Tig Notaro is one of my heroes. Last year she survived an intense bacterial infection and pneumonia, lost her mother in a tragic accident, was dumped by her girlfriend and then was subsequently diagnosed with breast cancer. You want to give her an award for surviving it all. Impressive though that is, that's not why I love her. I love her because she somehow found a way to make it funny.
Within days of her diagnosis, she opened her now-famous comedy set with the lines, "“Hello! Good evening. Hello. I have cancer. How are you?” The half hour set represents comedy at its best--both as a confrontation to life's lowest moments, and as an irreverent antidote to all the reactions people are "supposed" to have when the shit hits the fan. Esteemed comedian Louis C.K. insisted that she release the set as an album and sell it online. Ira Glass aired an excerpt of it on This American Life. I bought it and can vouch that it is worth way more than its $5. It is aptly titled "Live."
Last week's spot on Conan reinforces not only her unique voice and perspective as a comic, but also her underlying social critique. The lady's a genius. Get off your phone and buy her album.