Jewish Comedian Cathy Ladman Brings Stand-Up To The Parkway Theater

For more than 40 years, Cathy Ladman has been on stage as a touring comedian. And there is no place that she’d rather be.

“I think that I just do what I want to do and am as me as I can be on stage, which is, you know, an artificial environment,” Ladman said. “I am as much Cathy as I can be onstage holding a microphone and speaking to an audience.”

Ladman is returning to Minneapolis on May 25 to play The Parkway Theater as part of her “I Have No One to Blame But Myself” tour, with local comedian David Harris opening. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the show starts at 7:30. 

Ladman has appeared on The Tonight Show 10 times in her career, several times on “The Late Late Show” when it was hosted by Craig Ferguson, and in many of those clips, she starts with a joke about her age or something else self-depricating.

“I really like when somebody is vulnerable on stage,” she said. “I really like when I know more about the person after the show then at the beginning of the show. That’s my favorite thing as an audience member. And it’s also what I want to share as a performer.

“I don’t think everybody is like that. But it’s what I like to do.”

For example, in Ladman’s most recent appearance on “The Tonight Show,” she opened with a jokes about her grey hair and her age.

“I got a lot of pushback from my reps when I wanted to go gray. I just wanted to do it,” she said. “I just got tired of being fake in that way. And I’m so glad that I did it. I think it’s something that people notice immediately when I hit the stage, and I like to address it. And, and that leads me into a lot of material that I like to talk about.”

One thing that she won’t talk about on stage – at least in a negative way – is her soon-to-be ex-husband. She was married for 25 years to a Minnesota native, and she’s excited to see her stepdaughter when she comes to Minneapolis.

“I really hadn’t found a way in which I wanted to talk about it and now I’m talking about divorce a little bit,” she said. “The way I’m getting into it is that it just takes so long to get divorced. And it takes no time to get married…It’s so ridiculous that it takes so long.”

When they were married her soon-to-be-ex and her daughter were often part of the jokes she would tell. 

“He said, whatever you want to say is great. He loved it,” she said. “There was nothing that was off-base and I’m not a mean-spirited person,” she said. “And the same with my daughter. At one point in my act, I said ‘My daughter hates me. So she’s right on track developmentally.’”

On stage, Ladman also opens up about her battle with anorexia, which, in part, why she created “Does This Show Make Me Look Fat?” which she hopes to bring to a theater in the Twin Cities at some point. Anorexia, she admits, is not inherently funny.

“There was a lot of material that is woven in that was not really about an eating disorder; it was about being perfect, and your looks, which is all related,” she said. “But it was a very hard thing for me to tackle. Talking about anorexia in a comedy club, I just found it not to be the right venue for me.

“Perfection is such a wild goose chase.”