Conversation with comedian Tig Notaro
Editor's note: Tonight on Showtime at 8 p.m. central, comedian Tig Notaro's comedy documentary Knock, Knock It's Tig Notaro premieres. The show follows a unique road trip across the country where Notaro frees herself from the grind of the comedy circuit, and performs for her fans in the most intimate, exclusive and bizarre settings. We are revisiting Brian Friedman's interview with Notaro, originally published in October 2014 as a reminder of each the comedian's talent and her connection to New Orleans.
And it turns out that Notaro, who some may recognize as "Officer Tig" on Comedy Central’s The Sarah Silverman Program, has some history with this city. Like, actual history.
“My great-great grandfather was actually the mayor of New Orleans,” said Notaro, whose live acts have been praised by The New York Times, Rolling Stone, Time Magazine, and Vanity Fair, to name a few. “My mother was born there and I spent my summers there visiting my grandmother every year. I still have family there and performed there a few years ago. ‘Twas a blast.”
In 2012, Notaro opened up about her cancer diagnosis, transforming the subject into an extraordinary comedy set that Louis C.K. applauded as a “truly great, masterful standup set.”
In addition to her role as Officer Tig, Notaro’s television credits include ABC’s In the Motherhood as a regular opposite Cheryl Hines and Megan Mullally. She made her feature film debut in In a World and can be seen in Walk of Shame with Elizabeth Banks.
In addition to filming and tours, Notaro hosts the Professor Blastoff podcast and has released two albums. In just six weeks, her Grammy-nominated sophomore comedy album, LIVE, sold an impressive 100,000-plus copies. She has performed standup on numerous shows, such as Jimmy Kimmel Live, The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, Conan, and Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.
NolaVie was able to ask Notaro a couple of questions before her arrival in New Orleans:
NolaVie: Tell us about the first time you got onstage to do standup.
Tig Notaro: The first time I did stand-up was at a coffee shop in Los Angeles that is no longer around. And it went oddly well. So much so that it gave me a false sense of confidence that I entered into a comedy competition, which I did my second time on stage. Not only did I not win, I bombed so terribly that I ran off stage.
NV: Have you toured before, and are you in a fancy bus with your face emblazoned on it?
TN: I have toured for the past 15 years. 2011 was my last real comprehensive tour where I was performing in a different city each night for a little over a month. The last few years I have taken some road work here and there -- a couple of festivals, colleges, speaking engagements, etc. But this will be my first comprehensive tour since 2011. No fancy tour bus, unfortunately, but maybe I can get my face painted on the side of a car or something.
NV: How are you health-wise, and when do you hope people stop asking you that?
TN: It's actually nice when people ask how my health is. It feels like there is concern and good will out in the world, which feels quite nice. And thankfully my health is doing real well, thank you.
NV: What current projects are you working on, other than the tour, that you are excited about?
TN: I just delivered a Ted Talk. I just wrapped up my project for Showtime, which will air on the network early next year.; I recently completed a short film called Clown Service, which I wrote, directed and starred in. And I'm polishing up my book, which also will be out next year. And a documentary about my life is being filmed and edited as we speak. I will be beyond thrilled when everything is finally delivered to the public. And please feel free to buy my book.
Joy Productions Presents: Tig Notaro: Boyish Girl Interrupted Tour 2014 on Sunday, October 12, 2014 at 8 pm.
Tickets are available at www.TheJoyTheater.com or by phone at 504.208.1180.
Brian Friedman writes about New Orleans for NolaVie.