October 22, 2012

Comedian Tig Notaro And Her Stand-Up Routine About Cancer

I heard a remarkable story this week about a standup comedian named Tig Notaro while listening to one of my favorite podcasts The Business, on KCRW. 2012 has not been a good year for Notaro to say the least; she had pneumonia which led to a bacterial infection that put her in the hospital, her mother died suddenly, her girlfriend left her and then, to top it all off, she was diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer.

In late August, the day after she got her diagnosis, she had a show at the Largo in L.A. and, though she thought about canceling, went onstage anyway and performed an epic set about her woes which killed. Louis C.K. happened to be in the audience and tweeted about her show the next day saying it was the best thing he had seen in 27 years of standup.

That was enough to launch Notaro's career in a whole new direction. And now a recording of this set from the Largo has been released as a comedy album via Louis C.K.'s website. You can hear an excerpt from the opening of the set on THIS AMERICAN LIFE.  It's really amazing to hear as the audience comes to realize she is not joking but telling the truth, but doing so in an incredibly funny way. As it turns out, Notaro is doing well after a double mastectomy and the cancer is in remission.