WBEZ | Tig Notaro http://www.wbez.org/tags/tig-notaro Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Is cancer funny? http://www.wbez.org/blogs/bez/2012-11/cancer-funny-103636 <p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Scott%20Beale.jpg" title="Tig Notaro (Flickr/ Scott Beale)" /></p><p>Tig Notaro is in great demand in the comedy world. After doing stand up for more than 15 years, she&rsquo;s finally made it to the big time. She&rsquo;s got a new job with Comedy Central and a book deal; her debut album is high on the charts on iTunes, and lots of magazine editors want her in their pages. So, you may ask: &ldquo;What is the secret to Notaro&#39;s sudden success?&rdquo; Well, her answer is an unusual one &mdash; she&rsquo;s got cancer!</p><p>Nataro was diagnosed with cancer earlier this year, and underwent a double mastectomy, chemo-therapy and radiation treatment. This was not long after she contracted a serious bacterial infection, lived through the sudden, unexpected death of her mother, and suffered a bitter break up with her girlfriend. What did she do with this bad luck and medical agony? She made fun of it, by turning it into a stand-up routine:&nbsp;&quot;Good evening. Hello. I have cancer. How are you? Is everybody having a good time?&quot;</p><p>Macabre? Indeed! Shocking? You bet! Cynical? Absolutely! Angry? A little? Funny? Well, yes! After you let it all sink in. Notaro is really not being irreverent. She&rsquo;s not talking about other people&rsquo;s cancer, she&rsquo;s talking about her cancer and trying, through laughter, to take away the fear, dread and stigma of having cancer. Her routine is a bit of &ldquo;gallows humor.&rdquo; It&rsquo;s an attempt to detox her own fears, and perhaps help others to deal with their fears of illness and death.</p><p>Notaro is clearly a student of Joan Rivers, that great American philosopher who once said, &ldquo;If you can laugh at it, you can live with it.&rdquo; Humor prevents us from perceiving reality as a personal attack or a personal affront. Humor is about the ability to transcend self. It&rsquo;s the ability to celebrate our collective experiences and essential sameness. Humor allows us to laugh at our personal and collective vulnerability.</p><p>Humor has to do with transcending the absurdity and fragility of life. Nietzsche suggested that to gaze too long into the &ldquo;gapping abyss&rdquo; leads to despair and futility. Notaro&#39;s work suggests that humor, laughter and joke-telling are a way to gaze into the abyss, confront the unknowable and unanswerable, and perhaps find comfort and perspective: Humor allows us to gaze into the abyss and not be defeated.</p><p>Now Notaro has both gazed into the abyss and descended into it. But she is not defeated. She has survived and is in remission. She is laughing herself well!</p><p><em>Al Gini is a Professor of Business Ethics and Chairman of the Management Department in the Quinlan School of Business at Loyola University Chicago.</em></p></p> Thu, 15 Nov 2012 05:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/bez/2012-11/cancer-funny-103636 Daily Rehearsal: Tig Notaro at the Viaduct http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-08-15/daily-rehearsal-tig-notaro-viaduct-90598 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//blog/photo/2011-August/2011-08-15/3628196278_606b5d7d78.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>1. The Old Town School of Folk Music is producing their first theatrical event, to go up in November. Called <a href="https://www.oldtownschool.org/concerts/2011/11/3_vaudeville.php"><em>Keep a Song in Your Soul: The Black Roots of Vaudeville</em></a>, the show&nbsp;is the combined effort of string-band Carolina Chocolate Drops, jazz pianist Reginald R. Robinson, and tap dancer Reggio "The Hoofer" Laughlin. It opens in November but contains adult language and themes! You may remember Old Town as the group that WBEZ beat in this year's battle to the death during <a href="http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-06-13/bike-commuter-challenge-prompts-cycling-smackdown-87763">Bike to Work Week</a>.</p><p>2. <a href="http://www.steppenwolf.org/subscription/explore/"><em>Clybourne Park</em></a> started rehearsals last week. The show is Steppenwolf's season opener in September.</p><p><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-August/2011-08-15/3628196278_606b5d7d78.jpg" style="margin: 10px; float: right; width: 300px; height: 225px;" title="Tig Notaro performing in California in 2009 (Flickr/Scott Beale/Laughing Squid)">3. Comedian Tig Notaro was <a href="http://www.zvents.com/z/chicago-il/tig-notaro-cameron-esposito-junior-stopka--events--202432226">at the Viaduct last night</a>, and she <a href="http://www.chicagoreader.com/chicago/comedian-tig-notaro-on-her-new-tv-show-her-great-great-grandfather-and-a-looong-career/Content?oid=4418031">tells the Reader</a> about her potential new show<em> Tig Has Friends</em>, a televised version of the variety show she hosts in LA.<em> "</em>Last I heard, we'll know something before the new year," Notaro said. "That's pretty much all I know. I certainly hope it airs. I'm really happy with what we did, and having the cast of&nbsp;<i>Mad Men</i>&nbsp;as my guests was pretty magically fun."</p><p>4. Rob Newhouse and Aerial Dance Chicago performed <a href="http://Rob%20Newhouse%20and%20Aerial%20Dance%20Chicago">today</a> at Millennium Park at the&nbsp;<a href="https://www.facebook.com/pages/MP-Family-Fun-Festival/209774532396608">Family Fun Festival</a>. It's the final week of free family fun, so get your dance on.&nbsp;</p><p>5. The Neo-Futurists <a href="http://neofuturists.org/index.php?option=com_content&amp;view=article&amp;id=106&amp;Itemid=100013"><em>Chalk and Saltwater: The Ladder Project</em></a> opens September 15. It <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-07-07/daily-rehearsal-trib-redesigns-their-theater-section-88824">explores the idea of failure</a>, and you can be a part of it, by participating in an "online journal" starting over Labor Day weekend. The show will also have special "pot luck Thursdays" with free admission if you bring a dish; email ladderpotluck@gmail.com if interested. It's an homage to the original production of The Ladder, during which Edgar Davis ran a free admission special for six months of the show and lost an absurd amount of money.&nbsp;Co-creator and performer John Pierson says of the revamp, "Once you understand the art, is it more difficult to mock? Our plan is to have a job that is never done - to constantly reevaluate the piece after each performance."</p><p>Also I'll be out learning about theater in other lands/really just lying on the beach, so look for Daily Rehearsal back on August 25. Don't miss us too much!</p><p>Questions? Tips? Email <a href="mailto:Play%20texts%20are%20not%20infinitely%20malleable:%20if%20the%20playwright%20calls%20for%20elms%20on%20stage,%20even%20naming%20the%20play%20after%20them,%20there%20damn%20well%20ought%20to%20be%20elms%20on%20stage.">kdries@wbez.org</a>.</p></p> Mon, 15 Aug 2011 14:34:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-08-15/daily-rehearsal-tig-notaro-viaduct-90598