Notaro is now back from the brink. She had a double mastectomy and doctors believe the cancer has been removed with recurrence unlikely. She finds herself a sensation, and has signed a book deal with Ecco Press. Her first album, “Good One,” is among the best-sellers on iTunes. “I’ve never gone viral before,” she says.
“I didn’t expect any of it _ the good or the bad _ and to the degrees that things have happened!” says Notaro, who’s just begun a previously hired job writing for a Comedy Central show starring the comedian Amy Schumer. “I cannot wait, and I’m so curious, for the time that I have a boring day with nothing going on. I have not had a boring day in seven months.”
It’s an unlikely high-point for Notaro who has for years been a respected and popular stand-up. She grew up in Mississippi before moving with her mom to Houston. Notaro, whose real name is Mathilde, was nicknamed “Tig” by an older brother. Long a fan of Richard Pryor, Steve Martin and Paula Poundstone, she first began performing when she arrived in Los Angeles about 15 years ago. Performing at Largo in August _ “a live-wire of nerves,” she said _ reminded her of that first time.
Her stand-up, while personal, hasn’t typically been confessional or dark. Among her most famous routines is a never-ending bit about repeatedly running into `80s pop star Taylor Dayne. Performing on “Conan,” she also stretched absurdity, spending the majority of her set pushing a stool around the stage.
But now, Notaro realizes a shift has occurred in her comedy and that she can’t return to her old material. “Live” ends with her telling one of her jokes _ one about a bee on a highway in Los Angeles _ but she’s telling it ironically. After talking about cancer and death, the joke is funny for being so foolish by comparison.
“I cannot imagine _ and maybe it’s just a matter of time _ doing that kind of material right now,” says Notaro, who hasn’t yet performed since. “I feel a little more reflective and searching. My comedy is beyond me right now.
“I have no idea what’s coming,” she says. “It makes me feel like I’m just starting in stand-up. I feel like I’ve just been born, but I feel like I’ve been born with every tool I need in life. If you had a baby and it was born with all the experience it needed. That’s how I feel.”
Contact AP Entertainment Writer Jake Coyle at http://twitter.com/jake_coyle
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