Tig Notaro Quotes

  1. Before I had a double mastectomy, I was already pretty flat-chested, and I made so many jokes over the years about how small my chest was that I started to think that maybe my boobs overheard me… and were just like, ‘You know what? We’re sick of this. Let’s kill her.’
  2. I just try not to think too much about how I’m perceived. I think as long as I’m still selling tickets and can pay my mortgage, then people are probably thinking good enough things or whatever about me to keep the train moving.
  3. I don’t ever assume that people are going to love or appreciate what I do. It would be great. I don’t assume that they’re not going to. I just am like, ‘I’m going to do my absolute best at everything I do, and I’m going to put it out with pride and hope people enjoy it.’
  4. The hardest lesson to learn always is to just have faith in that you will always have something to say or a story to tell. I have faith that I’ll be able to continue to tell stories, write and tell stories. You just need to keep going at it.
  5. If I’m caught off guard or I’m not in a great mood, or if I’m feeling down or if I’m in my head and somebody comes up to me and I can’t match the energy, I just have to think, ‘Well, I did my job, which was to do the show or release the album or be in the TV show or write the joke. Beyond that, it’s kind of a hit or miss what happens between us.’
  6. I’m not for everyone.
  7. I’m fascinated by caddy Buddhists popping up all over Hollywood and people that take themselves too seriously.
  8. I can’t waste more time worrying unless something surfaces that should legitimately cause fear.
  9. There’s definitely been moments in my life, even recently, where I’ve taken chances or spoken up about something where I don’t know how it’s gonna go, but it is true, or it is my truth. That’s kind of that trusting life.
  10. When I was first asked for an autograph, I felt so uncomfortable that I just wrote, ‘Tig’s Autograph,’ and from then on, that’s what I write when I sign my name.
  11. Luckily, I don’t think that I’m too famous. I can still live my life pretty comfortably. Fame has never really ever appealed to me. I think it’s easy to see that it’s not a great thing to have.
  12. People love to make comedians out to be miserable, dark, twisted people. And I just – I think a lot of people struggle with depression and mental illness and have issues and problems within their family. The mailman has it. Your neighbor has it. It’s just that comedians have a microphone.
  13. I don’t thrive on misery myself. I mean, I’ve obviously created during a time of misery, but I also create from a place of joy.
  14. A lot of times, people will have after-parties or try and host an event for comedians, and they misunderstand us. They think it should be wild and crazy, or loud music, and comedians are typically pretty mellow people that just want to talk to each other.
  15. One of my favorite songs is ‘Ghost’ by Indigo Girls. Emily Saliers wrote that, and she is one of the most talented songwriters ever.
  16. I was very into animals and nature, and really obsessed with cats and monkeys. I used to play in the woods, wander off into the woods for hours. I’d bring a clipboard and think that I was doing some work out there, following the trails of raccoons or collecting bird feathers.
  17. I want people to talk about my comedy, about cancer, about body issues, about scars, because cancer, it’s a big deal, but scars are not a big deal. My skin healed. Relax, you know? That’s all it is.
  18. I just absolutely adore Denver and the Boulder area. Having lived there several times, it feels like home to me.
  19. A lot of comedians get a bad rep once they have kids and that’s all they talk about, and people are like, ‘I don’t want to hear about your kids!’ I’m like, ‘Prepare yourselves. That’s all I’m going to talk about.’
  20. I’ve had an ongoing fantasy about being interviewed on, like, a ’60 Minutes’-type show about this really inspiring woman that can do anything with a fake leg. And then the camera pans out, and I’m just holding a mannequin leg.
  21. In standup, you don’t have anything near you except a microphone. There’s something a lot more self-conscious feeling when there’s cameras coming in for close-ups. It makes you very aware.
  22. I think that people are going to think of me however they want to think of me, whether it’s female or gay or cancer or funny or unfunny.
  23. It was a free-for-all with music when I was growing up. My mother was a huge music fanatic so I was listening to everything from country to heavy metal to Indigo Girls to Elton John. I guess when I was really young I didn’t like Willie Nelson, and she obviously loved him. Now I do too, I’m so thankful to her for playing his music nonstop.
  24. Reminding myself that I have a tailbone keeps me in check.
  25. I’m going to sound like an egomaniac, but I’m proud of so many things. I feel proud of my book, ‘I’m Just A Person,’ proud of my HBO special. I’m proud of a lot of things.
  26. Not 100 percent of the time, but I feel like I’m good at being direct. I know what I want, and I feel like I can tell people, ‘I want this; I don’t want this. I want you; I don’t want you. I hope for this, and this is right, and this is wrong for me.’
