Monthly Archives: September 2012

Things finally looking up for Tig Notaro after epic string of bad luck

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.

Ex-Austinite Jim Hamilton’s FALLON Set

Former Austin resident Jim Hamilton made his network television debut this week on NBC’s Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. Now Los Angeles-based, Hamilton is a four-time finalist in Cap City’s Funniest Person in Austin contest, he’s appeared on Comedy Central’s Premium Blend, and he recently released his well-received debut album, “Poems About The Ocean” on AST Records. Paste magazine just published a feature on the rising comic (and that article can be viewed by signing up for a free trial). Hamilton trades in brutally dark self-deprecation, clever observations, and unabashed pun-y wordplay. His line “Spoiler Alert: The bell tolls for thee!” may not garner the Big Laugh from audiences but it’s a classic time-release nugget as far as Comedy Moontower is concerned. Oh, and hey, thanks for your concern. We kid. Check out Jim below (and note that the clip may take longer than usual to load-n-buffer for reasons unknown).

Follow Jim on Twitter

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Preview “A Liar’s Autobiography,” the 3D Animated Feature of Graham Chapman’s Fictionalized Memoir

In what appears to be something completely different and wildly creative, the animated feature, A Liar’s Autobiography: The Untrue Story of Monty Python’s Graham Chapman, “in lewd, crude 3D,” will be premiering on EPIX and in select theaters on November 2, 2012. The film is based on Chapman’s fictionalized memoir “A Liar’s Autobiography, Volume VI,” which was first published in Britain in 1980 and credits four other authors. Michael Cieply of The New York Times reported that he recorded himself reading his book in a single evening at the studio of Chapman’s friend, singer-songwriter Harry Nilsson, before Chapman passed away from cancer on October 4, 1989, at the age of 48 (which shows incredible foresight since audio books were not de rigueur then and also since postmortem audio engineering is so interminably difficult).

The film uses Chapman’s narration to interact with new dialogue by fellow Pythons John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Terry Jones, and Michael Palin, who play various characters and sometimes themselves, in what is billed as their first reunion in 23 years. Apparently, Eric Idle did not participate but he did write an afterward to Chapman’s book when it was re-published in 1991 and which appears in all subsequent reprintings. On a side note, Comedy Moontower was utterly tickled to see Idle singing “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life” from Monty Python’s Life of Brian at the 2012 Olympic Games in London since the film initially caused such an unwarranted “blasphemous” kerfuffle in the UK.

The Pythons have been the most influential comedy (and sketch comedy) group since BBC One aired Monty Python’s Flying Circus from 1969-1974. A Liar’s Autobiography should be a massively entertaining trove for both Chapman/Python fans as well as animation aficionados— the film features 17 different animation styles from 14 animation studios.  In typical dark and surreal Python-esque fashion, the trailer even boasts a plug from Chapman claiming A Liar’s Autobiography is, “The best film I’ve been in since I died.”

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