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The Best Documentary I’ve Seen in Years

New Netflix Documentary

Last night, I watched the new Netflix documentary Tig. Have you seen it? The film showcases the impromptu stand-up set comedian Tig Notaro performed one day after finding out she had breast cancer.

Her opening lines were, “Good evening. Hello. I have cancer. How are you? Hi, how are you? Is everybody having a good time? I have cancer. How are you? Ah, it’s a good time. Diagnosed with cancer. It feels good. Just diagnosed with cancer. Oh, God.”

Her set was hilarious and raw; “I needed desperately to connect with that audience while trying to make light of it all,” she says. The next morning, she woke up to find that her performance had gone viral. The documentary follows her as she gets a double mastectomy, meets someone and tries to have a child. Her story was harrowing yet life-affirming because of her unfailing sense of humor even in the darkest days.

Today, I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it and raving about it to friends and colleagues; I want to tell people on the street! So here I am, telling you. Watch it here, if you’d like. So, so, so good.

Here is the trailer. Will you see it?

P.S. More amazing documentaries….

(Found via Diana)

  1. I heard about Tig from a This American Life podcast a while back! Can’t wait to watch this! xx Honor Bright

  2. Maddy C says...

    LOVED this documentary. Tig is one of those performers that I have always wanted to genuinely just hang out with, she seems that down-to-earth and cool. TOTAL girl crush on her. And besides the fact that Tig is awesome, this documentary is incredibly well made and full of heart.

  3. I heard about this story on npr. I remember it being funny but also inspiring. I never knew what she looks like but it’s good to put a face to the voice. She looks nothing like I imagined her to be.

  4. This looks so great! It’s awesome to see someone taking their situation and making light of it! I could have used some of her humor during my own cancer experience lol. This is gonna be great I know it! Thanks for sharing!

  5. Deb D says...

    so, so, so, so good!!
    totally have a girl crush on her!

  6. I just watched it last Thursday and I fell in love: with Tig, with her unstoppable spirit, with her family and love. I agree, it’s been a week and this one has stuck with me. Everyone should watch.

  7. Katie says...

    Watched it. It’s SO GOOD. Thank you for the recommendation!

  8. LINDSEY says...

    love.

  9. Melissa says...

    Just watched this…it was truly amazing. I cannot believe I’ve never heard of her before. Thank you for sharing!!!

  10. Clari L says...

    I hadn’t seen your post! I also hope everyone gets to see it. Maybe it’s the 36-week pregnancy and hormones but I cried like a baby, and laughed like a baby too.

  11. Rachel says...

    My husband and I loved this documentary, and then…just days after I watched it…I saw Tig Notaro in my office building! It was such an exciting and serendipitous celebrity sighting. I was to chicken to say anything to her, but if I had the courage, I would’ve said, “I love your voice.” :)

  12. Susan M. says...

    And now Tig-lovers, more good news: it turns out she will make a comedy series on Amazon with Louis CK and Diablo Cody. Wow!

  13. Liz says...

    Thanks so much for the tip. I loved it, so beautiful and sensitively made. I feel wiser for having watched and I think her children will be very very lucky little people!

  14. Thanks for the hot tip. Was just wondering about what we were going to watch on this Saturday evening. Sorted!!!

  15. Anna says...

    I finished it and immediately signed on to Facebook to recommend it to everyone I know. She really is a revelation.

  16. Cait says...

    I had some time this afternoon so sat down and watched Tig. Great recommendation! Usually I’m antsy during shows/films thinking of a laundry list of things I could be getting done. Not this time. Tig was incredibly enjoyable and felt productive in and of itself. Thank you!

  17. Lisa says...

    Yes! I just finished BC treatment and as soon as I saw this come up on Netflix last weekend, I watched. Inspiring, raw, honest. I cried along with her because I know the fear and uncertainty that you feel when you hear the words “you have breast cancer….”.

  18. bisbee says...

    Thanks – I will be watching this weekend!

  19. I love Tig, I can’t believe I haven’t watched this yet! My bf and I saw her live set last year and she is always so so so funny and endearing.

  20. I watched this last week and I think she’s fabulous. I had seen some of her act on youtube while I was undergoing breast cancer treatment this year. I needed the laugh she provided, desperately. When going through all the crap that comes with a cancer diagnosis, it’s important to try to find the humor in the every day. She did it so artfully and intelligently. I think she’s great!

  21. Abi says...

    Oh my gosh I never comment but had to for this one. I am a stupidly lucky person who gets to go to Sundance for work and saw the premier of Tig. So so amazing and the Q&A she did after with Stephanie and the Directors / Producers was awesome. She’s a hilarious lady!!!

