Louis C.K. promotes Tig Notaro’s raw stand-up comedy about her cancer diagnosis and other misfortunes
Stand-up comic Tig Notaro was very recently diagnosed with cancer. Breast cancer in both breasts. And then her mother died. And she went through a breakup. All within the span of four months. So terribly tragic, yes? Well now it’s time to laugh about it.
Just days after Tig was diagnosed, she performed at a famous LA comedy club Largo, spilling her guts to a receptive audience. In attendance was a friend of hers, comedian Louis C.K. He enjoyed the set so much so that he offered to take the recording of it and sell it on his website. She agreed and now you can hear very raw, genuine, and yes, unexpectedly hilarious vent.
Louie shared with his fans why exactly he is selling someone else’s comedy on his website. The story is as follows…
Well, Tig is a friend of mine and she is very funny. I love her voice on stage. One night I was performing at a club in LA called Largo. Tig was there. She was about to go on stage. I hadn’t seen Tig in about a year and I said how are you? She replied “well I found out today that I have cancer in both breasts and that it has likely spread to my lymph nodes. My doctor says it looks real bad. “. She wasn’t kidding. I said “uh. Jesus. Tig. Well. Do you… Have your family… Helping?”. She said “well my mom was with me but a few weeks ago she fell down, hit her head and she died”. She still wasn’t kidding.
Now, I’m pretty stupid to begin with, and I sure didn’t know what to say now. I opened my mouth and this came out. “jeez, Tig. I. Really value you. Highly.”. She said “I value you highly too, Louie.”. Then she held up a wad of note-paper in her hand and said “I’m gonna talk about all of it on stage now. It’s probably going to be a mess”. I said “wow”. And with that, she went on stage.
I stood in the wings behind a leg of curtain, about 8 feet from her, and watched her tell a stunned audience “hi. I have cancer. Just found out today. I’m going to die soon”. What followed was one of the greatest standup performances I ever saw. I can’t really describe it but I was crying and laughing and listening like never in my life. Here was this small woman standing alone against death and simply reporting where her mind had been and what had happened and employing her gorgeously acute standup voice to her own death.
The show was an amazing example of what comedy can be. A way to visit your worst fears and laugh at them. Tig took us to a scary place and made us laugh there. Not by distracting us from the terror but by looking right at it and just turning to us and saying “wow. Right?”. She proved that everything is funny. And has to be. And she could only do this by giving us her own death as an example. So generous.
Just like everything else Louie sells on the site, you can download Tig’s audio-only performance for $5. Louie keeps a buck and the remaining four go to Tig, some of which she says will go to cancer research. Louie goes on to report that the comedienne “has since undergone a double mastectomy. She is doing well. Her doctors say her chances of survival are excellent.” So with all this said, now it’s time for you to sit back, relax, and indulge yourself in content matter you otherwise would think is dark, depressing, and despairing. But it’s not so bad, I promise, you will come out the other end with a finely tuned perspective on life…or at least a smile on your face.
Download Tig Notaro Live here. In the digital booklet Tig emphasizes that she “named this album “LIVE” as in “to keep not dying”–not “live” as in “I saw her live performance.” She continues, “This title not only makes sense to me considering the subject matter, it simply makes me laugh to think of having to correct everyone that pronounces it incorrectly.”
Following Louis C.K.’s enormous success, Parks and Recreation star Aziz Ansari is self-distributing a brand new stand-up special. The comedian promises that the one-hour special is uncensored, uncut, contains zero ads, and no bleeps. Dangerously Delicious, which was filmed last year at The Warner Theatre in Washington DC, is now available for download at Aziz’s website. It’s steal, just like Louis’ special, at only $5. Now will it gross over $1 million in two weeks? Perhaps not, but I like how Louis is influencing his peers. Get a taste of what you can expect in Aziz’s special after the break. (Click here for more…)