Tig Notaro on Fresh Air

Step 1: Read this post.

Step 2: Listen to this interview.

Step 3: Buy the set.

And that is how you maximize your Tig potential.

Tig Notaro announced this week that her double mastectomy was successful, doctors believe they removed all of the cancer and they told her she has only a 7% chance of recurrence. Obviously, this is amazing news! and I’m glad that she will be around to make people laugh/cry/think for many years to come. Also, when (not if) you buy her set, most of the proceeds go to breast cancer charities, so it counts as a good deed.

Here’s an excerpt from Tig Notaro’s Fresh Air interview:

GROSS: So what did it feel like the first time you got a laugh?

NOTARO: I wasn’t expecting it. It’s so interesting, I didn’t account for laughter, which seems odd, but I had been talking to myself for so long at my apartment. I was so focused on getting all of my material down and when I got on stage at the coffee shop and people laughed, I remember being taken aback. I was like, oh, oh that’s what I was telling you this for, was for the laughter, but I just didn’t even, didn’t even factor it in at all but it was so exhilarating.

GROSS: So a lot…

NOTARO: So much so that I the second night I did stand up I thought because the first night went so well I was like oh, this is so easy. So I went and I…

(LAUGHTER)

NOTARO: I competed in a standup competition and I got booed off the stage and walked offstage, really. I was like what am I doing?

GROSS: And how come you weren’t so discouraged that you never went back on stage again?

NOTARO: It’s that thing of comedy. It’s that roller coaster that just sucks you in. It’s kind of like gambling, I guess. You hit big one time and then you bottom out, and you’re like oh, I can hit big again, and so that just kind of keeps you going. Luckily, I’m not a gambler, or a drinker or, you know, I get my fix of comedy.

Also, Louis CK, who is releasing Tig’s set through his website, and who has been a guest on Fresh Air before, spoke with Terry Gross about why Tig’s set is, in his words, “masterful.”

Here’s an excerpt from Louis CK’s interview:

GROSS: From a comic’s perspective, what made the set so good?

C.K.: Well, you know, for comedians you see everything. We know all the tricks so it’s hard to impress a comedian with comedy. But some people have a sound that’s just theirs that’s patented. It’s kind of like horn players. There’s probably times that Charlie Parker would tell John Coltrane, you know, I saw this guy in Chicago you got to hear him. I mean, nobody’s doing what this guy is doing. Tig has this really beautiful sound on stage. She has this way of dropping her jokes that are – they’re wonderful deadly jokes. And they’re about small things usually, like bees and drapes, but they’re incredible.

So here she is applying it to something really big. It was an incredible example of what comedy is good at, which is taking people to the scary parts of their mind and making them laugh in those scary places. That’s a great gift. And some of us do it through calculation or through repetition and, kind of, like, you know, focusing on a bit and refining it. Tig just went up there with her voice and in front of us she processed her own death, her own imminent death, with humor, with comedy, which is this very pure oxygen-rich environment.

You know, she did something about looking at a picture of herself when she was five and saying to this cute little picture, you’re going to get cancer. And we’re all going, oh my god. And I never – for me, I kept – I was crying and laughing the whole time and hearing the audience lurching back and forth, exploding, then hushed – totally hushed – and then exploding again. It’s like I never saw anything like it, the way that she controlled it.

A note about that bold section above, that would have absolutely make me cry.  FO SHO.

UPDATE: Amazing! So many funny, touching moments. A lot of variety. This is one of the bravest things I’ve ever heard before; I can’t imagine being able to stand up in front of strangers and share such personal things.

James Adomian

James Adomain is a NY comic, who performs with UCB, and who was on Last Comic Standing.

This video has his bit about gay villains.  Or villains that aren’t out but are suggested to be gay.

I know I read an article about this but I can’t find it. Anyway, the point is that often times, television and movies make the villain gay or make the gay person the villain. Maybe they are trying to meet a quota? Diversity?

“We need one black, gay, female villain!”

Than the rest of the cast can be straight white men and a few beautiful background girls for them to have sex with.

Off the top of my head:

  • The Simpsons – Mr. Burns
  • Downton Abbey – Thomas
  • The 300 – King Xerxes
  • Glee – Karofsky
  • The Lion King – Scar
  • True Blood – Queen Sophie-Anne
  • Law & Order: Criminal Intent – Nicole Wallace
  • Desperate Housewives – Andrew Van De Kamp
  • Sons of Anarchy – Agent June Stahl

Scott Moran and “Modern Comedian”

Modern Comedian is a new web series by Scott Moran.  Moran, a comedian, follows/films/interviews other comedians.  There will be 10 episodes (at least for this season), 3 are already posted, and new episodes are uploaded on Mondays.

So far:

The episodes are a nice length, scored by very pensive music.  They seem to focus on a facet of the comedian’s act or personality, rather than the comedian’s biography.

Moran on Moran (from his website):

Scott Moran is an up and coming stand-up comedian from Seattle, WA now based in New York City. His material explores his life as a member of the middle class in a silly and sometimes surprisingly poignant, smart-assy manner. Scott is a regular on shows all around NYC and tours the country featuring in comedy clubs and playing indie shows on a regular basis.

From Moran’s interview with thecomicscomic.com:

Were there any other documentary series like this that inspired Modern Comedian? Two things come to mind. The first being the WTF podcast which in my opinion is THE podcast. I know there are a bunch of good podcasts, but I wanted to create something visual where you could learn about a comedian. Also Errol Morris, my favorite documentary film maker, was a huge inspiration.

I love this series and am already hoping for a second season.  I also like finding out about comedians I haven’t heard of yet and this provides a great introduction. Go watch!

 

 

Simon Amstell

Simon Amstell is a British, gay, vegan Woody Allen.  Neurotic, ironic, and endearing, Amstell is currently performing his play Numb in NYC (tickets)

This stand up show was called Do Nothing.  Words to live by.

So good! I will be watching all of Grandma’s House immediately.

Also, I would have guessed he was 25 years old, at the most, but he is 32.

Kevin Avery and Thugs, The Musical

Thugs, The Musical is about a mediocre, slightly delusional, and very “non-urban” black actor in Hollywood who, after years of auditioning but not being considered “black enough” to be cast in any of the roles that his fellow black actors have been getting – the Gangsta, the fast-talking Sidekick, the one doomed Black Guy at the party in the horror movie – decides to write, direct, and star in his own theater production – an epically bad play called Thugs, The Musical – to show Hollywood (and the world) that he, too, can “act black.”

Saw this video on Laughspin. Kevin Avery wrote and stars in “Thugs, The Musical,” a mockumentary short film. The film was financed through Kickstarter and premiers in New York on May 2nd, as part of the New York No Limits Film Series at The Wild Project. With musical numbers like “Who’s That Keepin’ It Real?”, “Drive-By” and “Oh No She Di-in’t,” “Thugs” is bound to be hilarious.

Here’s some of Kevin Avery’s stand-up (the first clip reminds me of Key and Peele):