The Humor of Suffering (Tig, 2015)
Tig Notaro tends to be what I think of as a comedian’s comedian. One of those people that seems to fly under the radar with the public, but comedian’s love. They often are hard working comics who get opportunities on late night talk shows because the host thinks you should hear them. Notaro’s career was on the rise until 2012 when it skyrocketed. Because, uh, she got breast cancer.
Tig had a series of heartbreaking events occur in her life, and then she was diagnosed with breast cancer. A couple days later, she took to the stage, unsure what she was going to do…and she launched into an awkward, funny, and unique routine. The other comics there started tweeting about what they were seeing.
The documentary Tig chronicles the lead up to this event and the fallout from it. Following her trying to reassess her career, relationships and hopes for her future, the documentary is funny, inspiring, soul crushing.
Notero notes when she was told she should use this for her act, she had wondered how she could mine humor from such tragedy. And yet, listening to her album Live (pronounced “liv”) she was able to riff hysterically about death, life, disappointment, cancer and uncertainty.
Tig is a terrific, thoughtful and fun documentary. Mixing in her standup and interviews with her friends and family, you get a pretty full picture of Notaro. Along with her album Live, I recommend a viewing of Tig.