Tuesday, June 21, 2011


Tig Notaro on Comedy, Thigh Boils, and Her New TV Show

You might recognize her as that bartender from that one episode of Community. Or her voice from the Professor Blastoff podcast. Or, if you're '80s pop star Taylor Dayne, you may not recognize her at all (more on that in a sec). But with Tig Notaro's upcoming comedy album Good One (out August 2 — pick up a free track in the widget below) and her new LOGO TV show Tig Has Friends, you'll be seeing her face and hearing her voice a lot more. The Hairpin sat down (online) with Tig, and now we want to be her friend, too. Just not on Twitter.

When you’re not with your comedian posse, do you ever feel like the doctor at a dinner party (or alternately the psychic medium at the dinner party a la Allison DuBois of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills fame)? But instead of a random dinner guest asking you to examine the weird boil on his/her thigh, he/she asked you tell jokes?

More than anything, for some reason everyone seems to think if I'm with them, they are going to end up being in a joke of mine. Everyone needs to relax. And luckily for them, I have a tendency to immediately examine thigh boils at all dinner parties and so people tend to steer away from thinking they'll end up in my show or the need to hear jokes at inappropriate times. They're way more concerned about my interest in their boils. And I'm more interested in why everyone seems to have boils.

Your new show is called “Tig Has Friends.” If after the pilot episode, LOGO decided to retool the concept and rename your show “Tig Has Vague Acquaintances,” wherein you talked to your old classmates and coworkers instead of celebrities, what would they say about you?

Well, in all honesty, that's actually what Sarah Silverman (executive producer) and I are hoping the show will eventually be — not just celebrities, but me having people from my life (past/present) on the show from time to time. And as for what they'd say about me, I think old classmates would say, "Yeah, I remember her, she was the 43-year-old in our seventh grade class." And old coworkers would say things like, "Oh, I thought she still worked here. Just assumed they moved her into the stock room."

The badittude of '80s superstar Taylor Dayne becomes major fodder for you on Good One. What would your reaction be if the badittude of comedian Tig Notaro became major fodder for Taylor Dayne’s new album (which comes out tomorrow, if her website is to be believed)?

I would be thrilled. It would mean she ultimately had a good sense of humor, which I think she might... I hope?! Her agent called my manager a couple of months ago saying Taylor knew about the bit and that she'd love to work with me one day, so I'm hoping to sing a duet with her eventually. My writing partner Kyle Dunnigan and I are presently in the process of working on that song. My goal? A Latin Grammy.

I’m not even going to broach the whole “Wow! Women really are funny!” revelation that seems to be cool to talk about in post-Bridesmaids America. In the past couple of years we’ve seen the likes of you, Sarah Silverman, Maria Bamford, Amy Poehler, et al tearing it up, so that’s not even relevant — we know women are funny, but who, in your opinion, is the funniestwoman?

Everyone you named is a favorite of mine, but one that you missed that I find mindblowingly amazingly funny would be Heather Lawless. I can't even explain what she does, but I'm in awe and always have been.

You say that you have no interest in Twitter, but YouTube, your podcasts, and other internet mediums have definitely garnered you positive exposure. Why stand firm on this one issue?

With some comedians, there can be a generic tone and delivery that develops in their stand-up and its really a problem, because obviously those comics can't hear themselves. And believe it or not, there is now a generic Twitter delivery in tweets. It makes me cringe. Twitter is so over-saturated and NOT ALL, but many comics Twitter delivery starts to sound the same due to the limited number of characters allowed. I just don't want to fall into that. And aside from that, I prefer to just send mass texts to everyone in my cell phone at odd hours of the day saying things like, "Dear guy sitting next to me on the bus, we get it, you haven't showered in your entire adult life! Quit showing off and start showering off!" or "I just had lunch with my celebrity friend and we are now going to yoga!" or "I'm with all of my favorite people! Having the time of my life!" or "At the grocery store. should I buy 1-ply or 2-ply toilet paper? Any suggestions? And why?"

I was extremely excited to see you pop up on an episode of Community last season as a bartender, and on various episodes of The Sarah Silverman Program throughout that show’s run. Do you create elaborate, tragic back stories for these bit parts? Or partake in method acting? Did you shadow the LAPD on the streets of South Central for your role as Officer Tig?

When I was hired on both TV shows, I joined a local theater company in Ohio and studied there for 10 months and then totally unrelated, I moved overseas to travel with a circus for some reason. Ultimately it all ended up being totally unhelpful and I ended up in debt, so I wouldn't suggest that to anyone. It was just my path and it made the most sense to me at the time. Do I have regrets? Sure. Would I do it differently now? Absolutely. Can I? No, I'm crippled by the debt I accrued from traveling with the circus.

Claire Carusillo is the Hairpin's premier intern. Her childhood friends call her Tig, too, but she's not as good at telling jokes as the real one.

28 Comments / Post A Comment


Allison DuBois, we need more of that maniac on tv! I used to like Community, but now every episode seems to be a big circle jerk about how hot Joel McHale is. Too much, put your shirt on and go back to being funny.


@shenannies None of the men* on that show ever need to put their shirts on. Ever!

*Not Chevy Chase. Obviously.


p.s. Proof here! (Also, I'm pretty sure that site's not gonna have NSFW blogads, but I can't promise anything.)


@DorothyMantooth I can't click that, I'm already bad enough at work. Fine if he is taking his shirt off for no good reason than let's have Britta do the same. Only fair!


