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Tig Notaro turns struggles into stand-up

By Alyssa Evans

Comedian Tig Notaro shares a story about a life-sucking boss at a temporary job she had at the Performing Arts Center on Friday, Jan. 22. // Photo by Caleb Galbreath
Comedian Tig Notaro shares a story about a life-sucking boss at a temporary job she had at the Performing Arts Center on Friday, Jan. 22. // Photo by Caleb Galbreath

 

In 2012, Tig Notaro had every reason to give up. After fighting an intestinal disease, losing her mother unexpectedly, experiencing a break up and finding out she had breast cancer, Notaro decided to keep moving forward through comedy.

On Friday, Jan. 22, Notaro visited Western to perform her second Bellingham show within the past four months. Now, Notaro is a cancer survivor, married, expecting twins and headlining her own comedy shows.

During the show, Notaro discussed relationships, her kitten named Fluff and past adventures. Notaro bounced ideas and jokes off audience members and security guards throughout the show.

Junior Adrie Franco, an art education major, said she likes Notaro because of her strength, humor and humility.

“She’s been through a lot and represents a very strong woman. She’s really funny and I think she does comedy in a way that doesn’t insult anybody,” Franco said. “She entertains the idea of humility a lot in her shows which is great. If you’re able to laugh at yourself, then other people will feel better about laughing,”

Tig Notaro retells her experience having wisdom teeth removed during her stand-up comedy set on Saturday, Jan. 22, at the Performing Arts Center. // Photo by Caleb Galbreath
Tig Notaro retells her experience having wisdom teeth removed during her stand-up comedy set on Saturday, Jan. 22, at the Performing Arts Center. // Photo by Caleb Galbreath

During a segment of the show, Notaro told the audience about a road trip she took to Texas with her friend Leslie. The pair drove for hours from Los Angeles to Texas. Once they arrived, they decided to stay with a relative they had never met: Myrtle.

Exhausted, Notaro and Leslie arrived to see that Myrtle had cooked them a Thanksgiving-esque meal and they spent hours listening to her discuss old friends neither of them had heard of.

Once able to go to bed, the pair heard a yell from downstairs. Before they knew it, Notaro was waiting for Myrtle at the emergency room because she had fallen and hurt her hip. The next morning, Myrtle insisted on making the pair breakfast— despite being injured.

All of this to save $40 on a motel, Notaro said.

The opening act for Notaro was junior Lee Cox, a psychology major who was chosen after winning Western’s Last Comic Standing stand-up competition.

“Essentially I just went with material that I’ve been testing. I’ve only been doing stand-up for a year, so I only have so much material. I went with the strongest stuff I could,” Cox said.

Cox said opening for Notaro was an enjoyable experience.

“[It was] fun. Stand-up is always kind of nerve-wracking, I was surprised that I didn’t need to look at my notes at all. Everything seemed to flow pretty well. It was good,” Cox said.

Notaro’s shows are available to stream through Amazon, HBO, Netflix and YouTube.

One viewer, sophomore Francesca Tuazon, a biology major, decided to come to Notaro’s show after watching stand-up comedy from Notaro and other comedians on Netflix and YouTube.

“I really like laughing. I love comedians, I always watch them on Netflix– like stand-up comedy,” Tuazon said. “I looked her up on YouTube and I was laughing really hard, so why not go out and to see her again?”

 

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