MONTREAL – With the venerable Judy Gold acting as opener, Kathleen Madigan’s headlining show could really have been a double bill for outstanding, fiery comics in peak form. As arbiters of bitingly hilarious, personalized comedy, the two women have been flexing powerful comic muscles for decades now, and it’s refreshing to see that neither has lost steam as the years have gone on.
Taking the stage first for an unarguably strong half hour set, Gold spent the better part of her stage time taking the audience into her twisted romantic relationship with a therapist — “every simple question involves an hour of analysis” — and dissecting her equally twisted relationship with her mother. Gold even played a voicemail from her 92-year-old momma over the mic – “Hi Judy. I have nothing. Could you bring me a block of cheese?” And no, Momma Gold hasn’t transformed into a mouse any time recently.
For her part, Madigan power-housed through an impressive hour-long set that included a particularly memorable impression of her best friend Lewis Black; these days, Madigan might even be doing Black better than Black himself, given the recent mellowing of our favorite stage-rager (further reading: Wednesday’s JFL coverage.) Madigan also worked through some uproarious Irish Catholic family material – most notably, the fact that her brother, John Patrick Madigan, can’t get DIRECTV because their father, John Patrick Madigan, refuses to pay a $9 movie fee.
In all, the two ladies left audiences gasping with sheer delight. And really, isn’t that the whole point of Just For Laughs – top-of-the-game comedians, serving up what they do best, one room full of indelibly sated super fans at a time.