Tig Notaro goes 'live`
Tig Notaro On Going 'Live' About Her Life
"Good evening, hello. I have cancer. How are you?" That's how comedian Tig Notaro began her set at Largo in Los Angeles the day she was diagnosed with Stage 2 breast cancer. As she uttered those words to the audience, there was nervous laughter, weeping and total silence in response. Comedian Louis C.K. was there that evening, and tweeted this about her performance: "In 27 years doing this, I've seen a handful of truly great, masterful standup sets. One was Tig Notaro last night at Largo." It has been an eventful four months for Notaro. Before her cancer diagnosis, Tig had pneumonia and contracted a severe intestinal virus, for which she was treated in the hospital. Shortly after being released, her mother died in a freak accident -– and then Tig and her girlfriend broke up. So when she got on stage that evening, Notaro tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross, she was "in a very vulnerable, raw place." "I had no idea what was in front of me," she says. "It was really just taking blind steps." When Notaro conceived of the idea, "It just made me laugh so hard just in the shower" — but she wavered as to whether to include the cancer diagnosis in her set that night. Describing herself as a "dry, deadpan, one-liner comic," she says she rarely performs material as personal or revealing as her set at Largo was. "I was scared of offending people and confusing people," she says. "You know, thinking about people that maybe did have cancer in the audience, or had somebody that they loved that had cancer. And then the reality hit me that I have cancer — this is my story." After a double mastectomy, the cancer has been contained and Notaro's prognosis is looking very good. Still, she says, "this is something that is pushing me so far out there in a way that has never been." Notaro has appeared on This American Life and Conan. Her set at Largo, titled Tig Notaro: Live, has been released exclusively on comedian Louis C.K.'s website.