Notaro made the announcement on the July 31 episode of Professor Blastoff, the podcast she hosts with comedians Kyle Dunnigan and David Huntsberger. The diagnosis comes on the heels of a bout with pneumonia earlier this year, as well as a life-threatening infection Notaro suffered as a result of the antibiotics used to combat the pneumonia.
The comedian, 41, took the stage at here "Tig & Friends" comedy show at Largo on August 3rd to talk about the diagnosis, coming as it does after a year of hardships (in addition to her health problems, Notaro also lost her mother in a freak accident). The performance, which received a standing ovation, is already being hailed as legendary in the comedy community. Some audience members have blogged about it, while other comics, such as Louis C.K. (who was the surprise headliner at the Largo show) tweeted out that it was one of only a handful of "truly great, masterful sets" in his 27 years of doing comedy.
But the point is not that Notaro is turning her tragedy and cancer diagnosis into crowd-pleasing comedy. The point is that she is facing this publicly, and that she's using the tools she's developed over years of doing stand-up to deal with the bad news. What Notaro is doing -- what any person with a similar diagnosis has to do to keep fighting -- is incredibly brave. Here's hoping she kicks this illness' ass, and that a year or two from now can take the stage again at Largo and do a set about beating cancer.
Get well soon, Tig Notaro.
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