George Hahn

Tig Notaro: Live!

The brilliant stand-up comic Tig Notaro has cancer. She’d talk to her girlfriend about it, but they broke up. She’d call her mom to talk about it, but her mom just died. Not a drinker or drugger, she’d try some comfort food, but she has an intestinal virus.

With all of this coming down within a span of four months, including the cancer diagnosis, Tig had a show booked at Largo in Los Angeles on August 3, 2012. In fact, she had just gotten the cancer diagnosis two days before the gig. Under the circumstances, one could understand why she just wasn’t in the mood to tell jokes about a bee going down the 405 freeway.

Instead, she spun a set of circumstances that would make a strong man drink, overdose or worse into one of stand-up comedy’s most worthwhile, unexpected and hilarious thirty minutes. Comic Louis CK was in the audience on the night of the show. In a now-famous tweet from August 4, the day after Tig’s show, Louis wrote:

in 27 years doing this, I’ve seen a handful of truly great, masterful standup sets. One was Tig Notaro last night at Largo.

Thankfully, Tig’s set was recorded. Not only was it recorded, but you can buy it exclusively from Louis’ site. Like all the downloads on his site, the cost is $5. Louis keeps $1 to cover his online shop costs, and Tig gets the other $4, much of which she gives to breast cancer charities.

On an episode that aired October 8, Terry Gross spoke to Tig on an episode NPR’s Fresh Air. The wonderful 28 minute interview contains excerpts from Tig’s show that night in August. Listen below. (Visiting on mobile?Listen here.)