Recommended Album: Tig Notaro: Live
I’ve been hearing rumors for weeks about this amazing set at Largo from Tig Notaro. By a stroke of luck Largo was recording and Louis CK, who happened to be back stage, convinced her to let him release it on his website.
A few days prior to the show she had been diagnosed with breast cancer – in both breasts. She was three months out of the hospital after coming down with pneumonia that lead to contracting c-diff, a bacteria that eats away at its host’s digestive system. We were all very glad to hear she escaped her brush with death but soon there after her mother fell, hitting her head and tragically she passed.
She related thinking to herself “Stop being so dramatic!”, which is a great snapshot of her disposition. But if ever there was a time to allow yourself to be a little dramatic, Tig; now is that time to be dramatic. The last few months have been dramatic. But she wasn’t and that’s a pretty amazing thing.
Louis CK recounted the moments before she walked out on stage in an email to his fans: “Now, I’m pretty stupid to begin with, and I sure didn’t know what to say now. I opened my mouth and this came out. “jeez, Tig. I. Really value you. Highly.”. She said “I value you highly too, Louie.”. Then she held up a wad of note-paper in her hand and said “I’m gonna talk about all of it on stage now. It’s probably going to be a mess”. I said “wow”. And with that, she went on stage.”
“Hello! Good evening! Hello! I have cancer! How are you?!..Is everybody having a good time? I have cancer! How are you? Ah! It’s a good time! Diagnosed with cancer!…Feels good! Just diagnosed with cancer.”
Over the next thirty minutes she exemplifies what comedy has the power to evoke in us. It’s honest, it’s fearless, it’s heart-wrenching – and throughout, it’s hilarious. She takes us to the darkest, scariest place of the human condition and helps us marvel at the magnitude of it. She makes us laugh directly in the face of exactly how serious death is. Not in defiance but in awe of it.
But it’s not all doom and gloom. On a recent episode of her podcast Professor Blastoff, shared with co-hosts Kyle Dunnigan,David Huntsberger, and researcher Aaron Burrell, Tig announced that her recent surgery was a success. She is currently cancer-free and is in recovery. She has now moved out to New York for a writing position on Amy Schumer’s new show on Comedy Central.