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Tig Notaro on returning to the road: 'There was so much pressure'

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Once comedian Tig Notaro delivered, in the words of Louis C.K., “a truly great, masterful standup set” at Los Angeles club Largo in the summer of 2012, it seemed like the comic’s career was on the precipice of something next-level. She had gone through hell and back to earn it: In the span of a few months, Notaro was hospitalized with a debilitating gastro-intestinal disease, learned of her mother’s sudden passing, went through a break-up with a longtime girlfriend, and was diagnosed with breast cancer that resulted in a double mastectomy. 

But she stood tall, and her confessional set at Largo became the stuff of legend. Later released as an album (titled Live), though she couldn’t immediately capitalize on that recording’s critical and commercial adoration. “My album went to number one all around the world with material on it that I could never use again,” Notaro explains. “There was so much pressure on me as a comedian after what I had gone through and my set at Largo. I was sort of embarrassed to go into comedy clubs, and they’d be like, ‘We’re honored to have you here. Do you want to go up?’ And I’d have to say, ‘Oh my gosh, I don’t have anything.’ My head was so in the clouds with what I was going through.”

Notaro worked through her return to performing live with a round of shows in strangers’ living rooms, barns, and back yards, all of which was captured for the special Knock Knock, It’s Tig Notaro, which premieres on Showtime next Friday, April 17. In the meantime, Notaro is back on the road with fresh material and a load of upcoming projects, including a book, a documentary, and an HBO special. With all that going on, what she really wants to do is relax. “My girlfriend laughs at me and says I’m going in the wrong direction if I want to stay home and watch the birds. She says, ‘All that you have coming out, and your plan is to stay home and watch birds?’ It really is though!” laughs Notaro. “I have a hammock and bird feeders outside every window. Why would I go anywhere else?”

Clearly, she has no problem leaving her birds for the South. She’s headed to the following places over the next week in the walk-up to Knock Knock It’s Tig Notaro, and you can get more details at her official website.   

Tig Notaro Tour Dates

April 12th – Asheville, NC (New Mountain Asheville)

April 13th – Charleston, SC (Music Farm Charleston)

April 14th – Hattiesburgh, MS (Hub City Comedy)

April 15th – Birmingham, AL (Iron City)

April 16th – Nashville, TN (Wild West Comedy Festival)

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