Kathleen Madigan: Gone MadiganOverview -
On Kathleen Madigan: Gone Madigan, Kathleen follows in the tradition of great comedic minds like George Carlin and Bill Hicks by continuing to expand her unique brand of observational humor. Performing at the Gramercy Theater in New York City, Kathleen takes on politics, American culture and her family. It’s reality check time, but don’t fear Madigan’s biting wit, it always comes with a big dose of Midwest charm.
Storyline: Our Reviewer's Take
Kathleen Madigan is marginally funny. I think the best review of this material that could be given is the audience's sparse and lackadaisical laughter during the show. I've never seen a stand-up comedian get such a lukewarm response on their own recorded special. Some of her observations, like her lazy political insights, outright bomb. She does silly voices to cover up the fact that the audience just isn't laughing.
Clocking in at just over an hour, 'Kathleen Madigan: Gone Madigan' is sort of a chore to get through. She pokes fun at her family, herself, and the world around her; like most comedians do. The back of the case states "Finally, a comedian who isn't whining, insulting, or self-loathing…" Um, I think I missed something there, because Madigan's performance seems like an hour of whining and self-loathing. She whines about politics. She wallows in her smoking habits and how annoying her family is. She insults numerous religions, including her own. I'm not saying that any of these things are bad; comedians do it all the time, but don't claim that she is some type of revolutionary comedian when she most certainly isn't.
Her nasally voice is also something that really starts to grate on the eardrums after a while. It's almost as if she tries to accentuate the nasal-ness of it. Ugh!
Her material is the same old observational type humor we've heard over and over again. She doesn't really have a new spin on things either. She regurgitates the old talking points about Obama and dysfunctional family problems.
Her segues need a lot of work too. Her set seems like it has its own form of attention deficit disorder as she switches from her family, to religion, to politics without any sort of connecting thread. "My dad is crazy…Man, I'd sure hate to be Obama." It just doesn't work. It doesn't mesh together and keep you interested in the rest of her material.
Apparently Madigan has her followers, she was on 'Last Comic Standing,' and able to get her own recorded comedy special. I just can't be counted as one of her fans. She's too bland. Her material is dated, and her delivery is stale. If you're looking for a good hearty laugh, don't look here.
'Gone Madigan' laughs its way onto Blu-ray with a rather lackluster 1080i transfer. First off, the entire image tends toward the softer side of things. Fine detail really isn't there, and it felt almost as if I was watching this on a HD Comedy Central broadcast and not on Blu-ray.
The blue curtain behind Madigan is layered in noise and never looks detailed in the slightest. It's a constant roving mess of compression noise. The few shots of the audience also feature abundant, distracting noise. Colors are bland and flat. The dark blue curtain should be popping off the screen, but instead it just hangs there without any life. I didn't expect an awe-inspiring video presentation, but this doesn't even look better than a regular TV broadcast.
There's not much to mess up here. 'Gone Madigan' features a 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio mix that does its job to the best of its ability. It delivers clean and clear dialogue while Madigan is ranting. It never muffles her voice.
The only other thing to really talk about here is that the crowd is given ample room to laugh. Laughter (well, as little as there is) is piped into the rear speakers, giving a nice well-round surround sound experience. There's nothing about this audio presentation that will make you stand up and cheer, but at least you can hear what she's saying and you can hear the crowd in the surrounds. That's about all that you can expect from a stand up comedy Blu-ray.
- Interviews(SD, 4 min.) — Madigan complains about her health and talks about her notes for the show. Not really much in the way of an actual interview. Instead this is just four minutes of watching Madigan ramble like she does on stage.
- Behind-the-Scenes (SD, 15 min.) — We get to meet Madigan's parents, who she pokes fun at relentlessly during her show. We also get to see and hear from Madigan's friend Lewis Black who made me wish I had watched a Lewis Black Blu-ray instead.
I guess I'm just not a fan. She's just not that funny. I love Jay Leno's backhanded compliment on the back of the case that states that Kathleen Madigan is "One of America's funniest female comics." See what he did there? Her material seems amateurish, and her rambling is irritating. She has one of the most discombobulated acts this side of Dane Cook. The video is nothing to be happy about and the audio works just enough to slide by with a passing grade. There's nothing in the way of real interesting special features either. I recommend staying far away from this Blu-ray, and probably Kathleen Madigan all together.
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