Tig Notaro‘s new CD, Good One, now out on Secretly Canadian, is as much a well-crafted, hilarious debut album for the comedy alum as it is a peek inside the comic’s psyche. Tig has an easy-going attitude that comes across in her jokes as well as her interaction with the audience. One lucky fan who purchases her album off her website will get a private Tig performance in their living room, but listening to the album we kind of got the feeling that’s how all of her shows play. A comic at ease is an audience at ease and that makes for an even more enjoyable show. Add to that the fact that her jokes and stories are fresh and funny and you’ve got yourself a killer album worth the buy.
Tig talks to G.L.O.C. about Good One, where this laid back attitude comes from and objectification.
Being that this is your first CD, did your performance differ knowing it was being recorded?
Not that I remember. I was really excited when I walked in the room and felt the audience’s excitement. Other than that, it felt pretty typical in a good way.
Why hadn’t you recorded a CD before “Good One”?
No deal had really appealed to me before Secretly Canadian offered me one. I felt like signing with an indie rock label that seemed extraordinarily excited about me seemed like a better option than a comedy label. So far I’m totally right about it.
There are several, actually. The most basic being that I managed to become an internationally touring headliner. That was the most out-of-reach idea when I first got into comedy. It was the craziest dream that couldn’t possibly ever come true. I’m also proud of allowing myself to come out of my comfort zone and attempt acting. [Notaro played "Officer Tig" on The Sarah Silverman Program] I will never claim to be great, but I have certainly enjoyed it. And finally, having a podcast is bringing me more pride and fear than I ever imagined. That type of feeling makes me feel very alive. Every night before an episode airs I have serious nerves. It’s an arena I’m new at and have so much room for growth in, but I’m really proud of allowing myself to go forward with something that is evolving before the public’s eyes and ears. It’s like doing open mics all over again, except thousands of people listen weekly.
I read that some of your idols are Paula Poundstone, Richard Pryor and Joan Rivers, is there a joke from any of them that has stuck with you over the years?
Well, this isn’t actually a joke, but I’ll never forget watching Howard Stern on E! years ago. He sent Stuttering John to some celebrity event and when Joan Rivers got out of her limo he asked her (after stuttering quit a bit) if she thought ugly people should be allowed to have children and without missing a beat she replied, “No, I told your parents that!” while continuing to walk right past him into the event. My mind was blown. She’s so quick it’s crazy.
Where does your relaxed attitude come from? Was it your upbringing or a conscious decision to not let things bother you?
I’m sure my upbringing showed me that I can’t let things bother me. Things do bother me from time to time, but I also have somewhat of an ability to let it go and move on. I move through things pretty quickly. Every now and then something stupid trips me up and the next thing I know three years have passed and I’m still hung up on it. But the big stuff I deal with pretty well. Thank you, upbringing!
You’ve said being a woman in comedy is a non-issue for you, but do you have a problem with the way women are objectified in the media?
There’s not much media that I follow, but as a general rule I hope that women can see the power that they have in being a woman, all the while not getting hung up on being a woman. I really feel it’s a strength. I probably didn’t answer your question, did I? To be honest, I’d love it if someone would objectify me for once.
You used to work in the music industry, is there any correlation between that and stand-up? Did it help prepare you?
I played guitar here and there and then ended up working in the business side of things because I was too shy to perform music in public. But I definitely feel like working on the business side prepared me for my stand-up career. It taught me that there’s a certain point you have to get your career to before anyone will get behind you to work. It’s rare that you are just talented and then everyone just drops everything to elevate you. You have to get that path going first.
What do you want people to say about you at your funeral?
Oops, she’s not dead.
What was the last thing that made you laugh?
One of Kyle Dunnigan’s stupidly ridiculous riddles he makes up on our podcast. They are the dumbest and funniest things you could ever imagine.
What was the first joke you remember writing?
When I was in elementary school I wrote this gem: “Who joins a navel army? Bellybuttons!!”
What was the best advice you ever received?
No one thing will ever make you or break you. Also, stop wearing suspenders.
What advice would you impart to the next generation of comediennes?
Stop calling yourself “Comediennes,” catch up with the cool crowd and start calling yourselves, “Miss Thang on the Mic.” And, don’t worry about what everyone is doing, what your voice is, etc etc, just make sure every time you get on stage you are funny. People will notice.
Any final words to entice people to buy your CD?
It was the last CD I recorded right before I died, so you should probably at least give it a listen, because obviously I won’t be putting out another one.
Tig’s new album Good One is out now and it’s well worth the purchase. Purchase your copy directly from TigNation.com. Listen to Tig’s podcast, Professor Blastoff on Earwolf. And check out Tig on tour in the following cities: