by Steven Hyden August 2, 2011
The pleasure of seeing Tig Notaro do stand-up comedy is that she rarely seems like a person doing stand-up comedy—it’s just your new pal Tig telling hilariously winding anecdotes about her run-ins with ’80s pop star Taylor Dayne and “do not disturb” signs in Mexican hotels. (“No moleste” is already a catchphrase among Tig fans.) It’s no wonder that Notaro’s first comedy album, Good One, ends with the audience singing (with apparent spontaneity) “Happy Birthday” in honor of the comedian turning 40. While she’s not a confessional comic—unless admitting a love for Dayne’s “Tell It To My Heart” counts as confessional—Notaro has an unassuming onstage style that’s immediately disarming, and the unrushed storytelling of Good One unfolds like a good hang.
Occasionally, the fun of hearing Notaro delve into topics like Chastity Bono’s sex-change operation (“So basically he just kept the Chas, and cut off the titty”) and overuse of the phrase “I just threw up a little in my mouth” doesn’t totally translate on the album. Notaro’s justly celebrated Taylor Dayne story—which stretches over the course of months and several, strangely similar encounters—requires some silent pantomime at a crucial point that obviously doesn’t come across on record. Another track, the crowd-participation-heavy “Self Defense/Shark Attack,” has some funny lines, but they’re mostly directed to people talking off-mic. But at worst, the bits that don’t come off on Good One will merely inspire people to spend time with Notaro in person.