Tig Notaro’s Hysterical Tale (of Cancer)

Posted in Check It Out!, things I like that you should like too on February 1st, 2013 by Nick

notaro.jpeg.CROP.article250-mediumIn the span of four months, Tig Notaro got pneumonia, contracted a deadly intestine-eating bacteria, lost her mother in a freak accident, broke up with her girlfriend, and got diagnosed with cancer. (And you think your life sucks.) Shortly after, she got on stage at Largo in LA to deliver one of the most personal, tragic, yet absolutely hilarious sets of stand-up I have ever heard.

Notaro’s 30-minute set unravels with one tragedy after another, as she discusses “funny” cancer greeting cards, being mistaken for a man immediately after her diagnosis, the ludicrous notion of God only giving you “what you can handle,” and a survey a hospital sent her dead mother. Her dry delivery is perfect; her timing, like a seasoned pro.

The audience’s reactions add to the performance. They’re caught off guard, laughing at awkward moments and not laughing at moments where they should. Notaro continues calling them out and toying with them like a cat playing with a mouse. Even among her pain and misfortune, she remains light and sarcastic, while the set’s touching moments also help keep it grounded.

I don’t even want to elaborate any further, for fear of ruining any part of this soon-to-be-legend’s performance. To ruin these jokes for you would be over-preparing you for a set that requires you to feel uncomfortable and unguarded. But thanks to Notaro’s brilliance, it’s not a buzzkill and it won’t bring you to tears…or the bad kind anyway. Her courage is beyond admirable, and the set, bold and brave. Hearing the crowd cheer at the end gave me chills. You’ll want to take the ear buds off your head and give her the standing-O that the audience at Largo gave her that night.

Louis C.K. was in the audience and said: “In 27 years doing this, I’ve seen a handful of truly great, masterful standup sets. One was Tig Notaro last night at Largo.” He then made the audio of her performance available for download on his site and gave her all of the proceeds.

Louis may have been having a moment these past couple years, but now it’s Tig’s turn.

Grade: A

Tig Notaro: Live (as in “live or die”) can now be found on iTunes and Amazon. It’s only $5 and she’s been donating some of the proceeds to charity. So don’t steal this one, assholes! Just kidding. But no really, don’t.   

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This is How My Mind Works

Posted in Dog and Pony Show on August 14th, 2012 by Nick

Louis CK can be an oddball man, but then again, I guess I can be pretty fucked up sometimes, too.

Did you ever see the Louis CK bit where he explains that because of his recent successes, he can finally afford to fly First Class and hang up front with the elite? His story unfolds. After sitting in coach for so long, he knows his luck may eventually run out, so he really wants to savor this semi-stardom. He considers giving up his fancy seat to a soldier in uniform as a noble, kind-hearted gesture of respect. The comic later decides against giving up his seat, but then congratulates himself for having even thought of the idea in the first place. Today, I had one of those moments. Sort of.

As I was pulling into my office driveway, I noticed a few white pieces of paper abandoned on the pavement. As my tire tromped over them, painting dirt and tire marks all over, I noticed they were actually pieces of mail that were accidentally dropped outside of the mailbox, floating away and flying free. Since this is the mailbox I usually frequent, I would want someone to pick up my lost mail and place it in the box, right? There are credit scores and bills and stamps on the line here, people! Not to sound all Cliff-Clavin-from-Cheers, but you can’t mess with the mail! (Maybe I should’ve gone with Newman from Seinfeld for a stronger reference, but I feel he really didn’t love the mail system like Cliff did.)

I parked my car and walked down the driveway, fighting the burning sun and powering through the heat and dangerous ultraviolet rays. With a very meager amount of moisture just starting to form at my brow, I picked up the three pieces of mail and looked at the name on the return address. Kathy is going to be very pleased that I placed her mail into the mailbox, safely, quickly, and efficiently, I thought. It felt good to right someone else’s wrong. Maybe Kathy had 50 pieces of mail, and three slipped from her grasp. Maybe the mailman or woman dropped them. Either way, no one was to blame because I was there to swoop in and save the day, without anyone batting an eye!

As I held Kath’s mail in my hands, my mind started reeling. Was I about to change this poor woman’s fate somehow? Or what if I was being pulled into some creepy, Sci-Fi-like, Eagle-Eye-meets-The-Adjustment-Bureau circus? What if I was being tracked by a secret government faction and hunted down by their super-secret mega-computer code-named something really cool, but also scary? Did I just Shia LaBeouf myself? What if my identity was being stolen by this computer, like in The Net, and what if I had to go out on the lamb because I touched business that wasn’t mine to meddle with in the first place? Car chases and gunfire and bad men in trench coats would ensue, chasing me down for having placed my well-intentioned fingertips upon the documents.

Or maybe a part-zombified maniacal post office employee was my attacker and I interrupted a curse that was formerly only a legend to some, revolving around a chain letter gone horribly wrong. It’d be like Maniac Cop but, Maniac Mailman or something, and you’ve just got to love that alliteration. There would be just as much chasing and terror except this time, the Maniac Mailman would have a long kitchen blade and would want me to pay for my nosey behavior. Or maybe he doesn’t use a blade at all. Maybe he just gets his hands on me and chokes me out, or pulls my head off a la Jason Voorhees. What if my good deed was the equivalent of being flagged down in a slasher film to help a Final Girl with a flat tire, but instead of helping her out, I just become another one of that cannibal’s victims allowing her more time to escape!

