging parents, and a world torn apart by war and crime, Madigan copes by pouring a drink and writing great comedy.
She certainly has a knack for bringing levity to topics that might otherwise seem too heavy. Despite the resistance of her team, Madigan insists on performing in Detroit (third most dangerous city in the U.S.), arguing that she'll be performing to the country's most optimistic audience — how else have they not yet been convinced to move away? But Detroit is a cakewalk compared to the time Madigan performed for troops in Afghanistan (only to arrive home at an airport and have a drunk man ask her if by "perform" she meant she was a showgirl).
Politics are a recurring theme in Madigan Again, and she aptly expresses the struggles of a well-intentioned citizen who's trying hard as heck to keep informed, but finding it incredibly difficult to do so. Sure, we've got access to global news stories at the tips of our fingers, but we've also got access to videos of baby owls in teacups. And isn't a cat that looks like Batman much more immediately satisfying than learning the different between deficit and debt?
Madigan makes it seem like hilarious situations are drawn to her, but she just has a knack for finding the hilarious in every situation. She disagrees with those who criticize Twitter by saying that 140 characters is not nearly enough to express yourself, and indeed Madigan has a knack for being concise and getting her message across. And this message is that we need to chill out — yes the world is scary, but we're still alive! And why are you so angry that the price of stamps has been raised to 49 cents?
Although Madigan can spin any scenario into an opportunity for comedy, she ends the special by discussing her penchant for drinking, saying that she distrusts any politician who claims that he's never smoked, done drugs or had a drink. How else can we cope in such a frightening world? So pour yourself a drink (if you're into that sort of thing) and laugh along.
Exclaim! is reviewing every standup comedy special currently available on Netflix Canada, including this one. You can find a complete list of reviews so far here.