Change Britta to Annie and I will gladly sign your petition.


@DorothyMantooth Sometimes I forget that gay men are out there doing all the work for us. Also, thanks for causing me to waste a half hour scrolling through pictures of Ryan Kwanten's abs.


OMG, a woman? Who's FUNNY?! Stop it, she must have been a man in a previous life. Call Alison DuBois to comfirm.


i love her. and she was awesome on the the srah silberman program. totally bummed that show got cxled.


OMG OMG OMG! TIG. TIIIIIIIIG. Too funny for life, and BTW, looks amazing in a police uniform. Marry me, Tig. I will give up my anti-marriage stance for you. This is serious, for realsies, despite my use of the word "realsies." MARRY ME TIG OMG


Oh and HI NEW INTERN! Who are you, tell us about yourself. The Awl gives such helpful bios, Edith HELP?!

(Did I miss some introductory post earlier?)


I heard the Taylor Dane story when she was on Comedy Death Ray Radio and it was the best!


@rootmarm Yessss also Good One Robot!


Looooooove Tig! I will help her out of her circus debt by buying her album.


TIG IS MY FAVORITE OF ALL TIME! I attended the pilot taping of Tig has Friends and I am SO STOKED that it's apparently been picked up by Logo. My insides were in pain during the entire thing. Amazing. Amazing. Tig is the best. THE BEST. Just like the Hairpin. Two of my favorite things together? Happy Tuesday to me.


Woah! I did not even know about this lady! She is funny!

So also, I Googled her and apparently she filed a lawsuit against a stalker? The only information I could find about it was posted on the alleged stalker's blogs. Does anyone know anything about this? Her alleged stalker is claiming Tig is like, a terrible lying liarface. I am inclined not to believe it since the ubiquity of this person's posts definitely make her seem like a crazy stalker, but I want to make sure that Tig is worth all the potent crush energy that I am poised to bestow on her.

Anyone got deets?


@wee_ramekin: Yeah, I just spent about 15 minutes looking at the various hits for "tig notaro controversy" and "tig notaro stalker," and all I could glean was that there is a seriously nutto person writing blog posts and commenting on other blogs about what a twisted sociopath Notaro is, but never explaining why. He or she keeps mentioning how Notaro destroyed a much better comedian's career, so it seems safe to assume that this is a groundless professional grudge being perpetrated by someone who isn't taking his or her medication. Maybe also Tig slept with this person. Crazy people can be pretty good at sex!


I'd appreciate if you didn't interfere in my private lawsuits with Tig.

Caroline Anderson@facebook

@melis We'd appreciate if you didn't flood every internet site with mindless slander, so much so that you can't even watch a Youtube video of someone who has worked with Tig without seeing negative comments and death threats.


@wee_ramekin No. Tig Notaro is being sued for lying and inventing a stalker. From what I understand, Tig has munchaused syndrome, and has made many false allegations in the past. Apparently, and according to a lot of evidence- Tig got insanely jealous of this more attractive and talented comedian and just freaked out. I feel bad for Tig. She's obviously a very sick woman and needs help. I'd advise great caution around her cause she is a pathological and ruthless liar. I've heard that she steals jokes, but that pales in comparison to her recent antics.


@melis Sociopaths rarely strike once. I'd be interested in hearing about your lawsuit against Ms. Notaro. Is this regarding the case where she made other false accusations or her joke stealing?

Dru Ann

Loved the article. Such great questions!!! And so well written. Loved it!


I was able to meet Tig briefly this past spring at the NACA convention in St. Paul. In those minutes, I found here to be as genuine and funny as she is on stage. I hope the show is a great success!

Don't Matter@facebook

Tig is a good comedian. But, I was so interested in the controversies surrounding her that I did some research. I looked in the downtown L.A courts and it appears that Tig is being sued for instigating a series false accusations against another comedian. It turns out, that I performed comedy with the other comedian. She was an awesome girl and a very very gifted comic. Many considered her a comic genius. I dug some more and found a website called Open Salon. I now have no doubt that Tig is a very cruel and malicious liar who has stalked and defamed a great girl. Y'all should check out the documents in the courthouses.


Tig Notaro is a nutjob. She wet her bed till her late teens, and she attended 9th grade for three years. Notaro is a deranged and desperate sociopath.She belongs in prison.


I used to like Tig Notaro but too many people had such bad things to say ... I didn't care I needed to find out for myself. I went to the courthouse in LA ,in the last month, and talked to some who know about what she did to some people ... Tig is Batshit. She is sick and needs help more than anything. Her victims hate her and think she's just a criminal and liar but from what I learned I'd say that Tig is more crazy than just plain evil. She keeps accusing all sorts of people of hitting or stalking her and Tig Keeps lying about police involvement. Tig is so nuts that she insisted her talent agent was right there and the talent agent not only dropped her for lying but for Tig trying to intimidiate her into lying on the stand! My point is that Notaro is crazy and can't stop making up stories. I'd be scared to be alone with her cause she would accusse me of shit I didn't do. She's being sued not the other way around.

Yvette Rosario@facebook

@louisep wow, you're the biggest nutball on the planet. you really need to get a life. tig is doing wonderfully. her career is soaring. i know that's hard for you to grasp-but you're just going to have to face that fact. stop stalking tig. find a hobby. can't believe you're still going around on the net spewing this verbal diarrhea. pathetic you are.


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