: Andrew George
Last week, Tig Notaro went on Conan to openly talk about the progress with her breast cancer treatments and how the now famous Largo set has gained so much traction online after people posted their own eyewitness accounts of the performance. During that Conan appearance, which you can see HERE, she announced that Louis C.K., who was the show’s secret special guest, was so moved by the performance, that he insisted she share the audio with the world. On Friday, it was released for direct download on Louie’s site, along with THIS message regarding the show and Tig’s current state of health.
On August 3rd, 2012, comedienne Tig Notaro walked on stage at Largo in Los Angeles and opened her set by saying, “Good evening, hello, I have cancer, how are you? Is everyone having a good time? I have cancer.” After that, the following thirty-one minutes told the story of the previous four months of Tig’s life, which included being hospitalized with the intestinal bacterial infection C. diff, a breakup, the tragic passing of her mother, her breast cancer diagnosis, and her eventual double mastectomy. The set took place only days after she was diagnosed with breast cancer in both breasts, which tragically resulted in what is being regarded as one of the best, most brutally honest, and personal standup performances in years.
A few minutes into her set, she broke away from her cancer diagnosis and led into the other tragic aspects of the previous four months of her life by saying, “Please bare with me. Right now in my life, I don’t feel like telling all the jokes I’ve written, I just can’t talk about how funny it is that a bee took the 405 freeway. I can’t bring myself to talk about it because my mother just died…tragically.” Following that statement, she continued for an additional twenty-five minutes of one of the most moving stream of consciousness sets. Throughout the entire recording, there is a constant roller coaster of emotions; ranging from laughter to the sighs of sadness that can be heard coming from the audience (which Tig addresses each time, one time even saying, “it’s okay, everything will be okay… well, you’ll be okay, who knows about me.”).
One of the most powerful aspects of the performance is seeing how in sync the audience is with Tig as she openly talked about the horrible things that she had experienced. At one point, after sharing a piece of tragic news, the audience goes quiet, to which Tig responds by saying, “Should I leave?” Multiple people from the crowd instantly shouted “NO!” At one point, someone even yelled out “This is f@#cking amazing!” after Tig suggested that she thought she should transition into her normal material, which resulted in an uproarious applause break that encouraged her to continue. Even just from listening to the audio through cheap headphones alone in the basement of a comedy club, it was easy to get caught up in the emotion that those who were actually experienced as a comedian who is known for her silly, and sometimes trivial observations, pours out her heart in a way that allows everyone listening to fully understand exactly what she is going through.
After Tig wrapped up her thoughts and told one of her “silly” jokes to provide a sense of closure and leave the audience with the confirmation that everything will be okay, she closed out her set by saying “I guess God was right, I can handle this, I can take so much more” before she repeatedly thanked the audience during the standing ovation.
To fully experience this once in a lifetime set, go HERE to Louis C.K.’s site to purchase a digital copy for only five dollars. Proceeds from each sale will go directly towards fighting breast cancer and towards breast cancer research.