I shook my head. I was being ridiculous. I wasn’t so sure about all that nonsense, but one thing I was confident about was that like Louis, I was really proud of myself for even having thought of this good deed. Sure, I didn’t cure cancer or feed a homeless man. I didn’t help an old lady across the street or reunite a lost child with his mother. I put some fucking mail in a mailbox. Yet, not only did I feel preposterously good about myself, but surely I deserved a nice, firm pat on the back for a job well done. Because hey – it’s the thought that counts, right?

And this is how my mind works.

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Summer TV surprisingly doesn't suck!

Posted in TV on June 28th, 2010 by Nick

Remember back in the day when TV was trite and stale from mid-May through the sweltering month of August? Summer TV was pretty much non-existent, boosting box office sales for blockbusters starring dinosaurs, aliens, superheroes and more!

Today, we’re seeing quite the opposite – box office experts are freaking out and wondering where the hell everybody is. Yes, people have less cash to flash, but I like to think it’s also a true testiment of summer TV simply kicking ass. As usual, here’s TLW’s recommended menu for delicious summer programs to enjoy when you need a break from the heat.

True Blood

Debuting June 13 on HBO, True Blood is currently three episodes deep on its third season. For those who already watch, it’s the perfect blend of guilty pleasure, horror, and suspense. For those who haven’t taken a bite yet, what are you waiting for? This Anna Paquin-led vampire series is nothing like the nauseating Twilight Saga – this one is for the grown-ups. It’s bloody disgusting and sexy as hell, wrapping comedy, drama, and horror together with a nice erotic bow. It doesn’t beat out my true love Buffy the Vampire Slayer, but it’s a solid contender and the show to sink your teeth into this summer. (::stabs self for making cheesy vampire pun::)

Futurama

…is back! Huzzah! Matt Groening’s futuristic comedy (that’s way better than modern-day Simpsons) is breathing new life on Comedy Central. Join Fry, Bender, Leela, and the rest of the gang for more of their crazy, space-age antics Thursdays at 10 p.m. Maybe I’d have more to say about this had I watched the premiere  (thank God for DVR!), but the zombification of Futurama calls for celebration indeed.

Entourage

I’m not sure if I’d classify Entourage as “Must-See TV,” but there’s something to be said about a show that’s this consistently consistent. In the premiere, Ari was still a dick, Drama still can’t get a jobby job, Turtle is attempting to validate his existence, and Vinny Chase is filming a biopic about Enzo Ferrari. For Entourage, all of this is plain ol’ normalsville, and that in turn is quite a detrimental factor. But then again, it’s always fun to check in with Vincent and the boys because we get a glimpse of a life we’ll never lead – a fast and fun romp through Hollywood all from the coziness of our couches.

Mad Men

The poster says it all: Donald Draper (aka Dick Whitman) is starting over. Again. Not only are Don and Betty heading forward with their divorce, but Sterling Cooper is no more. Enter Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce – the new ad agency co-starring buxom bombshell Joan Holloway, gal on the rise Peggy Olson, Harry Crane, and Pete Campbell. Mad Men is hands down one of the best on television – impeccable writing, stellar acting, and extra kudos for originality. There’s no other show that will provide this much bang for your buck….er, time. I’ll be counting down the days til July 25.

Rescue Me

Rescue Me is probably one of the best shows I’ve discovered lately, and I’m still about half a season behind (Thanks to Netflix putting the entire series on Instant). Tommy Gavin is one fucked up asshole. You want to root for the guy, but for every step he takes forward, he takes a billion backwards. The stories of these damaged FDNY guys is heartbreaking, funny, and offensive all at the same time. Season 6 starts tomorrow June 29 at 10 p.m. on FX.

Honorable Mentions

1. No summer is complete without Big Brother. I know, I know…it’s terrible! It’s so easy to get carried away in the drama, twists, Coup D’etats, Head of Households, and corny challenges held in the Big Brother house patio. It was a delight watching Jordan win last year, and it’ll be just as fun to root for a fave and hate on some villains this year. Bring it on!

2. I’m still a fan of Jada Pinkett-Smith’s HawthoRNe. I usually despise medical dramas that aren’t Nurse Jackie, but Pinkett-Smith brings a lot of heart to the show’s main character, and the supporting cast backs up Christina Hawthorne’s morality, fury, and passion.

3. Louis C.K. has a new show (again). It starts June 29 (tomorrow!) and is shockingly obviously called Louie. It’s a series premiere, but hell, any Louis C.K. is good Louis C.K.

Did I miss something you’re psyched about? What are you watching this summer? Hollerrr backkk.

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Louis C.K. joins the cast of 'Parks and Recreations'

Posted in TV on August 6th, 2009 by Nick

http://www.montrealmirror.com/2007/071907/images/comedy1-1.jpg

EW reports that comedian Louis C.K. is set to star in the second season of Amy Poehler’s mediocre “Parks and Recreations.” According to Variety, Louis C. K. “will portray a Pawnee police officer and potential love interest for the character played by star Amy Poehler. Louis will first appear in the second episode of the Parks season and appear in several segments thereafter.”

I think I’m fair in my assessment when I deem “Parks” mediocre. It struggled in the beginning by following “The Office” a little too closely, but it found some voice and originality in the last few episodes. The cast is great: Poehler, Rashida Jones, and Aziz Ansari, for starters. The writing and plotlines can be pushed a little more, however. It’s funny, but definitely not up to par with other network comedies such as “Arrested Development” or even “The Office.”  The addition of Louis C.K.? Enough to keep me tuned in.

Congratulations on buying some time, “Parks.”

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Louis C.K.'s amazing, nobody's happy

Posted in Check It Out! on March 5th, 2009 by Nick

Embedding is disabled by requested…but watch THIS youtube clip of Louis C.K. on Conan.

Superb.

(Props to Eva for linking to it on Facebook)

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