I feel thankful for that time; I feel thankful for myself, but I also feel thankful that I have heard directly from people how helpful it was to them. Everybody’s been like, “Oh, that’s such a great idea. I thought I was just a regular comedian going in with a friend of mine. [Notaro’s wife] Stephanie was more like, “Well, yeah. On Vulture’s Good One podcast, Notaro talks about working on that next special (Boyish Girl Interrupted), her new animated HBO special debuting on July 24, how she continues to push the art form forward, being great, being cool, being honest, and being — as determined by the internet — hot. To be fair, I know it’s because also I was green-screened into the movie and whatever. I thought Yeah, it was kind of a bummer. And people should look into that, because Hollywood has said “No!”

I was told, “I’ve seen comedians like you. Not to mention you have to now actually start treatment on the cancer you talked about in the set. I was a bit nervous — and I don’t typically feel very nervous when I’m doing stand-up — because I was scared that I wasn’t going to be who they hoped I was. Oddly, this was sold before the pandemic. Photo: Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

Next month will mark nine years since Tig Notaro went onstage at the Largo in L.A. Perfect timing!” It is perfect timing, but it didn’t have to do with the pandemic. And that was the first realization that that’s who some people saw me as. But how do you follow that? It’s like Margaret Smith; you’re going to end up a writer.” That’s verbatim what a manager told me. I was like, Wait a minute. Tig Notaro
Photo-Illustration: Vulture. I didn’t do it; I wanted to wait. I still really struggle listening to it. To look like me, to be my age, to have my delivery — that’s not mainstream. To this day, a city I love going back to. I was just like, Wow, that’s really fascinating. When I was in New York recently, somebody told me, “I was at your Largo performance, when you announced you had cancer.” And I’m always like, Oh my God. It’s from like four years ago, and I just decided to, because I didn’t want to do it live. Greg Franklin, who directed Drawn, and I had talked probably 12 years ago. Her Reaction to #HotTig

I certainly did not see that coming. And then I thought, But I also like silliness, and I like observational stuff. I thought, start to finish, it could be fun to have more than a few bits of mine animated. I just feel thankful to have had the support that I had and that it was, in turn, supportive to other people. It’s not my world. I feel a connection with that person immediately and feel like we went through something together, even if I don’t know their name. More From This Series

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Tags: I remember walking into a comedy club with my friend who was doing a set, and they all approached me like, “Oh, do you want to go onstage? I went to Iowa City, and I was standing backstage. I didn’t know who I was — just generally on the planet, but I also really didn’t know who I was as a comedian. Then it dawned on me that it was stand-up that got me attention. But yeah, I’m very excited. How She Feels About Live Now

People say, “Oh, are you bummed that it was cancer that got you attention?” And for a while, I internalized that. It was a different kind of show and delivery and experience. I have ideas and I have stories, but I need people to help me write scripts. Although I know when I say I don’t want to remain that to everyone, I also kind of don’t care who I am to everyone. But I love stand-up, and I’m going to do this as long as I can. I’m just going to sit here and watch my friend perform.” So I was like, Well, I’m not going to go into a comedy club again for a long time because there’s too much pressure. I’m just glad people like it and get something from it, because I truly never want to hear it ever again in my life — because of the perfectionist comedian side of me, where I’m like, I’m glad you somehow got that out of essentially what should have been an open-mic set. I haven’t performed during the pandemic. I certainly had friends and family, but my mother and my primary relationship were gone. No, I was doing what I do, and people were tweeting and blogging and talking about it. And I look forward to touring in the New Year and being able to tape an actual live stand-up special again. And I think they do know it, because I already have two shows booked in Iowa City for my return. I didn’t do any of the Zoom stand-up shows or the drive-through movie theaters where people are honking. But the fact of the matter is I’m not the best writer. That was the No. If I’m their favorite female comedian or their favorite gay comedian or their favorite comedian that talked about cancer or that I’m #HotTig from Army of the Dead, I don’t care who I am to you. Good One
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How She Felt About Live After It Happened

I felt very confused and lost. We went back and forth for a while, trying to work on that project together. I just tell the truth. I was asking permission. It’s like I relive that time over and over in my head from one dark moment to the next. This material was going to be potentially an album. I didn’t know I needed support. There’s going to be people out there that have been following my career for years before this, and there’s going to be people that know me just newly because of Live, and people that maybe just want to laugh, that don’t need some dark, cathartic set. I don’t hit every city and do two shows, but that’s who Iowa City is. And no, I didn’t expect that. And then when I started to, I was just fumbling all around, and I could tell I was trying to say things to please the audience and give them what they wanted. I thought, I have to give people a little more credit. and told the audience, “I have cancer.” The result was instantly legendary, eventually becoming immortalized in her album Live, and felt like a step forward in terms of what honesty could look like onstage: truth not rooted in confession but in the connection with the audience. So I really just let go of that moment right before I walked onstage in Iowa City. And I remember thinking, Oh, he knows what he’s talking about. I was scared to get onstage for a long time because there was so much pressure. I was like, “I don’t have anything to say. But I was like, That feels terrible. What’s your next step when your audience grows exponentially, all because of a specific but not entirely indicative evening? But the truth of the matter is HBO wasn’t funding it, so it ended up being a hard sell for me to pay out thousands of dollars to just have my stand-up animated, whereas it’s been nice to see other people animate some of my stuff. Then something just came over me in that moment before I walked out onstage. And it’s not because, you know, emotional reasons that I can’t relive that time. It’s not too crazy to think that a dark theater where I do stand-up would be where I would go for comfort, having lost those people in my life. I’ll probably end up going that way. I started to think, Oh, is that what I am? Maybe I am someone who shares personal stuff and dark stuff. What took them so long?” It was more fascinating to me, because I’m in a movie with stereotypically hot women, to be the one people are talking about. Tune in to Good One every Thursday on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Overcast, or wherever you get your podcasts. And then I went on the road. And that’s what I figured out more and more as time has gone on: I was looking for help. And man, was that the best choice, because they were such a phenomenal audience. 1 movie in the world; it was the biggest movie that came out on Netflix ever, and people responded to a 50-year-old grease-monkey lesbian, you know, as hot. I wasn’t like, Yeah, that makes sense. I have some tour dates booked — I haven’t announced when — but that city has become such a part of my growth and a part of who I am, oddly, whether they know it or not. It’s a crazy thing. It still feels very personal whenever I run into someone who was there. It was a sold-out theater. I shared such personal information about myself, and people were talking about it like, “Oh, now she’s broken through and she’s this personal, darker comedian.” I remember feeling very much like I didn’t know who I was. On Her Animated Stand-up Special

I’ve had jokes and stories of mine animated. It’d be an honor to have you onstage.” And I was like, “Oh, no, no, no, thank you.” I truly felt I was anonymous. I also think it’s really interesting that male, female, gay, straight people responded to that, and that’s supposed to be not mainstream, which I’ve been told forever. And then once the wheels come off of that, then I guess I’ll go try and get a writing job. I also know that it was a curveball for some people to see me in that role — you know, grease-monkey helicopter pilot, smoking a cigar. Below, you can read an excerpt from the transcript or listen to the full episode.