It's her cynical view of life and steady delivery that makes the whole routine work as she moves from topic to topic, skewering her own father as easily as Hillary Clinton's work in the Obama administration. I love that cynicism. Her sister is evidently the optimistic one rooting for the hope and change of Obama, but when she asked Madigan if she had any hope left she replied, "Let me check... um... Nope! I gave up hope officially when they took the pillows out of coach on American Airlines. If we can't afford a $0.05 piece of foam, we suck."
In addition to the 60 minute routine, the DVD comes with an Interview with Madigan and a behind the scenes feature that includes interviews with her family. The Interview gives a very short, high-level view of how she develops jokes from random thoughts. Doodling seems to be in integral part of the process, as does a disorganized pile of notes in a notebook. In less than four minutes, I think you gain some understanding into the chaos of her routine. And yet it works for her--every time. The behind the scenes feature is less interesting. It's great to see Madigan's family and you can see why she's as funny as she is. Like most families I know, she has a lot of material to call on. Her sister doesn't seem to mind being compared to various dog breeds, her mother likes to pick on her father constantly, and her father seems to be one of the funniest old lawyers I've ever seen. Unfortunately after the first five minutes it drags on a bit.
If you like good, topical comedy, I can't recommend Kathleen Madigan enough. She's always hilarious and one of the few comedians I'd love to see live at some point. In the meantime, shows on DVD like Gone Madigan will have to do!