TRIUMPH OVER TRAGEDY: Valley native to perform at Kenan Thompson’s Comedy Spotlight

Published 9:00 am Saturday, July 8, 2023

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A Valley native comedian, Tae Madden, will be performing on the Kenan Presents’ 360 Comedy Spotlight live showcase at the Super Funny Comedy Club in Tacoma, Washington, on July 20. 

The event, hosted by comedian Trixx and presented by Saturday Night Live comedian Kenan Thompson, will feature comedians from around the country.

Madden said the event highlights up-and-coming comedians and introduces them to a large network of comedians.

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“He’s given us gigs, paid gigs, throughout the industry,” Madden said. “It’s not even just that. It’s that we’re getting so much experience, like behind-the-scenes experience.”

Madden discovered his passion in his comedy performances. He said he hit rock bottom in 2019. 

After a year of struggling with depression, he gained the courage to take to the stage at a comedy club in St. Louis.

“From the moment I put the mic back on there, I knew that was it,” Madden said. “That was a new start for me.”

In 2020, he spent his time in quarantine working on that passion and wrote his first jokes. He said he always enjoyed writing even when he was growing up and attending Huguley Elementary School.

After the pandemic, he began performing at comedy clubs. 

Madden performed in another Kenan Presents showcase in Birmingham, where he gained experience in the industry. 

When Madden realized that he would be performing at the showcase, he said it validated his leap of faith into the entertainment industry. The host, Trixx, was one of his comedy heroes.

“It was one of those full circle moments,” Madden said. “Back in 2019, my face could have been on an obituary if I didn’t get the courage to get up out of my funk.” 

Throughout his journey as a comedian, Madden’s faith helped keep him motivated.

“If you know me, you know I’m loud about my God,” he said. 

Madden said he also felt encouraged by his family and friends back home. He said he hoped that his success would help transform the next generation and teach them to pursue their dreams. 

“I want to change the next generation in my family,” Madden said. “ … I want them to be able to chase their dreams in the beginning. I don’t want them to have to go through life and feel like they’re not enough or they don’t have the resources, and it keeps them away from being their fullest potential.”

Madden plans to return home to the Valley area to do a show and hopes to do a half-hour comedy special close to home. 

“The Valley has always supported me,” Madden said. “Thanks to everyone who has supported and been there for me during this journey — my circle of friends and family — people who randomly showed acts of kindness to help toward me reaching my dream, thank you. It takes a village.”