  22. My sister was just diagnosed with breast cancer and pretty much everything has sucked since the week after Mother’s Day. I’ll be honest, I’m a little afraid to watch this because my family is still in the thick of everything – and will be through the end of the year – but I’ve heard so many positive things about it and I wonder if perhaps it’s just the thing for me now. Thanks for the rec. -Gillian

    • Erin says...

      Gillian, I’m so sorry to hear that your sister, you, and your family are going through what I know to be a confusing, awful and otherwise indescribable time.

      I just thought I’d reply to your comment to tell you that I felt the same way. I was afraid to watch Tig. My family has in the last 10 months lost two loved ones to cancer, and have a third undergoing treatment. I thought surely that watching this would be just too confronting, even now – but it wasn’t. I actually found it to be really wonderful and heartwarming. I can’t promise you that it won’t sting, but I can say that you will come away feeling brighter, and maybe even a bit hopeful.

      Good luck to your sister, and to you and you family. Stay strong (I know it’s hard).

    • Thank you, Erin, that was so kind. I’m sorry to hear all that you’ve gone through this past year. Sending good thoughts your way. – Gillian

  23. Katie says...

    I watched it last week, and it really, really is so good. I also downloaded the entire performance from itunes the next day.

  24. I watched this the other day too and it brought tears to my eyes. Tig is hilarious and the film was beautifully done. A must-watch for sure!

  25. I saw this too just recently. The part I love is when they show her and her future partner in a scene together in the movie In a World. Loved that movie too and remember feeling intrigued by her then. So inspiring!

  26. Sarah says...

    Thanks for the rec! I watched this last night. She is able to share so much, even her saddest moments, and it was truly moving. Thank you.

  27. oh my gosh this brought tears to my eyes yes i will definitely see it! have a wonderful weekend at the beach xo

  28. Stephanie says...

    This sounds completely inspirational. This will definitely be on my watchlist for the weekend!

    I’m a fashion blogger in NYC. To follow my adventures featuring the best of NYC’s fashion and food, check out sustenanceandstyle.com. Always looking to collaborate with new bloggers, so contact me! See you there xx

    – Stephanie

  29. Caitlin says...

    I just watched the trailer and you’ve convinced me to watch it!

  30. kat says...

    YES! So happy to see this here, it’s a wonderful film, I’ve watched it twice already! Truly heartwarming and hilarious. Tig’s podcast Professor Blastoff is a gem as well – I’m always the unapologetic chuckling fool on the train when I listed to it during my commute.

  31. I might have to sign up for Netflix just for this. I love Tig. LOVE her. Have you seen her set on Conan where she just pushes a stool around the stage? It was my introduction to her, and it was one of the funniest things I have ever seen!
    https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0CB8Q3ywwAGoVChMIzvSYqMiFxwIVlBOSCh3S9g7i&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3Dvo1oyoRGkCg&ei=I4S7VY7XHJSnyATS7buQDg&usg=AFQjCNFzOHuzQAijdhG0nZUYsE1Ml8ijEA&sig2=14Ws0J2EMuTNo6QkRpnHLg

  32. This tops my personal list of favorite documentaries – I watched it on a whim the other night and I was hooked immediately. Tig makes you cry for all the right reasons and brings a new perspective on.. life. It’s a beautiful movie.

  33. Jaclyn says...

    I hadn’t been familiar with her but my husband is a big fan so we watched it the day it was released and we really liked it.

    It keeps coming up in our conversations but the thing we keep talking about is that we are both not convinced by Tig and Stephanie’s relationship. We have some concerns and questions. My husband will randomly (like, SO random, as we are weeding the garden or something) say something like, “Stephanie’s so young, do you think Tig’s fast track to motherhood is clouding Stephanie’s judgment?” These are big thoughts we’re having!

    It was definitely a conversation starter.

  34. sadie t says...

    I know!! I just watched it last weekend. SO GOOD. I didn’t know how things would work out with her girl and man. The whole thing. So good. Laughed. Cried. <3 Tig!

  35. yael steren says...

    I love documentaries and I will definitely check this one out! Have you seen King of Kong: Fistful of Quarters? It’s another fantastic documentary! xo yael

    http://www.yaelsteren.com/blog/

  36. Arika Schienbein says...

    THIS WAS AWESOME. Thanks for the recommendation!

  37. Rosalie says...

    Yes! I saw it over the weekend after reading about it somewhere. Very moving. I love her delivery, so dry.
    By the way, have you seen her Twitter account? https://twitter.com/tignotaro. She hates to tweet but everyday one of her comedian friends takes over the reigns of that account. Pretty funny.

