Comedian Kathleen Madigan performs Friday at the Englert Theatre in Iowa City.


Kathleen Madigan is a Netflix convert.

The veteran comedian, after seeing her comedy specials appear and quickly disappear on premium TV channels such as HBO and Showtime, grew frustrated. Beyond the premiere date, she couldn't get any solid answers on when, how often or even if they would be repeated.

And when she asked her fans where they saw her previous specials, the answer was Netflix, the movie and entertainment streaming service.

"It was just random," she said of dealing with networks. "With Netflix, I can say, 'It's there. It's on whenever you want it to be on. On right now, on all day.' "

Also, since Netflix has neither advertisers nor the regulations the premium cable and satellite channels have, Madigan can say whatever she wants on Netflix.

"They give you a ton of money and say, 'We trust you,' " she added from her home in Los Angeles.

The newest special, "Madigan Again," will be out on DVD after a 90-day window beginning with its Netflix release, and the audio version is available through Web retailers online.

"It's so simple. It's the future," she said. "Now, when you're talking to network people, it's like talking to your grandparents. They have no idea what is going to happen to them if they don't start paying attention."

Madigan, a 48-year-old native of the St. Louis area, still keeps a busy concert schedule, including a date Friday night at the Englert Theatre in Iowa City.

Her live shows, she said, generally are split between old material and some from the new album, she said.

"I don't hire writers and I don't put myself on a schedule for a DVD every two years. When it's ready, it's ready," she said of her audio and video releases. "If anybody puts the bar high, it's me. I'll take care of disciplining myself."

"Madigan Again" was taped in Detroit, and her opening act was longtime friend Lewis Black. Madigan said she doesn't share his anger or manic delivery.

"Unless they said Prohibition was coming back, you aren't going to get me worked up," she said.

Topics on her new album include cruise ships, her large family and her recent trips to Afghanistan to entertain on behalf of the USO.

"Without planning it, now looking back, my whole career has been the same five topics," she said. "Either my family, religion, politics, sports and travel. I don't do celebrity jokes. I don't do anything on pop culture.

"I don't know what, and I don't think I should know, what the Kardashians do."