I imagine what it’s like to come down with pneumonia, then get sick with an infection that eats away at my stomach and nearly kills me, then have my mother die from a freak accident, then Charlie and I break up and I’m alone, then a week later I’m diagnosed with breast cancer in both breasts.
Could I go on? Could I go on stage and tell people and have them laugh at me or along with me? Could I turn tragedy into comedy before time has softened its blow? I don’t know. Everything I described above happend to Tig Notaro. Days after being diagnosed with cancer, she went on stage and delivered a show.
Louis CK had this to say about it:
The show was an amazing example of what comedy can be. A way to visit your worst fears and laugh at them. Tig took us to a scary place and made us laugh there. Not by distracting us from the terror but by looking right at it and just turning to us and saying “wow. Right?”. She proved that everything is funny. And has to be. And she could only do this by giving us her own death as an example. So generous.
Charlie and I listened to the show in the car while moving slowly through a weekend traffic jam in Midtown Manhattan. At first we were befuddled, then sad and moved but tickled all at once. By the end as she’s telling the bee joke, we were both laughing out loud. Tig drew us to her, standing at the brink of death, and had us laugh with her and at the bee traveling down highway 405.