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.

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Bill Hader on Fresh Air

Bill Hader On Sketch Comedy, His Love Of Old Films

Terry Gross has the best job in the world. Just in the past couple of weeks she has interviewed Bill Hader, Ira Glass and Mike Birbiglia, and Chris Rock. Jealous! How do I get that gig?

Hader is up for an Emmy, for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series.  He is also about to begin his seventh season on SNL. I’m glad someone is sticking around!

The interview is great and I really liked hearing about his childhood:

We were a big movie family — even more so than television and books. My grandparents lived next door to us when we were growing up — my mom’s parents — and they were the reading house, and our house was the movie house. And pretty much every night we would watch a movie, especially during the summer, and it was our way of relaxing.

I will keep my fingers crossed since Hader is in a tough category.  He’s up against Ed O’Neill, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Ty Burrell, Eric Stonestreet, and Max Greenfield (Schmidt from New Girl).

Off the List 14

Some new tunes for new times!

Bonnie Raitt was recently interviewed on World Cafe to promote her new cd Slipstream.

Good for the gym; it was free on tunes a few weeks ago.

And now, here are the forays of famous people into music videos.

Actually, I like both of these songs.

Shia LaBeouf is naked and the girl is topless, but, also, there is music.

Daniel Radcliffe is clothed, drunk, and alone, but, also, there is music.

2 Fresh 2 Furious

 

This short film, produced by Ira Glass and written and directed by Mike Birbiglia, was part of the This American Life: LIVE SHOW. The live show will be rebroadcast in select theaters May 15th.

I always knew Terry Gross was hardcore.

 

 

Prairie Home Companion

Garrison Keillor is an author, radio personality, and humorist.  He hosts A Prairie Home Companion, a live weekly (sometimes touring) radio variety show that you can catch Sundays on NPR or you can download the podcast on itunes. Keillor has a lovely voice for radio. I have read two of his books, Homegrown Democrat and Pontoon: A Novel of Lake Wobegon, both were good, and he occasionally writes columns for the Chicago Tribune.

A Prairie Home Companion consists of music, usually gospelly/folksy, jokes and fake commercials, and a couple of regular features.

Here is a funny song/bit about cellphone addiction. The clips starts with the song and then plays the rest of this week’s episode.

The most popular feature is about Lake Wobegon, a fictional town in Minnesota, “where all the women are strong, all the men are good-looking, and all the children are above average.” The stories about the town are often humorous, some of the humor coming from a Midwestern spin on common situations. They are laugh out loud funny, but the pacing is that of a story rather than stand-up.

 

Another feature is Guy Noir: Private Eye, which parodies film noir and early radio dramas.  Guy Noir’s cases are unusual and the sound effects (produced live by Fred Newman) play a big role.

 

The movie A Prairie Home Companion (with Kevin Klein, Linsday Lohan, and Meryl Streep!) is funny, whimsical, and a bit odd. The movie (surprise surprise) is about a live radio variety show (of the same name) that is about to close and the characters that Keillor uses in the real-life show are real people in the film’s radio show (if that makes sense).

 

For road trips, I recommend downloading a bunch of episodes because they are long and there is a nice variety of musical guests.  Super family friendly!