Lesbian comic Tig Notaro coming to Wisconsin

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Tig Notaro

Tig Notaro has a series of upcoming performances at colleges and universities in Wisconsin. Visit tignation.com for the complete schedule. – Photo: Courtesy

Out comedian Tig Notaro is wickedly funny. She has a sense of humor so dry you want to offer her a glass of water. On her aptly named debut comedy disc “Good One,” Notaro touches on a variety of topics, ranging from Chaz Bono and Taylor Dayne to artificial insemination and babies taking showers.

I spoke with Notaro just prior to the August release of her album.

Gregg Shapiro: Have you ever performed on an Olivia Cruise or at the Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival?

Tig Notaro: I have not done the Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival. I did an Olivia show once, years ago. It was a little bizarre to be secluded and traveling with your audience for an entire week.

What was the best part of your “Last Comic Standing” experience?

I wasn’t on for very long, maybe two or three episodes. To me it was kind of a ridiculous thing. There were so many comedians who took it very seriously. I guess it’s a good opportunity for people to burst onto the scene out of nowhere. I enjoyed that I just made it to the semi-final round. When you get to that level, you’re just on for three minutes, just doing a set. It’s kind of like doing a late-night talk-show set. That was the best thing. And I made some good friends out of it. I’m doing this podcast now with David Huntsberger, who I met on “Last Comic Standing.” In general, it’s kind of a blur to me. It happened so quickly. I kind of forget that I was on it.

Who do you consider to be your comedy inspirations?

Before I got into stand-up, I was really into Richard Pryor and Joan Rivers and Paula Poundstone and Steve Martin, people like that. Then it changed when I got into stand-up. I really started to be inspired by my peers that I was coming up with – Maria Bamford, Zach Galifiniakis and Sarah Silverman.

How does it feel to be the first comedian to release a comedy album on uber-hipster indie label Secretly Canadian?

I’m thrilled. I feel so honored and lucky. They’ve been so supportive and helpful. They’ve carried out every part of what they’ve promised. It’s just cool.

How did you decide what material to include on your debut album?

I wanted to mix in some things that I had written in the past year. But then I also wanted to put in some less popular, older bits of mine. I was just in Philadelphia last week, and for my whole show, this woman kept saying “No moleste,” which I guess is my signature bit. She kept turning to her husband saying, “When is she going to do it? I can’t wait until she does ‘No moleste.’” I was like, “Lady! Shut your trap!” That’s how all my shows are – new stuff, old stuff, right on the spot.

Would you say that “No moleste” is your “Free Bird”?

[Laughs.] I guess so. But I feel like my Taylor Dayne story that I wrote in the past year is creeping up on that popularity.

Do you know if Taylor Dayne is aware of being the subject of a comedy routine?

Yeah, her agent told my manager that Taylor wanted me to know that she heard through the grapevine that I was telling this story about her and that she’s a fan of mine and that she’d like to work with me one day (laughs). I don’t know what on Earth we would do together (laughs).

The deluxe edition includes the “Have Tig at Your Party” DVD, described as the “human equivalent to the ‘burning log’ DVD.” What was the inspiration for the concept?

Touring so much, I missed so many parties and get-togethers. This friend of mine, years ago, was having a party. And I was sitting in my hotel room thinking, what if I videotaped myself in my hotel room and I just mailed that to her and she could just play it at her party. I didn’t do it, but it inspired the idea of me making that DVD. And every time I mentioned it to people, they would laugh and say, “You have to do that!” So I did and hopefully people will enjoy it. It’s me standing there and I say very little every now and then.