TRANSCRIPT Bullseye with Jesse Thorn: Tig Notaro

Tig Notaro is a Grammy and Emmy nominated stand-up comedian. Her new comedy special Hello, Again is out now, and it’s hilarious. Tig returns to the show to talk about Hello, Again, her comedy career and her time starring in a Star Trek show.

Guests: Tig Notaro



Transition: Gentle, trilling music with a steady drumbeat plays under the dialogue.

Promo: Bullseye with Jesse Thorn is a production of and is distributed by NPR.

Music: “Huddle Formation” from the album Thunder, Lightning, Strike by The Go! Team—a fast, upbeat, peppy song. Music plays as Jesse speaks, then fades out.

Jesse Thorn: It’s Bullseye. I’m Jesse Thorn. So happy to welcome my next guest back to the show, Tig Notaro. Tig is, of course, a standup comedian—a Grammy and Emmy nominated standup comedian. Unlike a lot of her colleagues, she didn’t really get into standup until she was a full-on grownup. In her previous career, she had worked as a manager for bands. She’s known for her relatively flat delivery. Sometimes it’s about things that are personal and concrete, sometimes things that are very silly. Perhaps the most famous example of the former is that in 2012, she got a diagnosis of breast cancer. And when she got that diagnosis, she went on stage in LA and talked about it. Directly. Like, right after she found out. That material became a special called Live (lih-v), or Live (lie-v). And a lot of you public radio folks might have heard some of it on This American Life.

The last time I talked to Tig was 2017. She’d just cocreated her own television show, One Mississippi—a somewhat autobiographical dramedy in which Tig’s character returns back home to Mississippi. It ran for two seasons on Amazon Prime. And among other things, it had a storyline that directly paralleled the sexual misconduct of a comedian whose name she couldn’t get out of the show’s production credits. Since we last talked to her on our program, Tig has continued to thrive. She’s been in countless movies and TV shows. She’s had three standup specials. The latest of them is Hello Again. In it, Tig talks about parenthood, marriage, and about bizarre encounters with airline employees.

The clip I’m about to play is an example of the last thing. Tig is talking about checking in for a flight, and because she is a comedian with Premium Platinum Super Diamond membership or whatever, she is invited to a very special waiting area on the fourth floor. It is called the Make-Believe Lounge. It’s just like, really? The Make-Believe Lounge? That’s a little weird, right?

Transition: A whooshing sound.


Tig Notaro (Hello Again): Okay, here’s the thing. I deal with these types of people in these jobs on a near daily basis, and it’s typically a very straightforward exchange of information. And with her, I thought, “I’ve clearly stumbled upon a little weirdo, but I’ll play.”


But she never said, “I’m just kidding.” So, I thought, okay, I have to go see what’s going on the fourth floor. I press the elevator button, go up, the doors open, and there is a huge sign that says, “Welcome to the Maple Leaf Lounge.”


Transition: A whooshing sound.

Jesse Thorn: Tig, welcome back to Bullseye. It’s nice to see you again.

Tig Notaro: It’s great to see you.

Jesse Thorn: It’s been a long time for this material. This is stuff you’ve been working on for quite a while. Were you done with it or excited to get it loose into the world and start over?

Tig Notaro: I mean, yeah, I was very excited to—(laughs) I had been touring for a while. You know, I had the pandemic right in the middle, like so many comedians. I had been touring I think a year, year and a half, and then the pandemic. And then got back out, then the writer’s strike happened. I pushed the recording of my special like six months down the road, added a European tour. (Chuckles.) It just kept—the field goal kept moving. So, I was excited to finish my tour and tape the special and move on to the new ideas that I had been collecting on the side.

Jesse Thorn: When you were younger in your career—you weren’t like a super road dog comic, the way that some are, but I think that some comics—

Tig Notaro: I was! I was.

Jesse Thorn: Yeah? How much time were you on the road?

Tig Notaro: (Chuckles.) I mean, I was doing the classic horrendous one-nighters. Just you know, six nights a week. I’d be in like Butte, Montana, all those kinds of little, tiny stops where I would be performing in a saloon under a disco ball with two bikers with their back to me.

Jesse Thorn: There’s like an Alaska tour that a lot of people seem to go on.

Tig Notaro: Oh, yeah, I’ve done that. Yeah. And oddly, my agent was blown away by the turnout I had in Alaska.


