Comedian Tig Notaro was at a career high before a four-month period of hardship began. It included pneumonia, a life-threatening bacterial infection in her digestive tract, unexpectedly losing her mother, and going through a break up. Then, at the beginning of her stand up set at Largo in Los Angeles on August 3, she calmly revealed that she had been diagnosed with stage two breast cancer.
As she took the microphone to boisterous applause, she nonchalantly said, “Thank you, thank you, I have cancer, thank you, I have cancer, really, thank you.” She’d only found out about her diagnosis a day before the performance, and at the last minute decided to incorporate it into her set. And it went over extremely well.
News of the show quickly went viral and everyone was talking about what an amazing set Tig had made out of such grave subject matter. At one point she stopped and asked the crowd (many of whom were laughing and crying) if she should stop and start telling the lighter jokes she had originally planned on, and a man yelled out, “No. Absolutely not. This is fucking incredible.” After the performance, comedian Louis CK tweeted, “In my 27 years doing this I have seen a handful of truly masterful performances. One was Tig Notaro last night at Largo.”
The performance led to profiles of Notaro in The New York Times Magazine, Rolling Stone, Huffington Post, and Entertainment Weekly, among many others.
Her now infamous performance at Largo, LIVE, is going to be released in its entirety via Louis CK’s website on October 5th. Tig will appear on This American Life that same day and a ten-minute teaser of the set will be played. She also recently signed a deal to write a book of autobiographical essays, which will no doubt be great.
You can also check out Tig’s interview on Conan, where she talks about her experience with breast cancer and releasing the Largo material, below, and be sure to pick up LIVE on October 5th!