Tig Notaro, Charlie Kojis (sold out)

  • Barrymore 2090 Atwood Avenue Madison, WI, 53704 United States
Photo by Bob Chamberlin.

Photo by Bob Chamberlin.

Here’s the thing that has always bothered me about stand-up: the thousandth fart joke is no funnier than the first. It’s easy to be an sarcastic comedian, to yell Carlin-esque observations and make them sound cheaply profound. I’m tired of comedians who yell until they're red in the face to get a point across. It’s been done, there isn’t a ton to add to that category, and a lot of those jokes don’t age well anyway. Which brings us to why I love Tig Notaro, who is none of the above. Indeed, her strength as a comic lies in her deadpan humor and her almost painful sincerity. As Tig’s fans know, her comedy’s changed to become more personal since 2012, when she had a number of personal tragedies happen to her in a matter of months—a transition captured virtually in the moment on 2012's album Live. What has resulted from that low point, though, is new and refreshing comedy, which finds Notaro digesting a battle with cancer, her mother's death, and parenthood with a bit more hindsight on 2016's Boyish Girl Interrupted. Before all this, Notaro had an excellent foundation as a stand-up, crafting simultaneously bizarre and restrained material on the 2011 album Good One. While plenty of comedians use personal experiences as a springboard for their material, only talented ones can use them so deftly as two sides of the same tragedy-comedy mask. —Chali Pittman