MAKERS Profile

Tig Notaro


In this video

Tagged as

Comedian Tig Notaro experienced three things in four months that could kill her. One of those things was breast cancer. After learning about her diagnosis, Notaro dealt with the new information as only a comedian would, through a now iconic set that would catapult her career.
When Tig Notaro arrived in Los Angeles, picked up the "LA Weekly" and read about all of the opportunities there were to get on stage to do stand up, she started doing open mics and never stopped. Since working as a comedian, Notaro has made appearances in a number of television shows and late night shows, including "Officer Tig" in "The Sarah Silverman Program" and as a regular on "Conan." In May of 2012, Notaro made her debut on NPR’s "This American Life" with Ira Glass.   In August 2012, Notaro learned she had Stage 2 breast cancer and went stage at Largo the same day. She began her now legendary set with, "Good evening, hello. I have cancer. How are you?" Comedian Louis C.K. was there and tweeted this about her performance: "In 27 years doing this, I've seen a handful of truly great, masterful standup sets. One was Tig Notaro last night at Largo."   Her set at Largo, titled "Tig Notaro: Live," was first released exclusively on Louis C.K.'s website. It has just come out on CD in summer 2013. After a double mastectomy, the cancer was contained and Notaro is now in remission.

More From Tig

High School Drop Out
Comedian Tig Notaro had enough of sitting in detention and decided to just get up and leave school. She never went back. 

Biggest Influences
Comedian Tig Notaro recalls why Pretenders' guitarist Christie Hynde was such a big influence on her as someone who just wanted to be the best at what she does. 

My Horrible Living
Tig Notaro on how thrilled she was to be making a living--albeit a horrible one--as a stand up and what touring in her early days entailed.

Stand Up Is Like...
Comedy is composed of highs and lows, but comedian Tig Notaro believes that as long as you have a 51% high record, you're on the right track.

Blue Mashed Potatoes
Comedian Tig Notaro remembers her mother as larger-than-life, prankster, and "cool" mom that every other kid wished they had.

The 5th Beatle
Growing up, comedian Tig Notaro had big dreams including wanting, and believing she could be, the fifth Beatle.

Never Thought Stand Up Was an Option
Inspired by comedian, Roseanne, Tig Notaro fell in love with stand up but didn't know there was a path she could take to actually become a comedian.

The Headshot Game
If you're a working comedian, people will say you need a headshot. To prove that she could be a successful comedian without having one, Tig Notaro refused to take a headshot....and of course made the whole thing pretty hilarious. 

Ira Glass's Suggestion
While working on a piece about her experience with cancer for "This American Life," Ira Glass suggested to comedian Tig Notaro that she work the story out on stage because her "power is on stage." It was a great piece of advice.

Double Mastectomy
Comedian Tig Notaro on her double mastectomy, her decision to not have reconstructive surgery, and what she's looking forward to in the future. 

Worst Career Bomb
Chosen to perform at a festival in Ireland along with big names like Jim Gaffigan and David Cross, Tig Notaro could not get the audience on her side and wound up experiencing one of her worst career moments. 

Honest Comedy
Comedian Tig Notaro on why she chooses to include aspects of her life, like her recent fight with cancer, in her comedy.