'Off the Cuff' Podcast: Tig Notaro Says Her "Guard Is Down" in New Showtime Special

Ruthie Wyatt
Tig Notaro

The comedian tells #THRpodcasts about doing stand-up in strangers' basements and the hard part about falling in love while the cameras are rolling.

Knock Knock, It's Tig Notaro, a new Showtime special premiering April 17, follows comedian Tig Notaro on a stand-up tour she did in 2013, when she performed in the homes of her fans. According to Showtime, around 1,000 people submitted videos inviting Notaro to their towns to perform for their friends, families and neighbors.

Notaro tells The Hollywood Reporter that there were no stipulations for what kind of space she would perform in — the film shows her doing stand-up everywhere from someone's basement to the back of a flatbed truck parked in a field. But what if someone wanted her to perform in their prison cell?

"If anyone out there is in jail and listening and would like me to come perform for you, please let me know what crime, and then I will consider it," she offers. "But in general, it's not going to be a No. 1 choice."

In this episode of Off the Cuff, Notaro explains why the special was filmed at a very critical point in her career when, finally clear of what she refers to as her "health issues" (including a diagnosis of breast cancer that resulted in a double mastectomy), Notaro suddenly found herself with "no material."

"It was during a time when my album was No. 1 — literally around the world — and I was getting all of these offers to perform for more money than I'd ever been offered, and I had no material," she recalls. Many of the jokes in the special are pure improv, "because it's hard to just beeline through your material and pretend like insanity isn't happening around you," she explains.

"The guard is down, and a dog can run in and a baby can start crying and the roof can start leaking, and — I mean, I guess comedy club roofs leak…"

Notaro also tells us about the making of her hit Sundance documentary Tig in which a camera crew follows her around for two years — two years! — capturing the ascendance of her career from her legendary Largo set in 2012, when she announced she had just been diagnosed with cancer, to her falling in love with In a World co-star Stephanie Allynne, who is now her fiancee.

"You see my entire relationship with Stephanie unfold, from beginning to now," she tells us, adding that it's "hard to be on camera when you're vulnerable and giddy about somebody. That is embarrassing."

Of course we have to ask if Notaro will be appearing in season two of one of our favorite shows: Amazon's Transparent.

"I'm told I'm coming back," she says cautiously, revealing only that she is "very uncomfortable" with what Jill Soloway has told her so far about her character's proposed storyline. Reminding us that, as things go in Hollywood, her part very well might be cut anyway, she closes with this:

"We will hope for the best. But the best case scenario makes me terribly uncomfortable."

Listen to Notaro's full interview in this episode of Off the Cuff, and be sure to subscribe to #THRpodcasts on iTunes for all the latest episodes.

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