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Dublin: 10 °C Thursday 24 October, 2019
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Louis CK's fave comedian is coming to Dublin - here is why you should go

Tig Notaro comes to Dublin this weekend.

TWO YEARS AGO, comedian Tig Notaro endured what she describes as “easily the most difficult year of my life”.

2013 Sundance Portrait - In A World Source: AP/Press Association Images

It began with a life-threatening bacterial infection, continued with the sudden death of her mother and the breakdown of her relationship, and culminated with a breast cancer diagnosis.

During most of this, I did not find much humour in anything.  My life was falling apart and nothing about that was even remotely funny to me.But then I was diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer at the apex of this, and that is when I was able to find humour in this. It was just so much in such a small window of time, that I could not do anything other than laugh and felt almost forced to find humour.

The day after she received her diagnosis, she performed a set in a Los Angeles comedy venue, during which she spoke frankly about her cancer diagnosis.

As she tells DailyEdge.ie

That night at Largo, it felt like I could not discuss or talk about anything else other than what I had been going through. I had no other choice really.

In attendance at the show that night? None other than Louis C.K.

Floored by Notaro’s set, C.K. decided to release a recording of it through his website. (You can hear a snippet of it here.)

It soon made international headlines and Notaro quickly ascended the comedy ranks.

tiggawker Source: Gawker

tigguardian Source: The Guardian

The album, entitled Tig Notaro: Live, sold over 100,000 units and went on to garner a Grammy nomination for Best Comedy Album. (“I just felt and still feel thrilled and honored to receive recognition like that.”)

Notably, its cover features a powerful, stark image of Notaro covering her chest, taken after she underwent a double mastectomy.

tig-notaro-live1-300x3001

What was the thinking behind this decision?

The concept for the cover felt like it should be consistent with the content.  It would have been misplaced if I set up some photo shoot and had a contrived shot of me on the cover, like some comedy albums. No particular facial expression seemed to fit, so I decided to only focus on my chest – that seemed like the only appropriate image.

Since getting the all-clear, Notaro has popped up everywhere from This American Life to Conan, winning legions of new fans in the process.

For the uninitiated, her story about having multiple encounters with singer Taylor Dayne is a good introduction to her uniquely wry and absurd sensibility, as are any of her This American Life appearances.

Source: Team Coco/YouTube

Aside from stand-up, Notaro has worked in television, starring in The Sarah Silverman Program and writing for the sketch series Inside Amy Schumer. The latter experience came just after her cancer diagnosis.

After I was diagnosed, I suggested that maybe I shouldn’t do it because I didn’t know what condition I’d be in. It ended up being a great opportunity for that moment in my life, but I was really still in the middle of trying to put my life back together while my head was spinning out of control, so it’s also a weird blur that happened.

Does any of this serve as an indicator of aspirations beyond stand-up?

I’m always first and foremost a stand-up.  The last few years now I have been working on my own film and television projects – all of which are at different stages in ultimately coming to fruition, so it will be exciting to see how those pan out.

And we’ll be sure to keep an eye out.

Like what you see? Tig Notaro performs in The Sugar Club in Dublin on September 5th. 

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About the author:

Amy O'Connor

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