To all those people who think female comedians can’t be funny, you’ve obviously never seen Tig Notaro do stand-up. The petite, tomboyish Notaro has been steadily climbing up the ranks in the comedy world, pulling in crowds at her live shows, and appearing on Comedy Central and Sarah Silverman. Now, the dry comedian has come out with her first album, the aptly titled Good One.
The disc starts off with a pretty funny joke about Chastity Bono. Now, Chastity and her sex-change to Chaz has been covered before, but Notaro’s quiet, droll delivery knocks a simple joke out of the park. The jokes roll along, with little snippets about Winne the Pooh fans who think she’s named after Tigger (one woman changed her name to Poo… “Why Poo? Why not Winnie? Or even The?”), relatives obsessed with family trees, and her trademark “little titties” bit, before launching into the lengthy, ridiculous, and ultimately hilarious “Taylor Dayne” crescendo.
The best attributes of Notaro are projected well on the album. She’s so deadpan and sarcastic, yet there are hints of vulnerability and self-deprecation that every comedian needs to be successful. Sometimes, life is tragic, and she knows that. She also has a very charming way of bonding with audience members, as showcased in “Self-Defense/Shark Attack”.
Unfortunately, where Good One goes wrong is in the selection of jokes. Almost every bit on the album will make you laugh, if not giggle, but so much is lost in the purely audio translation. During Notaro’s hilarious “Baby Shower” sketch about the idea of an infant taking a shower, most of the joke hinges on the movements and facial expressions that you can just feel that Notaro is making, but alas, you can not see. You hear the audience laughing even harder and want to join in. If the show and the jokes were selected purely for their audio qualities, perhaps we wouldn’t feel like we were missing out.
However, that doesn’t mean Good One isn’t worth picking up and giving a listen or two. I know I was snickering after hearing some jokes for the fourth time. The album is basically a giant incentive to see Notaro at one of her live shows and hope that a stand-up DVD will come out, one that will show all the facets of Notaro’s unique persona.
Essential Tracks: “Self-Defense/Shark Attack”