He said he can’t—(laughs) he cannot figure out where that’s coming from.

Jesse Thorn: I feel like everyone I’ve talked to that has gone—and there’s like promoters, or a promoter; I don’t know if there are more than one, who book like—they’ll book like eight shows in a row in Alaska for comics. So, you go up there for 10 days or whatever, 12 days. And everyone I’ve ever talked to that’s done it just had a great time, because I guess just, you know, maybe even in Juno or whatever, people are just pumped you came! (Laughs.) You know?

Tig Notaro: Well, yeah, that’s when people—I’ll go to towns or cities where people are like, “Ah, I can’t believe you came here.” And you know, or they’ll try and beat me to the punch and knock down their town. And I’m like you’re talking to the wrong person. I love small towns. I love—like any of those areas where people might think, oh, it’s too conservative for your style, or the town’s too small. I’m like, that’s ripe! You know, that’s the place to be. Because people are so excited to see somebody come through that maybe wouldn’t normally, or other tours pass by.

And I also want to just acknowledge that when I said, “Oh, I was a road dog,” I certainly—there are much bigger road dogs out there, but man, have I— I’ve been doing this almost 30 years, and I got on the road I think a year into my career, when I think I could have hung around the open mics a little longer.

Jesse Thorn: What was it like to not be on the road at all and not be doing shows at all when everything was shut down?

Tig Notaro: I oddly enjoyed it. And it made me kind of question am I—(laughs) am I in the wrong career? Why am I enjoying being home? But I think it might’ve been because I have been doing it for so long. I used to look at comedians that would retire from standup, and I didn’t understand. I thought I was looking at an alien. And not that I’m retired, but you get older, you have a family. (Chuckles.) You get to stay home during a pandemic, and you go, “Oh, this is what it feels like to be home.”

Jesse Thorn: I mean, it does seem like it would be different to be in that situation, you know, with a wife and kids than it is to be in that situation and it’s, you know, an apartment with you and comedian Chris Fairbanks.

(They chuckle.)

Tig Notaro: And David Hansberger. Yeah. It was definitely a different experience, but yeah, I—when I say I enjoyed it, obviously it was not a good time for anybody. But I enjoyed specifically I think just taking some time off from the grind of the road, which it really is.

Jesse Thorn: You mentioned loving small towns. You, as a small child, lived in Mississippi and then in Texas, right?

(Tig confirms.)

Did you always love small towns? Like, when you were a kid or when you were an adolescent, did you want to get out of dodge? Or were you like, “This is the place for me”?

Tig Notaro: Well, my small town in Mississippi—I think I was too young to really even understand that I was in a small town. I just loved my town and my family and all of our good, crazy times. And then I think when I was in Texas—I mean, we lived outside of Houston. We weren’t like in, you know, the city. I did feel like I couldn’t wait to get out of there. And that’s not any bash against anyone or anything, I just felt like there was something more for me, and something wasn’t quite connecting. And I was just figuring myself out. And  I—as crazy as this may sound—didn’t know I was gay. I wasn’t good in school. I failed three grades and dropped out. And I just was—yeah, I wasn’t quite sure what I was going to do.

Jesse Thorn: When you say you failed three grades, do you mean that like when you were 15, you were in 7th or 8th grade?

Tig Notaro: I failed eighth grade, and then they kept me in eighth grade. So, I did eighth grade two times. I failed that a second time. They moved me up to ninth grade. They moved me up to high school. I think truly so I wouldn’t like hurl myself off a building.


And then I got to ninth grade, and I failed that. And I said, “Well, I’m going to head out.” (Chuckles.) So.

Jesse Thorn: You were like having a classic—I read somewhere that your friends called you Huckleberry Tig. (Laughs.)

Tig Notaro: Oh my gosh, yeah.

Jesse Thorn: Which was the most thrilling thing to read.

Tig Notaro: Well, yeah, I started smoking at such a young age.

Jesse Thorn: What kind of age are we talking about?

Tig Notaro: Oh my gosh. I started experimenting with smoking probably when I was eight?

(Jesse “wow”s.)

But everybody in my family smoked. And so, it wasn’t—I barely even had to hide, because the whole house smelled of smoke. So, I could hang out in my room and smoke cigarettes. The whole house was burning.

