An Evening with Tig Notaro
Cubberley Auditiorium was filled with riotous laughter as comedian Tig Notaro delivered line after dry line of absurd, witty, and thought-provoking jokes, a style she is well known for and has cultivated through the years. From trying to spell diarrhea and acknowledging a chicken in the front row to referencing her double masectomy and trying to chase down Santa, Tig used her own experiences in varying degrees of seriousness to create her material and to make what she finds funny relatable and light-hearted for everyone.
One joke that I shed tears on laughing so hard was her first time on a private jet. She recounts the pilot asking her if she would be willing to help the crew during a flight emergency. She replied that yes, she would, but if the jet spirals downward towards earth she may not be sitting where she was by the time they needed her. "Where's that woman?" they'd demand, trudging through the wreckage. "She promised that she'd help us!" Meanwhile she would emerge from the crash with her limbs sprawled out all over the landing zone. She would pick up her head from the ground and ask, "Hey guys! How can I help?"
Why did this make me laugh? The thought of a tragic plane crash in which Tig loses her limbs and barely any of the crew survives is a rather dark image. As I watched Tig pretend to hold up her disembodied head by her locks (which she claimed she started growing out that very day), I laughed at the cartoonish, absurd presentation. It was like watching Wile E. Coyote emerge from yet another failed attempt to catch the Roadrunner, accordion-shaped or flattened out like a pancake or slammed against a wall like a piece of paper. Tig makes light of a very serious (and hopefully unlikely) situation that still demands debriefing as precaution; she finds the absurdity in asking for her help during a plane crash in which nobody may survive and plays it out like a cartoon. I am left doubled over in my seat, laughing harder than I have in a long time, and Tig merely brushes it off to move on to her next sketch.