'About' a funny guy

'About' a funny guy

Al Madrigal of ‘The Daily Show’ and NBC’s ‘About a Boy’ brings his fast-paced storytelling to the Ice House

By Carl Kozlowski 07/17/2014

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Al Madrigal has taken an unusual path to comedy stardom. For instance, he started performing stand-up at age 28, which is normally the age of wizened veterans in one of the youngest fields in show business. He also wasn’t a class clown or troublemaker while growing up in San Francisco Catholic schools, and is now happily married and the father of two kids whom he’s foisting that education tradition upon.   


Yet Madrigal is doing something right, as evidenced by his work as a “correspondent” on “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart,” where he has deployed his extremely friendly demeanor to fool extremists into admitting unbelievably stupid opinions since 2011. He is also a co-star of the NBC sitcom “About a Boy,” which is about to start its second season, playing a married man who — just like Madrigal himself — is actually happy with his lot in life.


The comic will be bringing his own fast-paced tales of married life and other adventures to the stage of the Ice House Comedy Club this weekend, a reflection of the popularity he also built as one of Conan O’Brien’s favorite guests during both his short-lived stint as NBC’s “Tonight Show” host and during the much longer run of current TBS talk show.  


“It’s great to play a guy on ‘About a Boy’ who isn’t the typical stereotype of a stressed-out dad who hates his wife and kids and is always wishing he could be like his single friend,” says Madrigal, who was named Best Stand-Up Comedian by the HBO/US Comedy Arts Festival. 


“My character shows the lead [character] the other side of marriage, the happiness and contentment he gets from having a good wife and kids,” he says. “I know marriage has certainly saved my life, because when you’re traveling in clubs it’s easy to drink too much and stay up all night, and I have no self-control. So settling down helped me focus on keeping it all together.” 


Don’t worry that this will be a squeaky-clean show, however. Madrigal is known for his storytelling, and he mischievously admits “I tell it like it is, especially about me and my wife.”                                                                 

“In fact, I’ve had our parish priest in the audience before and he heard it all,” says Madrigal. “I could tell he was surprised and even a bit shocked, but I finally caught him laughing.” 

Al Madrigal performs stand-up comedy at 8:30 and 10:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday at the Ice House, 24 N. Mentor Ave., Pasadena. Tickets are $20 to $27, plus a two-drink minimum. Call (626) 577-1894 or visit icehousecomedy.com. 

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