It’s been almost a week since one of our favorite stand up comedians, Tig Notaro, shared on CONAN the string of bad luck she’s endured over the last few months.
“Everything was going great,” the sarcastic comedienne of stage and screen tells O’Brien. “All of a sudden my life just nose-dived.”
First, she got pneumonia. Then she contracted an intestinal bacteria that nearly killed her. Then her mother passed away. Then her relationship with her girlfriend ended. And THEN! Notaro’s doctor broke the news to her that she had breast cancer that would require a double mastectomy.
Somewhere in the middle of that, she “celebrated” her birthday. Sigh.
While art typically helps us to overcome our suffering, it also works the other way around, too, luckily. In her evening performance at Largo a few weeks back, Notaro opened the show with a straightforward and hilarious address of these matters that were on her heart.
“I went out on stage and was like, ‘Hi, I have cancer.’ And the audience was unbelievable, they were with me,” she recalls to O’Brien. “It was an intense evening where the audience is crying and laughing. It was so insane.”
Her friend and fellow comedian Louis C.K., who performed that night as her special surprise guest (along with Bill Burr and Ed Helms), Tweeted later that night that Notaro’s performance “was the greatest stand up performance he’s ever seen in his 27 year career.”
What transpired that night was the work of a genius performer who knows her craft, recognized her forum and spoke with honesty and vulnerability (which are the origins of the best comedy, in our humble opinion).
Only a few hundred lucky people got the life-altering exhilaration of experiencing that performance live at Largo. But on Conan’s program, he announced that the set had in fact been recorded and would soon be available exclusively through Louis C.K.’s website for purchase.
The album is called Live (pronounced as a verb, not as the adjective) “because of the literal life and death of the material.” It will only cost $5.00 and a portion of each sale will go to Notaro’s choice of charities dedicated to fighting breast cancer.
Notaro reports that after her surgery, she is now enjoying a cancer-free prognosis and will resume her tour schedule soon. In the meanwhile, it was just announced Tuesday that she’s also got a new book deal to accompany the release of the new album.
Finally, things are looking up again for this comedian.