Jesse Thorn: And there was cigarettes around all the time too. Like, it’s not like you had to go steal them from the convenience store.

Tig Notaro: No. I didn’t have to go anywhere to get cigarettes. There was—everybody smoked in my family. And I was already smoking. Even if I wasn’t putting a cigarette to my mouth, I was smoking. The whole house reeked of smoke. So—but yeah, I’d smoke in my room or I’d—you know, my friends and I used to hang out on this bridge that was over this—I don’t even know if it was like a bayou or like a ditch. I don’t even know what it was! But there was just this bridge, and we’d hang out there after school and smoke cigarettes. And yeah. I started early, but I quit at 25.

Jesse Thorn: (Chuckling.) Were you like fishing with a stick also?

Tig Notaro: I mean, basically. I tell people about—and I had to check with my brother to make sure I wasn’t making this up, because people are like, “There is no world where that happened.” But I used to water ski in the swamps as a kid, and nobody believed that. And I called my brother, and I said, “We used to water ski in the swamps, right?”

And he was like, “Yeah!”

I was like, “Okay, nobody out in LA believes that that was going on.”

Jesse Thorn: That does feel like a thing a cartoon character would do. (Laughs.)

Tig Notaro: Well, that’s why I called myself Huckleberry Tig. I mean, I was—you know, I was failing. I was sneaking out. I was driving. I’d go pick my friends up when we were like 12/13 years old. I’d get the car out and, you know, grab a pack of cigarettes and drive around and—you know.

Jesse Thorn: With your parents’ knowledge?

Tig Notaro: No! Absolutely not.

Jesse Thorn: I mean, you say the whole house smelled like smoke. The whole house didn’t smell like stolen cars.

Tig Notaro: (Laughs.) Well, if they smelled a little deeper, they would have smelled a stolen car. But yeah.

Jesse Thorn: Why were you failing in school?

Tig Notaro: Um, I don’t know! I mean, I think it was a mix of many things. As I said, it took me a while to figure myself out. And I think there was a lot of chaos going on in my house. I think—I didn’t know I was gay. I was just—nothing made sense to me until I left home and fell in love and got into comedy. And I was like, Ah! Oh! This is who I am!”

Jesse Thorn: We’ve got so much more to get into with Tig Notaro after a quick break. Stay with us. It’s Bullseye from and NPR.

Transition: Thumpy synth with a syncopated beat.

Jesse Thorn: Welcome back to Bullseye. I’m Jesse Thorn. I’m talking with Tig Notaro. She’s an Emmy and Grammy nominated standup comic. You might have seen her on her show One Mississippi, which ran for two seasons. She’s also appeared on Star Trek Discovery and has a new standup special, Hello Again. You can stream it now on Amazon Prime. Let’s get back into the rest of our conversation.

When you grew up, like when you were 19 or 21 or whatever, did you just think like, “Oh, I’m just a free spirited, badass”? You’re just like, “I’m just a rock and roll adventure person.”

Tig Notaro: (Laughs.) I like that title. Rock and roll adventure person. Yeah, I didn’t think too much about it other than I would look at friends and the trajectory that they seemed to be on and the expectations my parents or teachers had. And nothing really looked quite right to me, and I didn’t know why that was appealing to anybody. You know? And what’s funny is to find myself and fall in love and have success and joy in my career and life.


Now I have the most normal life. (Laughs.) I’m married with two kids and just coming back from spring break and loving the world and life that Stephanie and I have created, and protecting it at all costs. And sometimes I can’t believe how normal my life is, even more so than the people I grew up with. And they—the people that I grew up with or I knew years ago might have certain ideas of what my life is. And I think they probably are wrong. Even though I am on tour, and I’m a comedian, and I act and do whatever, I am home in a family environment. And it’s pretty normal.

Jesse Thorn: So, who did you fall in love with when—? You fell in love after you moved to Los Angeles?

Tig Notaro: No, I moved to Colorado, and I met my first girlfriend at like a dive. You want to talk about a room full of smoke, this bar was such a dive. And she was on stage in a band. And I don’t even—they were like experimental, punk—I don’t—I can’t even describe, like vacuuming on stage, smashing guitars, it was really something.

Jesse Thorn: And you were into it. You were like promoting shows and tour managing and stuff like that.

