Cancer fuels comedy in Tig Notaro's impromptu album


Tig Notaro was on top of the world. Ringed with critical appeal and on the crest of a booming career, life was looking up for the comedian. The tumbling of events that followed included a severe sickness, the death of a mother, a breakup and, finally, a cancer diagnosis. Days after receiving the news of her diagnosis, Notaro went on stage with a opener for the ages, saying to the unknowing crowd, “I have cancer.”

Throwing out her normal routine, Notaro delivered a incredible stand-up that wowed the likes of comedians Louis CK and Ed Helms. “In my 27 years doing this I have seen a handful of truly masterful performances,” tweeted Louis CK. “One was Tig Notaro last night at Largo.”

Notaro recently announced that she is now cancer-free. Her album, “Live,” went on sale today on Louis C.K.’s website for $5, with a portion of the proceeds going to breast cancer charities. We gave it a listen, and the performance is at once tragic, hilarious and strikingly poignant.