Tig Notaro's New Netflix Special Is AWESOME (& Jennifer Aniston Agrees)
Tig's Ability to Portray and Parlay Hateful and Discriminatory Stances as Ironic Makes her Humor Subversive.
I'll get to Jennifer later, that was just an attention grabber...
Whether you have been a fan of Tig for years, or just fell in love with her show One Mississippi, her recent Netflix Special Happy To Be Here is lovely/hysterical/spot on/enjoyable/worth watching and many more positive adverbs. Tig is most famous for her comedy surrounding extreme life events that she survived like cancer, a double mastectomy, death of her mother, and almost dying from c-diff. That's not what this special is about.
Tig proves she is not only able to make great comedy out of life's misery she is able to make jokes and find humor in the non-dramatics of life - the diapers, the dumb questions your loving spouse asks you, and how people react to your parenting choices. She paints us a picture of a calmer, happier, more stable and healthy phase of life and yet, you will be slapping your knee, mouth open, no sound coming, until your laugh finds its way out.
How great is it that Tig normalizes gay-ness (whatever that is), femaleness, breast-less-ness, etc.? A boyish lesbian with a double mastectomy can still make jokes about day-to-day life. Tig doesn't relegate her humor to lesbian jokes, cancer jokes, etc. Tig has a wife, her wife asks her wicked dumb questions (like "What do you think they are serving for breakfast on the flight this morning?" and "Do you think you should meow at our cat? You don't know what you could be saying to her."). I won't spoil much more of her special but as I said, don't expect just gay jokes, women jokes, cancer stuff. This special is for everyone.
Tig is one of those people who makes everything funny. Her delivery is suuuuper dry. She is comfortable thinking through something on stage, and she doesn't tell "jokes." Tig tells stories, and offers us her unique, hysterical perspective. While I said this special is not relegated to cancer, gay, and death jokes, of course those elements are included, as is marriage, motherhood, and being famous. Tig is able to offer a vantage point on all of these topics from both a marginalized and empowered perspective. Tig is clearly comfortable with so many aspects of herself that so many people in this world are still so uncomfortable with. Tig is able to name this discomfort that others have with her, without blaming them.
What a gift Tig offers us, being able to be comfortable with other people's discomfort. In a world where the news and politicians are polarized, people have to choose sides, choose one community over the other, claim one identify over another, just by being herself, Tig is often able to stand smack in the middle of the fray. She doesn't feed off controversy, but certainly relishes irony. Her ability to portray and parlay hateful and discriminatory stances as ironic is what makes her humor so subversive. When Tig is onstage, it's as if she is leading her own peaceful protest that we all get to watch.
PS: Sounds Like Jennifer Aniston thinks Tig is all that as well since she is on board to star in Netflix's new show First Ladies.
Keepin' It Real
By Rachel Hall, Rachel has a Masters in Cultural Gender Studies, is a writer, a personal coach, and even though she is very very fun (just ask her three-year-old daughter) due to her academic inclinations, always the pooper at the party. She works with all kinds of people to improve their ability to work with all kinds of people. She can often be found hiding from her two children in her laundry room. More about her on her website.