Tig Notaro: Well, I had just moved, and I hadn’t quite gotten into that. I was always going to bars. And actually I snuck into that bar, because I was only 18 or 19 at the time, and I couldn’t get in the front door. And then my friend who got in the bar, he was old enough, he said, “Come around back, and I’ll let you in through the back door.” And my girlfriend, the girl who ended up becoming my girlfriend, she smashed her guitar that night. And that guitar that she smashed from the night I met her went up on the wall at Cricket on the Hill. From the night I met her! It’s insane! To go back into that bar decades later and her guitar was hanging on the wall, just smashed.

Jesse Thorn: Did you think of yourself as a lesbian before you met this girl?

Tig Notaro: No, I didn’t. No. Nope. (Laughs.) I was just like, “Oh, wow, this is weird. I really like her.” Yeah, didn’t cross my mind.

Jesse Thorn: It must have been like exciting to figure out that piece of yourself.

Tig Notaro: Yeah, it was. I always tell people I think I had more excitement when I figured out I was a comedian. It was a whole other—I no doubt was thrilled to figure out that piece of myself, but there was something about being in the world of comedians. And it was all different kinds of people that connected through comedy rather than who we were attracted to. Because that brought me a little closer to understanding myself, but the comedy aspect really, really was clarity for me.

Jesse Thorn: And it was about that social context? Like, it was about that room full of people all like a little bit weird in the world in some way, tied together by who and what is funny?

Tig Notaro: Yeah. It was that Land of Misfit Toys kind of vibe where you were—(chuckles) you know, so many people move to Los Angeles because they’re beautiful. And then you’ve got comedians that are just like, “Oh yeah, I was weird too.” (Chuckles.) And yeah, I hadn’t, ever—I had certainly always attracted funny, interesting people in my life wherever I went, but it was so concentrated in the comedy world, obviously.

Jesse Thorn: I want to play another clip from my guest, Tig Notaro’s, new special, Hello Again. This is Tig talking about her wife, Stephanie Allynne, who also directed the special, and their kids.

Transition: A whooshing sound.


Tig Notaro: Actually, she is by far—out of the two of us—the most popular in our family.


And possibly elsewhere.


But, yes, she’s wonderful. But we work together oftentimes, and we’ll leave and come home at the same time. And one day, I came home by myself. And when I walked in, the alarm said, (robotically) “Side door open!” And our son started yelling, “Mommy’s home! Mommy’s home!” (Beat.) That’s what they call Stephanie.


And then I came around the corner, and our son Finn looked back at me, and then looked at his brother and said, “It’s just her.”


Transition: A whooshing sound.

Jesse Thorn: You know, you have had these huge life inflection points that have been deeply intertwined with your career. You know, you got really, really sick. You had a series of calamitous health situations, and your mother died all sort of in one window. Your material about that ended up sort of launching you to a new level in your career, I’m sure unexpectedly—that’d be the last thing anyone would expect.

Tig Notaro: Yeah.

Jesse Thorn: You know, you got a, you know, relatively autobiographical television show, pretty autobiographical television show that you were running. And you know, the executive producer of that show—one of the executive producers of that show turned out to be doing really awful stuff professionally in a professional context. And it really—like, I remember when the show was ending, and that stuff was happening, and it was all a big, nasty, tied-together mess. And I thought like, “Well, here’s Tig getting her awesome break making this great TV show, and this jerk is, you know, making so much of it feel bad.” I’m grateful to you, by the way, for telling me about his behavior when you did it. I learned about it largely from you. And I thought like, what a thing to—what a weird thing to fight back from.

And then you also had this monumental change, which was, you know, you fell in love and got married to a pretty formally straight-identified lady and had kids and like all of a sudden had this like, you know, 1950s life.

Tig Notaro: In my 50s. (Chuckles.)

Jesse Thorn: Yeah, in your 50s, like all these really weird changes. And that’s besides the fact that, you know, you started comedy as a grownup in a way that a lot of comedians didn’t. You know, only a few years older than most comedians who started comedy, but like much more a grownup, having been through much more in your life. Does that make you feel more stable or less in your work? Like, do you feel like having gone through these giant upheavals makes you feel like everything could fall apart in a moment or makes you feel like, well, if there’s a giant upheaval, it seems like it works out okay?

