I really love seeing comedy shows at the Talking Stick Resort Showroom. It is a small venue and you are very close to the comedians. Even though it was a sold out show, you truly get the feeling of a connection with them. It makes you feel like they are talking directly to you. Tonight’s show was no different, both Raanan Hershberg and Kathleen Madigan were outstanding.
The show opened as normal with Danny Zelisko coming out and talking to the audience and telling us about upcoming shows. After a few minutes, to allow the audience to get their drinks and get to their seats, the show starts. Over the PA, Kathleen Madigan announces the opening act, Raanan Hershberg.
Raanan Hershberg is a fairly new comedian that was a finalist in NBC’s “Stand up for Diversity Showcase”. A lot of his humor was about being a Jew born and raised in Kentucky which he likens to another mythical creature, a “Unicorn”. His humor talked about a number of topic, his Jewish faith, his weight and often being mistaken for Jim Beluchi. He told us about one of his crappiest gigs which was at a prison in LeGrange, KY, where halfway through five inmates walked out. As he put it, “It was very upsetting to see them leave and knowing they were going back to their cells”. One of my favorite jokes was about how the current climate change deniers are very similar to the deniers of the flood in the old testament. Its only when the disaster finally occurs that they say “Oh Shit, I should have believed them”. His performance was a little over 20 minutes.
Kathleen Madigan then entered the stage. I remember Kathleen from her performances on The Tonight Show and Letterman’s Show in the late 90s. I really started to follow her when I listened to The Stephanie Miller Show as I drove to work and Kathleen was a regular guest on the show. She has won a number of awards as “The Best Female Comedian”. She is often touring with other great comedians and is touring with Lewis Black later this summer. She has done a number of USO shows for our military in both Iraq and Afghanistan. She has a number of comedy specials for Netflix and her latest is “Bothering Jesus”.
As most great comedians do, she talks a lot about her life and the things that have occurred. She was raised in an Irish Catholic home with 6 other brothers and sisters. A number of stories (jokes) were about her dysfunctional family. She talked about how her retired parents are now downsizing and trying to give the kids the crap they don’t want and the kids could care less about.
She covered a lot of different topics including faith, politics, and Sprint. She told us about the time she flew into Rapid City, South Dakota and how there was zero coverage for her Sprint cell phone. She asked the lady that looked like the help person for a map. The lady said there were no maps, but she would tell how to get to any place she wanted to go. Kathleen then told her she wanted direction to somewhere where she could get a map. Having been to Rapid City, I totally understand the situation and can understand Kathleen’s frustration.
One of her funniest stories was about being in Tennessee and attempting to buy wine on a Sunday. She walked into a store and grabbed 2 bottles of wine. When she went to pay for them, she was told that she could not buy the wine since it was Sunday, but she could buy beer. This totally got to her, and she told the cashier that Jesus turned water into wine, not beer, so why was it not allowed on Sunday. Later she told a story about a woman she met in the south had prayed to Jesus to help repair her broken washer. This again was shocking for Kathleen having been raised Catholic. She was taught that there was a hierarchy on praying for things. First, they go through the saints, then the Virgin Mary, and finally they only ask Jesus if it is a life or death situation.
When it came to politics, she hit them all equally. Bernie, Hillary, and Trump were all properly targeted. She hit on Bernie for being the oldest person in the race, but the youth loved him because he wanted to give them free stuff. She picked on Hillary for her damn pant suits. Trump got it for just being mean to all of the other candidates and his people not caring what he did or said.
It was a very enjoyable show. Both comedians were very good. It was definitely an adult show due to language (though I have heard worst from middle schooler’s). The crowd was laughing throughout the show. There were times I was laughing so hard I could not take notes. If you get a chance to see either Raanan or Kathleen, then go, you will enjoy the show. And if you are lucky enough to see both Kathleen and Lewis Black together this summer, I envy you. It should be an outstanding show.
Review and photos by Fred Kuhlman
Promoter: Danny Zelisko Presents
Venue: Talking Stick Resort – Showroom
Date: Saturday May 13, 2017
Photos © Fred Kuhlman 2017