We asked three comedians—Gilbert Gottfried (Ridgefield Playhouse, September 26), Kathleen Madigan (Tarrytown Music Hall, September 17), and Sinbad (Paramount Hudson Valley, September 11)—about being politically correct and what makes them laugh really, really hard.
How would you describe your style of comedy?
GG: Wow. I never made that conscious decision on my style of comedy or my delivery. It just seems like, after I’d been doing it for years, one day you wake up and go, ‘Oh, I’ve been doing this, this way for a while.’
KM: Conversationally cynical.
S: I never tried to describe it. I just remember I was on Star Search, and Miles Davis said to me, ‘You remind me of jazz, the way you play with notes.’ So, I call my comedy ‘funkedy.’ It’s a mix of funk and comedy.
Do you think comedy has become too politically correct? Should comedians ever apologize for jokes?
GG: It’s become pretty insane. I feel like when people get outraged and offended, they’re really patting themselves on the back going, ‘See, I was offended. That makes me a good person.’ I think every joke should come with a set of instructions that says, ‘If you like the joke, laugh. If you don’t like it, don’t laugh.’
KM: Some I do [think should apologize]. People always go, ‘It’s a joke.’ Well, you know, sometimes it’s just a bad joke. You sucked. Say you’re sorry. I don’t think you should get a golden pass just because it’s in the framework of a joke.
S: I don’t even know what that word means anymore. I think as long as you’re being honest, say anything you want to say. I think this though, once you say it, quit apologizing for it.
If you could roast any person, living or dead, who would it be?
GG: Oh wow. It’s a tough one to choose because I enjoy roasting people. I enjoy causing harm to any human being.
KM: Louis Black because I know him so well. His silly, goofy side is much more prevalent than people know. Then, when people go, ‘Oh you’re friends with Louis Black—is he always that angry?’ I would go, ‘I believe I answered that in a roast.’
S: It’d be too easy, but Donald Trump. And I think he would like it.
What can fans expect from your show this fall?
GG: They can expect to sit there for five minutes and then look at each other and go, ‘Whose idea was it to see Gilbert Gottfried?’
KM: It’s like a bar conversation, but they don’t get to talk. I promise that you won’t think about your problems for an hour and a half.
S: My fans can expect funny. That’s all I can give you.
What was the last thing that made you laugh really hard?
GG: Probably watching somebody else fall down in the street.
KM: My 38-year-old brother just a couple of weeks ago when he was lighting fireworks after we’d had like 100 beers. (’Cause that’s what you should do. You should really have a lot of beers and then play with explosives.) One of his sons threw a smoke bomb, which is harmless, but he didn’t know what had happened. It was just the physical reaction of him literally freaking out like there was a cobra between his legs. You had to see it. That was the last time where I spit beer out. Literally. And I value my beer; I don’t like to spit it out.
S: A woman trying to catch her child who broke free in the grocery store. She couldn’t catch him. That boy was athletic as hell. He spun, he made a couple of key moves, and he fell on the ground. It was hilarious.
The weather may be cooling, but the comedy scene in Westchester is heating up. This fall, county venues host some of the industry’s funniest performers. Here’s a quote of some of their best stuff, followed by where to see them:
“The movie Cloud Atlas opens today. Tom Hanks is in it. In Toy Story he played a cowboy. In Saving Private Ryan he played a soldier. In Cast Away he played a shirtless hairy dude. If he plays a Native American, he’ll have achieved something called ‘the Village People Grand Slam.’
—on The Late Late Show with
“A new child in the house is
a huge tourist attraction. It’s
like Disneyland, except the lines are longer and no one brings casseroles.”
“I believe that if life gives you lemons, you should make lemonade…and try to find someone whose life has given them vodka and have a party.”
—on They Call Me Tater Salad
The Capitol Theatre
“In other parts of the country, people tried to stay together for the sake of the children. In New York, they tried to work things out for the sake of the apartment.”
—in Me Talk Pretty One Day
Tarrytown Music Hall
“I go ‘I just want a cup of black coffee.’ She goes, ‘Do you want to try a biscotti? They’re from Italy, and they’re considered a delicacy.’ Have you ever eaten one of these things? It tastes like a burned cookie. Where I’m from, that’s considered a mistake.”
—on Now That’s Awesome
The Palace Theatre
“My grandfather always said, ‘Don’t watch your money, watch your health.’ So one day while I was watching my health, someone stole my money. It was my grandfather.”
—on The Jackie Mason Show
Tarrytown Music Hall
“You tell your guy friends you got engaged, and it’s like hearing someone died. ‘What happened man? Wow. He was so young, man. What happened? He had his whole life ahead of him.’”
— on Pulp Comics