Tig Notaro: I think I have to assume anything can happen, because in life—and in my life—anything has happened. But I have found that when I do what feels most just right for me and follow through or take a risk—I always say when I was, you know, Huckleberry Tig, I was taking crazy, unnecessary risks. As I got to know myself better and became more confident, I could focus my risks, the risk taking, in a more positive way. And I just—I guess I feel like I trust life, and I don’t even necessarily know what I mean by that. But I trust that whatever decisions I’m making or what happens around me is what is going to be. And I knew that when I spoke out during the Me Too movement—


I knew a lot of people felt like I was taking too much of a risk. And my response was that if I’m so weakly tethered to my career, then I don’t even really belong here, I guess. So, I’m happy to take this risk and lose it all. Because… yeah, I don’t know. I just… I don’t even know what I’m saying at this point, (chuckles) but I’m just—

Jesse Thorn: I’ll tell you, when the Me Too movement was happening, I personally was really grateful for you and your clarity in that moment. Because, you know, because I’m a dude, and a straight dude especially, I know about a lot of those things only secondhand and through inference and—you know what I mean? Like, having asked about them and heard about them, not having experienced them. Or not even having really intimate relationships with people who experienced them necessarily—frequently, anyway. And your I guess clarity, your sort of… righteousness sounds like you were raging or something, which you weren’t. But like the fact that you were standing so clearly in the right place meant a lot to me. It was oddly like a great comfort for me, like just because I trusted you and trusted what you knew.

Tig Notaro: Well, thank you. When I got information, that’s when I spoke out. And there wasn’t really that cacophony of people speaking out yet. And so, it was a very uncomfortable time. But again, I felt if this knocks me off balance in my career, then I just—I don’t have any regrets, because I know it’s true. And it was—it became true and real to me when an old friend of mine shared something, and that led me to inquiring about other people and getting the same response. And then I thought, oh, wow; I’m in a situation with somebody that had already shown some, you know, aggressive behavior in a different way around me. But I just felt like, I don’t—I’m not interested in this.

And I remember feeling like… you know, some people accused me of using someone to get a TV show and then, (chuckles) you know, running away with all the glory. And it was like, you have the wrong story. You have the wrong story. And also, who on earth would put themselves out on a ledge like that? I was up against the biggest comedian in the world, you know. And it was—I was not thinking, oh, I’m gonna run away and take it all.

Jesse Thorn: And as I remember it, it was one of the most—one of the greatest challenges was you couldn’t even take his name off of stuff. Like, you couldn’t—you can’t like—you couldn’t scrub it off. You know what I mean?

Tig Notaro: Well, and still to this day, people who are just finding One Mississippi will say like “Oh, why is he working on the show? Why did he—why did you work with him?” And I’m like this show is old. And when the show first started, I didn’t have the knowledge that I got. And the knowledge I got, I got right before the pilot even shot, and that’s when the shift started happening.

Jesse Thorn: And like, to be abundantly clear, it was your show. Like, not your soul show, but it wasn’t his show. You know what I mean?

Tig Notaro: Right, and that was a lesson that I learned.


Because at the time I didn’t know what it was like to have my own show, and I kind of allowed people to make decisions and have a bull in the China shop vibe, without—I just—I was still trying to find my place. And now that I’m through that and I know how to—I think I know better how to have my own show, because I understand that I am the one that would be making decisions. And luckily, through the majority of that show, I was making my own decisions, and that’s why a lot of those storylines happened and why we talked about abuse and harassment and assault. And everybody in the room had experienced that. And it’s a debilitating thing to go through.

And when people say, “Oh, if that happens, why aren’t you hanging up the phone or walk out of the room? Or why didn’t you speak up earlier?” It’s like (chuckles dryly) people are in really tough positions of—you could be assaulted at one point in your life, and then you have somebody that’s maybe not physically touching you, but you don’t know where this moment’s going to go. You’re frozen. You’re so full of fear. And for people to just so casually say, “Walk out of the room! Hang up the phone. You know, why didn’t you call the police?” I know it’s an old conversation, but it’s—

Jesse Thorn: It’s real one.

Tig Notaro: It’s real, and it continues. And it’s really interesting too to speak of a time of like, “Oh yeah, the Me Too movement.” That it’s like—that was like that time that happened and then— It’s like the pandemic. It’s like, “Remember the Me Too movement and the pandemic? And whew! We’re out of that.” It’s like… we’re not.