  27. Maybe almost 20 years ago, I was like, ‘God, I need to be more direct.’ And I found times that I could practice it when it was maybe not my family or friends or co-workers. It’s a quality that’s rarely disliked.
  28. People write me every day. It feels like this cycle that keeps giving, because as far along as I get in my happiness and success, hearing other people’s stories is a constant reminder of where I came from, where people are, and how much help everybody still needs.
  29. It’s almost embarrassing how much support I have. I mean, I always tell people I feel like I’m perfectly set up to have cancer. I have great health insurance, I have a savings account. I have work lined up. I have friends and family. I have the best doctors I can get.
  30. If someone doesn’t want me working their club, they’re not going to hear from me again. I’m not going to fight or complain about it. I’d rather go someplace else.
  31. I was a full-blown tomboy; I was very mischievous and got into a lot of trouble. Everybody in my family smoked, and I started smoking probably when I was nine. My friends used to call me Huckleberry Tig.
  32. Sometimes I get a little exhausted by shows or movies that are constantly throwing famous people on. And I find it so much more exciting to not have that when I’m watching something. I think it allows you to get more lost in something and also to bring more attention to more unknown or less recognizable people.
  33. People complain about Hollywood comedians, but I feel like I selected a tremendous group, ones who aren’t fame-obsessed.
  34. I got my first guitar when I was nine because I wanted to be the fifth Beatle, even though they had already broken up and John Lennon died that year.
  35. I didn’t like to stop playing for a second to bother with eating or going to the bathroom. I was a really skinny kid, and I remember my mother always telling people, ‘I don’t know how she’s alive. I think she gets all of her nutrients from air pollution.’
  36. People don’t talk about small-town racism in Illinois or upstate New York. They’re like, ‘It’s the South.’ And it is. It’s there. But it’s everywhere. But everywhere, there are also amazing people.
  37. I never really consider myself an awkward person, but once I got into stand-up, I kept hearing that word. The only thing I can trace it back to is that my mom had a similar sensibility. She always made people uncomfortable.
  38. It attracts all types. But I definitely call the comedy world the land of misfit toys. Looking around the room at my friends, that’s what I see.
  39. My mother was a very, very funny, outrageous, outspoken person, and she never edited me. Her whole thing in my life was if anybody had a problem with me, tell them to go to hell.
  40. My favorite thing to wear from about first to third grade was a blue t-shirt with an iron-on monkey and the caption ‘Here Comes Trouble.’
  41. I always think about the idea that God never gives you more than you can handle, and just the idea that God would be looking at me and thinking, ‘Eh, I think she can handle more.’ And the angels thinking, ‘What are you doing? You’re a lunatic.’ And God being like, ‘No, no, trust me. She can handle this.’
  42. I’ve toured around the world. I’ve worked with men, women. I feel like I’ve been unusually lucky to have supportive friends around me, and I feel tremendously supportive about my peers. I can’t wait to brag about how funny my friends are.
  43. I don’t want to take myself too seriously, thinking that I’m always having to be this cathartic, intense and deep person, because I certainly enjoy silliness.
  44. You can think you’re living in the moment and you’re thankful, but when somebody comes face to face with you and says, ‘I just lost my child,’ or ‘I have months to live, and thank you…’ I’m of course sad for them, but I’m thankful that I gave them a gift and they’re giving me a gift.
  45. People have responded to my stories so well. They come up after a show and say things like, ‘Your album really helped me,’ or ‘I have stage four cancer. I’m terminally ill.’ Somebody told me it gave them the courage to die.
  46. I don’t talk about having cancer in my standup anymore. I don’t have cancer. But if it comes up for me again, that I’m going through something, I’m going to talk about it. I’m going to do whatever feels right whenever it feels right.
  47. It’s a weird place to be in because my dreams in life have surpassed what I could have ever imagined. I just hope I can continue to write stand-up, but I would say my big dream is to build an amazing family. It’s so boring and cheesy, but that’s my focus.
  48. I try not to look at my old stuff or my new stuff, really. I’m not a fan.
  49. Stephanie and I got married publicly on the beach, in front of friends and family, and the local police shut down the highway for us to cross the street back to my cousin’s house. Cars backed up for miles, and everybody in town cheered.
  50. As a kid, I loved Paula Poundstone and Richard Pryor. But my mother was a huge influence on my comedy.
  51. I want to be silly, and that’s being authentic just as much as being open and honest. It’s authentic to make weird clown horn noises when it strikes you.
