Tig Notaro: ‘Can I recall a bad gig? The first two years of my career’

Who did you look up to when you started out?
In the open mic comedy scene I was coming up in, I loved my friends Maria Bamford, Zach Galifianakis, Chris Fairbanks, Martha Kelly and a million others. The professional comedians I was into prior to starting standup would have been Richard Pryor, Steven Wright, Paula Poundstone, Steve Martin, Eddie Murphy, Ellen DeGeneres and Joan Rivers.

Can you recall a gig so bad, it’s now funny?
The first two years of my career.

Do you have any preshow rituals?
I like to not think too much about the show. I go about my day or evening like I would any other and then just show up and walk on stage.

Best heckle?
I can’t say I’ve ever been impressed by a heckle. Nor have I ever really been too put off by one either.

You recently said you’re bad at saying no to opportunities. Are you becoming better at it?
I always think I will and then here I am saying yes to this interview.

What are you excited for right now?
Spending some more time at home. I’m hoping to learn to garden and golf but mostly going on our summer family vacation.

Any bugbears from the world of comedy?
The world of comedy is such a microcosm of the entire world these days, it’s just so divided. I think the negativity starts to really get me down so I try to gravitate more towards nicer, sillier people and vibes.

Best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
There’s two: the best gift you can give anyone is a well-lived life of your own. And no one thing will make or break you.

Worst piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
Go to business school.

You host a podcast with Cheryl Hines where you discuss documentaries – what are some of your favourites?
Aside from Tig, the documentary Netflix made about me?! The Staircase, Crip Camp, The Speed Cubers, The Social Dilemma, The Donut King, Lucy and Desi, March of the Penguins, A Band Called Death, Three Identical Strangers, The Rescue … So many!

What’s up next for you?
A Netflix film in February called We Have a Ghost, a new season of my other podcast Don’t Ask Tig, the fifth season of Star Trek: Discovery which comes out this year, and I’m on the new season of The Morning Show this fall. I believe the movie my wife and I co-directed, Am I OK?, will be coming out this summer on HBO Max and I’m filming my upcoming standup special in the next few months.