Jesse Thorn: We’ll finish up with Tig Notaro after a quick break. In just a minute, Tig did a Star Trek show! We haven’t even talked about Star Trek yet! Beam me up, Scottie! That’s what they say on Star Trek. I have my own radio show. It’s Bullseye from and NPR.


Music: A bouncy beat.

Dave Shumka: (Rhythmically.) If you need a laugh, and you’re on the go, try S-T-O-P P-O-D-C-A-S-T-I—augh. (Sighs.) Hm.

(Music stops.)

Graham Clark: Were you trying to put the name of the podcast there?

Dave: Yeah, I’m trying to spell it, but it’s tricky.

Graham: Let me give it a try.

Dave: Okay!

(Music resumes.)

Graham: (Rhythmically.) If you need a laugh, and you’re on the go, call S-T-O-P P-A-D—ah, it’ll never fit!

Dave: No, it will! Let me try.

(Music resumes.)

(Rhythmically.) If you need a laugh, and you’re on the go, try S-T-O-P P-O-D-C-O-O. UGH! We are so close!

Graham: Stop Podcasting Yourself.

Dave: A podcast, from

Graham: If you need a laugh, and you’re on the go.

(Music ends.)

Transition: Thumpy synth with light vocalizations.

Jesse Thorn: I’m Jesse Thorn. You’re listening to Bullseye. I’m talking with comedian Tig Notaro. Her latest special is called Hello Again.

Can I ask you briefly about Star Trek?

Tig Notaro: Yeah.

Jesse Thorn: So, you’ve been—you play an engineer on Star Trek and—

Tig Notaro: Commander Jett Reno.

Jesse Thorn: Thank you.

Transition: A whooshing sound.


Speaker (Star Trek Discovery): Commander, Linus said Georgiou left Deck 8 to help out here?

Commander Reno: And you believe that? Georgiou. Helping. Seriously?

Transition: A whooshing sound.

Jesse Thorn: When you signed up for it, were you aware of how much Star Trek it would require of you? And by this, I mean, mostly just like saying made up space words.

(They chuckle.)

Tig Notaro: Uhh, I didn’t think it through. And you know, it’s funny. You’re catching me at a point in my career where I’m realizing I didn’t think a lot of things through.

(Jesse laughs.)

And I’m trying to think things through. And this is not at all to sound like I regret doing Star Trek, I just did not think it through. And when I met with Alex Kurtzman—he runs the whole Star Trek universe. And he told me, “Oh, we have this idea for you as a character.” I really thought I was going to do an episode or two. And I was like, yeah, sure. You know, and When I called him, and I apologized that I did such a horrible job saying the made-up space words, I said, “Don’t feel obligated to have me back for another episode, because I really want—you know, I want you to know that I tried my best, and I’m afraid I failed.”


And he said, “I saw it all cut together. In fact, we edit right on set.” And he said, “I can see a completed scene just immediately.” And he said, “In fact, I’m going to make it harder for you, from here on out.”

(Jesse chuckles.)

And I was like, “How dare you?” And to be fair, Alex is an old friend of mine. We both used to work for Sam Raimi’s production company. We both came up together like—god, almost 30 years ago. And so, yeah, he was giving me a hard time. Like, “If you think that was hard, I’m going to make it harder for you.” And then I ended up, you know, in four of the five seasons of Star Trek Discovery. And yeah.

Jesse Thorn: I mean, you got a meal ticket punched for life now.

Tig Notaro: I know. I know. (Chuckles.) It’s, uh—

Jesse Thorn: And it’s great. Very positive vibes in the Star Trek world.

Tig Notaro: For sure. I’ve done one convention. Well, I did Comic Con. I hosted the Star Trek panel one year, and then I did an actual convention.

Jesse Thorn: I’d love to see you and Maria Bamford headlining a standup show at a full Star Trek convention. I’m not talking about a general interest convention. There’s Star Trek

Tig Notaro: Wait, does Maria have anything to do with Star Trek?

Jesse Thorn: Maria made—her first major, full-time, professional show business career was in a traveling Star Trek: The Next Generation road show!

Tig Notaro: I did not know that!

Jesse Thorn: That performed in malls.

Tig Notaro: Oh my gosh. Congrats to her. Well, how did that never come up?

Jesse Thorn: Yeah. (Chuckles.) Yeah, she has her own Star Trek character in the Star Trek mythos.

