Mathilde "Tig" Notaro (born March 24, 1971 in Jackson, Mississippi) is a stand-up comedian who is best known for being thrust into comedy legend in 2012 when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. She elected to continue with a show she had booked at the Largo a few weeks later, making it all about her illness and stunning the crowd with her frankness about such a horrific subject and ability to find humor in it. She later had a double mastectomy and was declared cancer-free, and has continued her career with a healthy addition of Black Comedy, though she still maintains her fair share of lighter jokes. She was also the subject of the Netflix documentary Tig, which covered both her battle and her struggle to figure out what to do with her career after she beat the disease. She currently stars in the Amazon Prime comedy series One Mississippi, which she co-created with Diablo Cody.
Notable TV Credits:
- A-Cup Angst: She made quite a few jokes about her small breasts early in her career, which led to a routine about how this might be why they tried to kill her.
- Ambiguous Syntax: A bit in her recent Happy to Be Here special details a time when her wife asked her how to have sex with a baby (that is, how to have sex with a baby in the house). Tig, who thought her wife was asking how to have sexual intercourse with a baby, was confused and disturbed.
- Black Comedy: It doesn't get much blacker than joking about your own cancer and your mother's death. Though Tig herself declines to label herself as a dark comedian, saying she just throws out any jokes that pop into her head and circumstances just led to this stuff being prevalent for a while.
- Butch Lesbian: She even titled one of her specials "Boyish Girl Interrupted."
- Closet Key: Her wife had never considered herself anything but straight before Tig asked her out.
- Creator Couple: She occasionally works with her wife, Stephanie Allynne, who is also a writer, actress, and comedienne. (And they're frickin' adorable together.◊)
- Deus Angst Machina: Even before the cancer diagnosis, 2012 was an absurdly terrible year for her, as she suffered a serious bacterial infection, her mother died from a head injury, and her girlfriend dumped her. About the last, she joked that the girl must have wanted to get out of there before having to deal with the cancer.
- Its Pronounced Tropay: The recording of her Largo show Tig Notaro Live is pronounced "lih-ve," not "lie-ve."
- Overly Long Gag: Some of her routines can give Steven Wright a run for his money.
- Shirtless Scene: After her mastectomy, she's become particularly famous for taking off her shirt to display her flat chest and scars, and then just leaving it off for the rest of the set even as she moves on to jokes that have nothing to do with it.
- The Topic of Cancer: Tig Deconstructed this into Black Comedy as part of "Tig Notaro Live".
- Tough Act to Follow: Discussed. In the Tig documentary, she notes that she's well aware her Largo show will be just about impossible to live up to for the rest of her career, and is embarrassed at how much her introductions play it up.
- Troll: One post-mastectomy bit covers when she was picked for a pat-down at airport security, and the female guard who was called over was quite confused to not feel any breasts, and kept talking with the others about whether she really was a woman. Tig quickly realized she could just say something and let her voice make it clear, but was having too much fun watching the woman squirm.
- Wham Line: "Hello, I have cancer. How are you?" And just like that, comedy was never the same again.