  52. I’m not opposed to talking about airline food.
  53. I’m not a religious person; I’m not even, like, a spiritual person.
  54. I don’t personally feel like I’ve dealt with any sort of discrimination or sexism. I’m not doubting that there might have been that going on and I just didn’t read it that way.
  55. It’s important that when you do standup, you do small places like coffee shops and also big places like colleges. It helps you find the little nuances in your set that don’t work, and you can shave off the excess.
  56. I failed eighth grade twice, and then they moved me up to ninth grade. Then I failed that and dropped out. My teacher would hand me a test, and I’d grade it myself with an F, then put my head down on the desk.
  57. After 2012, I thought, ‘Oh wow, I’ve lived through this, and now I have a free ride in life.’ And I can’t believe I really thought that. As soon as I was healed from cancer and everything I was going through, I got back out into life and realized it doesn’t work out like that.
  58. I knew there was no Santa when I was, like, 5.
  59. When I’m not touring, I really don’t leave the house.
  60. I’m always going to do whatever I think is funniest. If something’s dark, I’ll do it.
  61. I have somebody I admire and want to keep at a distance. I’ve had the opportunity to meet her a couple of times – it’s Chrissie Hynde from The Pretenders. I just am nuts about her, but I have no interest in meeting her because I just don’t think she could live up to what she’s been to me in my head.
  62. Not many people have had as much bad luck as I have, but not many people have had as much good luck, either.
  63. Luckily, I’m not a gambler or a drinker or – you know, I get my fix of comedy.
  64. When I’ve had to edit my albums, I’ll listen to it one time through, and I’ll make edits. I want to remember to set up a camera to record myself listening to my set, because I don’t even slightly crack a smile, I am just listening for technical details, and I look like somebody that has absolutely no sense of humor. I look insane.
  65. Stand-up is very broad strokes, kind of a skeleton of a story or something.
  66. When you first start out in stand-up and, probably, as any performer, you enjoy the attention so much, and even though that hasn’t died down on stage, it certainly has satiated whatever was in me that was needing that much attention. When I’m off stage, it’s not something that I really need.
  67. The funny response to ‘One Mississippi’ continues to be that people don’t know what is true and what’s fiction.
  68. Even losing my mother, I wanted my mother. That’s who you want instinctually when you’re having a hard time.
  69. I’ve never tweeted. ‘Funny or Die’ started my Twitter account for me, and so I don’t even have the password or anything like that. They started it, then they handed it off to other comics.
  70. Comedy was a secret want, but it wasn’t anything I pursued.
  71. I feel like I am the most hopeful person you could possibly meet.
  72. I definitely still like writing one-liners, but I also think that I’ve changed a lot in that I’ve allowed myself freedom to grow.
  73. Even in losing my mother, beautiful, amazing awakenings have happened within my family. Of course, losing her is not what you want. The things that happened after her death, she would be so just beside herself with joy that life turned out that way.
  74. My mother was so stylish, but she never pushed that on me. She always thought I looked cool.
  75. It is that bizarre thing. If I had kids, I, of course, would tell them there’s Santa, but it’s also just an odd feeling to be blatantly lying to kids.
  76. Life can very genuinely and realistically pile things on. It doesn’t dole out the heartache and pain, or joy, perfectly.
  77. I love devastating movies, documentaries and hummingbirds (yes, in that order).
  78. My mom was a freethinking artist – she was wild and would do anything to get a laugh from me. She’d go in reverse through a drive-through so I could order from the window: ‘Hi, can I get a milk shake?’
  79. Basically I’m a female human being with brown hair, enjoy precision, reading the news, eating delicious food with my delicious friends and laughing at ridiculous things that don’t translate while you are desperately trying to make them.
  80. My career has always kind of moved forward and upward. I’ve never had anything kind of stall out or go in the opposite direction. I’ve always kind of been moving in the right direction.
  81. People ask what my influences are, and for me, it’s not always obvious. One of my biggest inspirations was Chrissie Hynde from the Pretenders. That’s based on how she just does whatever she wants to do, and I love her attitude about everything. It bleeds over into my way of thinking and comedy.
  82. In the past, I played in bands, worked at coffee shops, babysat, and worked as a production assistant.
  83. It’s not that I hate all of my material – I think it was good. I liked it. I just don’t ever want to hear it.
  84. I can’t help but see things in life through a humorous lens, so anything that comes my way is gonna probably be, you know, bent in that direction.
  85. I get kind of, um, bored by all the sexuality and gender labels because I feel like that’s where the problem comes in, when people feel that they need to have these particular identities. If you didn’t have these labels, and you just acted on how you genuinely felt at any point, then you wouldn’t have anything to contend with.

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