Tig Notaro: Well, Star Trek should, you know, throw Maria on a Star Trek series.

Jesse Thorn: I read you—I watched some of you on Star Trek, ‘cause I had read you talking about feeling like an imposter acting and saying all these things with conviction and, you know, being an actor-y actor and stuff. And I watched you, and I thought you were great at all of it.

Tig Notaro: Thank you.

Jesse Thorn: And the only exception was I did think you were a little bit bad at doing the actor thing, which is where you drink from a cup that doesn’t have anything in it.

(They laugh.)

Tig Notaro: I have no doubt that you are correct. I mean—that’s what I’m saying is I feel like I’ve skated along just kind of—I can’t believe what I have done without putting more thought into things, like I was saying. I do work hard. I think I’m good at what I do. I just think in those moments where I could (chuckles) drink something more realistically or try to understand the scene I’m in—these are simple things.

(Jesse cackles.)

These are very simple things. Whereas like I will show up on Star Trek—you know, I’ve just been a recurring character, because my standup career was just busy, and it’s hard sometimes to set aside time to do other things. But I would just show up on set with people that were actual cast members devoting their life to this show. And then I would show up off the road from Iowa and trying to like get my lines together and deliver them and drink a cup realistically and then head out. And then, you know, sometimes I look back and go, “Ugh, I should have just, you know, done some a little differently.”

Jesse Thorn: But think about it this way, Tig. When I was a kid and I would watch Star Trek: The Next Generation on Channel 44—right?—I would see an episode and there would be my childhood hero, Whoopi Goldberg. And I would think, “Man, space has Whoopi Goldberg?! Space seems great!” (Chuckles.) Just think of all the young people who are seeing their Tig Notaro in space and thinking like, “Oh, great! There’s room for that in space.”

Tig Notaro: Oh my gosh. Well, it’s space! There’s so much space. There’s room! There’s room.

Jesse Thorn: That’s true. There’s a lot of physical room. That’s a really good point.

Tig Notaro: There’s room for everything and everyone.

Jesse Thorn: That’s a really good point. Tig, I’m always so happy to get to talk to you and so grateful for your time. And the special is so hilarious, but I would not expect anything else from one of the best in the biz.

Tig Notaro: Well, you are very kind, and it is always a pleasure. I look forward to seeing you and talking to you, and I appreciate you having me back. And thanks for the support.


Jesse Thorn: Tig Notaro, one of the funniest in the world. Oh man, Tig Notaro rules. If you haven’t seen her special Hello Again, it’s a great place to get started. Always so great to see Tig.

Transition: Bright, chiming synth.

Jesse Thorn: That’s the end of another episode of Bullseye. Bullseye is created from the homes of me and the staff of Maximum Fun, in and around greater Los Angeles, California. Folks, I’m speaking to you from my shed. I record in my shed now. Very excited about it.

Our show is produced by speaking into microphones. Our senior producer is Kevin Ferguson. Our producers are Jesus Ambrosio and Richard Robey. Our production fellow at Maximum Fun is Daniel Huecias. We get booking help from Mara Davis. Our interstitial music is by DJW, also known as Dan Wally. Our theme song is called “Huddle Formation”. It’s by the band The Go! Team. Great band. Our thanks to The Go! Team. Our thanks to their label, Memphis Industries, for letting us use that.

Bullseye is on Instagram. We have pictures from behind the scenes and videos and all kinds of other stuff. Find us there on IG, @BullseyeWithJesseThorn. I am also on Instagram at @JesseThornVeryFamous. We’re also on Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook. And I think that’s about it. Just remember all great radio hosts have a signature signoff.

Tig Notaro: Bullseye with Jesse Thorn is a production of and is distributed by NPR.

(Music fades out.)

About the show

Bullseye is a celebration of the best of arts and culture in public radio form. Host Jesse Thorn sifts the wheat from the chaff to bring you in-depth interviews with the most revered and revolutionary minds in our culture.

Bullseye has been featured in Time, The New York Times, GQ and McSweeney’s, which called it “the kind of show people listen to in a more perfect world.” Since April 2013, the show has been distributed by NPR.

If you would like to pitch a guest for Bullseye, please CLICK HERE. You can also follow Bullseye on Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook. For more about Bullseye and to see a list of stations that carry it, please click here.

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