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As Funny as Cancer. - Blather. Rants. Repeat.
A Møøse once bit my sister ...
captainsblog
captainsblog
As Funny as Cancer.
There was a note in the kitchen last night. It's still there:

I didn't know what it meant- except I did. Nothing to do with heffalumps or woozles, nor with Ya Gotta Believin pitchers, but with a comedian with the most tragic tale you'll ever laugh about.

"Tig" is stand-up comedian Tig Notaro, and the documentary about her very bad experiences is streaming on Netflix. You should go there. Yesterday if possible. Within the span of weeks, she endured a near-fatal bacterial infection, the sudden too-young death of her mother, and then she discovered she had breast cancer. How she reacted, rebounded, redeemed all of the above- along the way falling in love in the most unexpected way and meeting a potential surrogate mother (and that woman's own irrepressible son named Harpo- yes, they live in Portland)- it's all told in the roughly 90 minutes of this film.

But one thing is not- and it's the thing, I eventually realized, I did know and remember about Tig.

After the C. diff, and the mom death, but before the diagnosis, she'd been invited to perform live one of This American Life's occasional beamed-to-cinema shows. The documentary includes interviews with her, and with Ira Glass, recalling their discussions at the time of  how badly her life was going - before it was to get even worse- and whether she could, much less would, do a live show on the other side of the country. She could, and did- and I remember listening to the podcast of it a week or so after it was done. Her schtick for that event was about, of all people, 80s pop diva Taylor Dayne.

If you start typing "Taylor Dayne" into Google, by the time you get to the "a" in "Dayne," their connection is already an algorithmic Thing:



The premise was how, over a short period of time, Tig could not go anywhere- to a party, a restaurant, a performance- without Taylor Dayne being there- and all she could think to say, on any of these growing number of occasions, was "I love your voice."

Tig's documentary story told that story- but left out a punch line.  It was surely a director's decision because it would have distracted from the arc of the personal suffering she was enduring at the time- but now that we know the outcome from the end of the film- a combination of good news with some bad- I think it's fair to add it here.

Here's the entire This American Life performance-



- but if you click this link (which you should also do if the video doesn't embed, as they sometimes don't), you'll see the end of that performance, which Eleanor didn't remember ever hearing about. It pales in comparison to a later, longer show she did in LA right after her diagnosis; that's the focus of the film, and the far more important part of the story.

Still. How can you not love her voice after THAT?
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