We Interview Tig Notaro

We sit down (euphemistically) with comedian Tig Notaro to talk about her new album and more.  

Sax Carrby Sax Carr


Tig Notaro is one of those comedians that other comedians love to talk about. Consistently funny and prone to amazing bursts of onstage inspiration, there is always a great story about what Tig did last night at this show or that. So now for the first time you can take a little bit of that bottled coolness into your own home by way of her new album.

Tig’s album “Good One” comes out on August 2nd. I recommend it from track 1 to track 14 and everything in between. Tig has careful and powerfully timed style, combined with razor sharp wit and a surprising flair for painting a scene with a minimum of words. Check it out. And check out our review of the album coming up 2morow here on Crave.

Until then I managed to get Tig to sit down with me for an interview. Well, we didn’t sit down face to face, but I assume she was sitting when she responded to my questions over email. Still it’s a great interview, and here we go:

#1. Give us your version of the Tig 411… Who are you in a nutshell, where have we seen you? All that fun stuff.

 

“Basically I'm a female human being with brown hair, enjoy precision, reading the news, eating delicious food with my delicious friends and laughing at ridiculous things that don't translate while you are desperately trying to make them. I love devastating movies, documentaries and hummingbirds (yes, in that order.) I dislike hanging out with someone constantly looking down at their phone (even landlines.) I'm neutral about fame and fortune. I'm fascinated by caddy Buddhists popping up all over Hollywood and people that take themselves too seriously.  I could listen to them talk all day long. Reminding myself that I have a tailbone keeps me in check.”

What Tig very humbly is not mentioning here is her various appearances on late night television, as well as roles on “The Sarah Silverman Program”, “Community”, and “In Motherhood” (the latter of which I’ve never seen, but I don’t think I was in its demo). She’s also written for award shows and has a Comedy Central Presents special. Of course she was also on “Last Comic Standing” but it was cut in the second elimination… stupid America and its poor choices when phone voting!

#2. What is this new Album all about? Where did you grow on this album vs. your previous work? What is the central theme or message?

"Good One" is all about the old and the new with some improvisational moments. It’s my first cd, so I really don't have much to compare it to. It’s probably a pretty fair example of my comedy these days. I have never thought about central themes or messages in my comedy. Do people actually do that? Central themes and messages remind me of prog-rock. I love prog-rock, I just don't see myself as a prog-rock comic.”

Check out her Album and leave a comment here if you find a central theme for it. There’s a link to the first track at the end of this interview, and a review of the whole thing coming up soon on Crave.

#3. Tell us about “Have Tig at your party” which comes with this CD… what is that all about?

 
“It is basically the human equivalent to the burning log DVD. I stand still for about an hour, so when you put it on your TV screen, I look like I'm there hanging out. I got the idea to make it when I was touring so much and missing friends’ parties, so it dawned on me how hilarious it would be to film myself in my hotel room and send the copy to my friend for their party with a note saying sorry I couldn't make it. I never did it from my hotel room. I just ended up making a more professional copy and didn't release it for about 7 years. The footage is pretty old, but I'm still really happy with it. There's also an infomercial with a load of comic friends of mine. many you will know, even more you won't.”

#4. Can we see a clip of that?
 
 
“Not sure if you can see a clip. I think my manager or record label would know and have a copy. I don't even have a copy yet.”

 Well I did find this great clip of Tig performing on stage. So check that out, then watch it again with the volume off, and I bet you get a pretty good idea of “Have Tig At Your Party”. Incidentally “Have Tig at Your Party” counts for an IMDB credit. I’m just saying… what have you done with your life lately?

 #5. You have a successful podcast, tell us about that. How is podcasting different from stand-up? How has podcasting changed comedy?

“My podcast is called professor blastoff and it’s a weekly conversation with comedian friends Kyle Dunnigan and David Huntsberger. We discuss things like science, philosophy, theology and the metaphysical. Hoping to make the topics interesting and finding humor in the most bazaar places. Podcasting is way more free form than stand-up. We go in each week with an outline, but not sure where it will ultimately go. Even though my stand-up includes improvisational aspects, it’s never as unscripted as the podcast. I love doing both, they are just so completely different; and as for podcasting changing comedy, I really have no idea other than there are obviously numerous comedians getting into the format. It seems like a pretty natural move for comedians to make. I know that several comedians have ended up going into radio in the past, and podcasting is just an even freer, uncensored version of most radio.”

First off here is a handy dandy link to Tig’s podcast:

Listen to episodes of Professor Blastoff: http://www.earwolf.com/show/professor-blastoff/
Follow Professor Blastoff on Twitter: @blastoffpodcast

Second you might remember Kyle Dunnigan from a recent “World’s Funniest Threesome” here on Crave. Well let me echo again what I said there. This guy is amazing, and an innovator. You’ve be hearing more about Kyle in upcoming articles here on Crave.

#6. Tell us about the Earwolf Network.

“…the Earwolf network, which came from the very successful Comedy Death Ray (which is now Comedy Bang Bang) is basically a podcast network of comedy friends sprouting new shows in very different genres. I think professor blastoff is meant to be their ridiculous NPR type show.”


#7. What comedians influence you. Why? Who are the greats?

“Sarah Silverman, Zach Galifianakis, Maria Bamford, Heather Lawless, Jon Dore, Tim & Eric… they are all just naturally such weirdoes. As for the greats, for me personally it would be Paula Poundstone, Richard Pryor, and Steve Martin and probably some others that I grew up on that I'm forgetting right now.”

#8. Tell me about a strange experience you’ve had!

“Well, one time I was really sad and called a clown service to try to get them to send a clown over to my house to cheer me up. They wouldn't do it unless I was having a party. That was probably more a strange experience for whoever answered the phone, rather than for me.”

I must admit when I sent Tig this question…. I never expected to get this answer back. It took me a while to process this. If you’re like me, you might need some time. Here’s another clip of Tig to help…


 
 

#9. Where can people find your stuff? See you live? Send you letters of praise?

“People can find my stuff at tignotaro.com. my cd, t-shirts, tour dates, podcast link, gorgeous photos of my face, my agents email address, that sort of thing… and as for catching me live, that's really easy. I'm everywhere all the time, just check my website and you'll see. I'm about to go on a gigantic national tour after my cd comes out. Please send all letters of praise (handwritten in cursive only, please) to my manager and all hate mail to meaninfo@computersinternetwebsite.org.”
 
#10. Anything else you want someone to know about you? What don’t you want people to know about you?

“I would love for people to know that I appreciate the offer, but no thank you on the shot they just sent to the stage… and I'd hate for people to know that I've only had one shot in my life, but it was the shot that made me certain that I do not want another one.”

Well I can’t be sure what you can send to stage for her now other than shots. Diet Fanta? Either way keep up the good work sending things to comedians on stage. Hell save your shot money for my shows, I take shots. Send ME shots! But before you treat me, treat yourself to a copy of Tig’s album which comes out in stores August 2nd on Secretly Canadian records. (pssst… I think they might secretly be Canadian!) If you buy the deluxe edition you get a copy of “Have Tig at Your Party” which I, for one, desperately want. Here is a little widget that’ll give you a sample of the first track off the album: