The crowd at Largo comedy club in Los Angeles was settled in for a saturday night of laughter from a cast of
prolific acts. Then, comedian Tig Notaro walked onstage and pronounced, "I have cancer. Just diagnosed with cancer."
The August 4th show was supposed to be a farewell send-off for Notaro, who was heading to New York to begin work
with Amy Shumer on a new Comedy Central series. Instead, Notaro broke news of her breast cancer diagnosis and
unleashed an emotional performance blending comedy and tragedy that can make you laugh until you cry, and cry until
Comic and television star Louis CK, who was at Largo that night, was touched by Notaro's performance and is now helping out his friend in a special way. Louis CK is making Notaro's 30-minute performance, Tig Notaro: Live, available for download on his webpage at a cost of five dollars. According to Louisck.net, Notaro will keep four dollars of each sale, a portion of which will be donated to charities associated with fighting breast cancer. The rest will go to Louis CK for delivery costs, etc. The historic performance has never been seen in its entirety until now, thanks to a recording made by Largo.
"Tragedy plus time equals comedy. I'm just at tragedy right now. That's just where I am in the equation," Notaro said. After emotionally cloaking the audience with her dramatic announcement, Notaro cut the tension with a light-hearted approach, laced with comedic sarcasm. She told the crowd, "It's ok. It might not be ok, but its ok. You're going to be ok."
After falling ill with pneumonia, a mammogram revealed lumps in both of her breasts. Biopsies would later confirm
the lumps to be cancerous. The bad news however, was not over.
"My mother just died, tragically too. She was 65, she tripped hit her head, dead. A week after I got out of the
hospital," the Mississippi native told the stunned crowd. Notaro mused, "Sometimes the good lord giveth and the good
lord taketh away. But sometimes the good lord taketh and just keep takenedith."
The enraptured crowd rejected Notaro's offer to transition into "silly" jokes, after telling a quip about "a bee
riding the 405 freeway." She continued, "How am I gonna date?" She considered an online profile stating, "I have cancer, serious inquiries only."
CK Tweeted following the show, "In 27 years doing this, I've seen a handful of truly great, masterful standup sets.
One was Tig Notaro last night at Largo." He later said, "The show was an amazing example of what comedy can be. A
way to visit your worst fears and laugh at them. Tig took us to a scary place and made us laugh there."
After wrapping the third season of his hit show "Louie" on the FX network, Louis CK is taking his stand-up tour on
the road. He is scheduled to perform October 12th at the sold out Masonic Temple in Detroit.
"Tig, by the way, has since undergone a double mastectomy. She is doing well," said CK on his webpage. "Her doctors
say her chances of survival are excellent." Notaro plans to receive treatment at Sloan Kettering in New York City. "I'm doing everything I can to do better," she said. To hear what the bee was doing riding the 405, you'll have to
purchase Notaro's show.
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