American actress, singer (1942-1999)
Madeline Gail Kahn (September 29, 1942 – December 3, 1999) was an Academy Award-nominated Jewish American actress of movie, television and theater distinguished by an unusual gift for comedy.
- I don't like to be my own audience, I find that being my own audience, being in the audience, makes me self-conscious, basically. So I tune in sometimes, with the sound off, to check it out and I back up to it. In the future I will look at it when some time has passed.
- Charlie Rose, (December 16, 1996) "Charlie Rose - An interview with Madeline Kahn", Charlie Rose, PBS
- I can't even really tell a joke. I find being funny very hard work. I am always asked about it and I feel guilty saying that, but it's the truth. I love my work but it ain't easy.
- Michael Specter, (April 8, 1993) "At Home With: Madeline Kahn; Funny? Yes, but Someone's Got to Be", The New York Times, The New York Times Company
- Me, as myself, I don't think I'm particularly funny. But I've noticed that people in my life always have found me amusing. Which, when I was little, really bothered me.
- Joe Brown, (October 26, 1988) "Madeline Kahn, on The Road Back to Broadway; At the National Theatre, Remaking Billie Dawn for A New 'Born Yesterday'", The Washington Post, The Washington Post Company
- Mel is sensual with me. He treats me like an uncle - a dirty uncle. He's an earthy man and very moral underneath. He has traditional values.
- Paul D. Zimmerman, (February 17, 1975) "The Mad Mad Mel Brooks", Newsweek
- How can I believably be a dumb blonde. I'm the furthest thing from it. I am intelligent. I don't mean I have a great IQ. I just mean there's always an intelligence present in what I do.
- Reported in Terry Byrne, (December 7, 1999) "Appreciation - Comedy was no laughing matter to Kahn", Boston Herald
- What's wrong with musicals now is all the gifted men who've died of AIDS—who would otherwise be here today creating great theater.
- Reported in Boze Hadleigh, (2007) Broadway Babylon: Glamour, Glitz, and Gossip on the Great White Way, Back Stage Books, ISBN 0823088308, p. 95.
- Laughter is a strange response. I mean, what is it? It's a spasm of some kind! Is that always joy? It's very often discomfort. It's some sort of explosive reaction. It's very complex.
- 1989 interview. Reported in William H. Honan, The New York Times (December 4, 1999) "Madeline Kahn: Funny Actress in 'Blazing Saddles'", Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, p. A-11
- She is one of the most talented people that ever lived. I mean, either in stand-up comedy, or acting, or whatever you want, you can't beat Madeline Kahn.
- Mel Brooks, reported in Tom Vallance, (December 6, 1999) "Obituary: Madeline Kahn", The Independent