In 2012, Tig Notaro walked out on stage in Los Angeles and announced that she had breast cancer.
The set that followed went viral, with a little help from Louis CK who said it was one of the most masterful pieces of stand-up he’d ever seen.
Now quite rightly a comedy star, last week Notaro did it again. Following a routine about being frisked at an airport by a female member of staff who didn’t believe she was a woman, and a bit of egging-on from the audience, she ripped open her shirt to reveal her mastectomy scars. And she performed the last 20 minutes of her set topless. “You’re thinking, ‘When’s she gonna . . . ?’ She’s not gonna,” she said but apart from that made little reference to her nakedness.
This is typical Tig – I’ve seen her spend 15 minutes getting the audience to spell ‘diarrhoea’ and even longer pushing a chair around the stage in silence. She is queen of the ice-cool pause, consummately in control of her material and her crowd. With this latest gesture, she has made a shock move look ordinary and kept people laughing throughout. That's how you push boundaries.Reuse content