Comedy Album Review: Tig Notaro: LIVE
In this thirty-one minute audio that you can download for five dollars at Louis C.K. ‘s website, stand-up comedienne Tig Notaro opens her hilariously tragic set with: “Good evening! Hello. I have cancer. How are you?”
Notaro is a brilliant observational comic who loves to poke fun at everyday life with her deadpan delivery, but the night she recorded this special, she just could not bring herself to tell her usual jokes. This can be attributed to the fact that she was recently diagnosed with stage two breast cancer in both breasts, her mother died, and she just went through a break-up with her longtime partner. Yet in her special, Notaro never misses a beat, maintaining the right balance of laugh out loud comedy, heart wrenching tragedy, and brutal honesty.
What is amazing about this stand-up set is how Tig Notaro takes her fears, her pains, and her overwhelming emotions and faces them head on, equipped only with her razor-sharp wit and comedic flair. From her hilariously twisted story about “funny” cancer greeting cards to her description of the questionnaire that the hospital sent her dead mother which says “was the area around your room quiet at night?” to which she heartbreaking adds “Or could you hear the twelve hours of your daughter alone at your bedside sobbing, and telling you things she wish she was brave enough to tell you when you were conscious?”.
She keeps the audience members fully captivated and at the same time howling with laughter. The best part of the special is her continuous interactions with the stunned crowd, breaking the audience’s discomfort with a deadpan witticism, giving the special a very intimate, rough, and raw feel. What was once confusion of how the audience should react, became the viewer’s realization that they just witnessed something beautiful and special, and at one point, when Notaro asks the audience if she should just go back to doing silly jokes, one audience member shouts “This is… amazing. It’s beautiful. Don’t stop” followed by overwhelming cheers from the audience. In this special, Tig Notaro shows how powerful comedy can and should be, and by doing this, transcends to legendary status.