Madonna has long been known as the “Material Girl” for her sharp, observational material, which she draws from her everyday life to create relatable comedy. Last night, she gave the world a taste on The Tonight Show, making her TV debut as a stand-up comic with the ever-indulgent guidance and generous chuckles of Jimmy Fallon. “I’m kind of a closet comedian,” Madonna told Fallon. Did she proceed to make jokes about how you just never seem to have enough hangers? Ha ha, no. That would certainly be closet comedy and very relatable. But no.
Instead, Madonna shuffled up to the microphone without her pants and wearing a giant “HARD” medallion, in obvious tribute to the late Jack Benny, and delivered several minutes of comedy steeped in life’s little foibles. Like when you date dumb twentysomething men who don’t know anything about the Andy Warhol and Picasso paintings you have hanging in the “withdrawing room” of your mansion.
“No, it’s funny,” Madonna says, because it is true, and also because Madonna said it. The crowd laughed and then was uncomfortably silent, because in all comedy there is a hint of tragedy. And last night, Madonna proved that.