Tig Notaro, dry-witted comedian and Sarah Silverman gal pal, will appear at the Helium Comedy Club, Feb. 10 to 14. The Tribune caught up with Notaro, a Mississippi native who now lives in Los Angeles:
Tribune: You'll be here for Valentine's Day. Thoughts?
Notaro: I dislike that it's not a national holiday that we get to stay home on. But, who am I to say? I don't have a day job, doesn't affect me.
Tribune: You've done shows in Portland … thoughts on the city and Northwest?
Notaro: Portland, specifically, I love the architecture and the town, the warehouse feel. It reminds me of what Denver was like 15 to 20 years ago; I lived in Denver for a while. Whenever I'm in the Northwest, it's like I'm driving through a Yogi Bear cartoon.
Tribune: How close are you with Silverman?
Notaro: I've gone on the road with her as an opening act, we perform pretty regularly in Los Angeles together. She's now producing a TV pilot for me. She's one of my closest friends.
Tribune: What do you admire about her?
Notaro: She has a vision. She knows exactly what she wants to do and what she thinks. She doesn't make apologies, not because she's a cruel or hard person, but she believes in what she does. She doesn't make decisions based solely on money and moving things forward. I try to model myself after a lot of things she does.
Tribune: Tell us about the TV pilot.
Notaro: It hasn't been picked up. Another executive producer is from 'Curb Your Enthusiasm' (HBO's hit show with Larry David). It's a one-hour variety talk show that I host. It's something I already do in L.A. Basically, every week is a theme (with guests, audience participation) … it becomes explosively fun.
Tribune: What subjects do you love to tackle in standup?
Notaro: They're all based in truth, whether about myself or an observation, and build with exaggeration.
Tribune: Tell us about your Taylor Dayne skit.
Notaro: I run into her an extraordinary amount of time, and I ask her the same thing, because she was initially rude to me. 'Excuse me, I'm sorry to bother you, but I have to tell you, I love your voice.' The story goes on for 14 minutes.
Tribune: Who are your influences?
Notaro: Paula Poundstone and Joan Rivers … they're both really great joke writers, but also very present in the moment.
Tribune: Is there pressure or anxiety on stage?
Notaro: No. I still feel really excited. I'm sure when I do my pilot, there'll be some; the taping itself will determine whether I get picked up for the air.
Tribune: When did you first consider yourself funny?
Notaro: When I was about 8, a friend of mine handed me a bag of Fritos. When she gave them to me, the Fritos bag was upside down. I remember saying, 'I don't want these, they're upside down.' I remember thinking it was hilarious.