  38. Alexandra says...

    Another great documentary you should watch is ‘Stories We Tell’ by Sarah Polley!

  39. Diana says...

    Just watched this tonight based on your recommendation and… WHOA… have not cried that hard in YEARS!!! I was crying and had chills and laughing the entire way through. Absolutely beautiful from start to finish – really, a masterpiece! I hadn’t heard of Tig before this, but now need to follow her and will bawl my eyes out the day I see a baby photo posted. Thank you so much for the amazing recc!!!

  40. Kate says...

    just watched it per your recommendation, and oh man, it was SO good. thanks so much for sharing!

  41. Amy says...

    Loved it! Drank half a bottle of wine…laugher and cried.. That’s what life is all about. Thanks for the recommendation😄😂👍

  42. Susan M. says...

    Thank you for posting this. The trailer alone gives me chills and brings tears to my eyes. Can’t wait to watch this inspirational story and learn more about her. She makes everything fresh.

  43. Love this! I saw her live about two years ago (post-op) and am a devotee of her podcast, Professor Blastoff (RIP). Highly recommended!

  44. also super good: the Sharon Van Etten song in the credits❤️

  45. yes!!! amazing documentary. i love how her and her partner get together – so beautiful!!!

  46. Kaitlin says...

    I just watched the film last night as well. It was beautiful. I think people who aren’t already familiar with Tig should listen to the famous standup show the film is based on before watching the documentary. I don’t think I would have appreciated it as much not already being familiar with her standup set that rocked the world.

  47. hilary says...

    I saw it a couple weeks ago and was blown away. It is a very honest, heartbreaking and uplifting film. I want to tell everyone to see it!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      definitely!!! she did an incredible job.

  48. I have been listening to her podcast since 2013 (Professor Blastoff) and it is amazing. They just announced this week that it’s ending but there is an archive of episodes totally worth listening to from the beginning!!! So hilarious!

    http://www.earwolf.com/show/professor-blastoff/

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      cannot wait to listen to it!! thank you. she is hilarious and talented, and i find her so likable, as well. she’s just so down-to-earth and real.

    • Kate says...

      Yes! I’m so sad it had ended, but am going through the old podcasts for a few more laughs. At points, that podcast was so hilarious I had to pull over from laughing too hard!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      aww, thank you. :) what a nice comment.

  49. I just watched this last night too! And I literally laughed and CRIED. Lots of crying. It was definitely powerful. I love her stand up and I’d love to see her live some day.

  50. I listened to this story on This American Life a few years back and it has always stood out as a favorite episode. I had no idea it was a documentary. Thanks for sharing, I can’t wait to see it.

  51. I saw Tig perform at a blogging conference and I was awed. Been a fan ever since. Loved, loved the documentary too.

  52. Megan says...

    I just recovered from a double mastectomy and thank you for sharing this! My girlfriends and I who are part of the unfortunate breast cancer sorority are going to grab some beers and watch this together. For some reason, I now “crave” these stories.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      wow, you are a FORCE. congratulations on everything you’ve been through. sending you lots of love. xoxo

    • I am also a breast cancer survivor and tomorrow is my one year cancerversary. I had a mastectomy, chemo, radiation and am now on hormone therapy and finishing Herceptin for a clinical trial. I crave breast cancer stories, too. Like, all the time. You can read some of mine at my blog http://www.littlebsbic.wordpress.com and I have links to many other amazing bloggers who are being open about their experience.

  53. Thank you for sharing this! I didn’t know about her doc. But I’ve heard her stand up. I think she was on the Moth. Anyhoo, I love her. Can’t wait to watch.

  54. ABBY says...

    YES!! I watched this last week. So good. I loved it. Netflix is making some great documentaries. “What Happened, Miss Simone?” is another excellent Netflix doc, if you haven’t seen it. I’m still thinking about both.

  55. I LOVED this documentary, too, and thought the love story was adorable.

  56. Lucy says...

    I watched this last night, too!!! I recently introduced my husband to her Taylor Dayne joke (have you heard the whole thing? you MUST) and watching this documentary was the cherry on our Tig-lovefest-sundae. I loved loved loved how they showed the courtship between her and Stephanie. My favorite joke from their texts:
    Tig: where are you?
    Stephanie: At the bottom of a well, you?
    Tig: I’m standing next to you. Wasn’t sure if you could see me

    Oh and I also love her friendship with Sarah Silverman. Ok, I’ll stop now. But really, she is so wonderful!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      hahahaha yes totally. laughed out loud at that one.

      ps “the cherry on our Tig-lovefest-sundae” = insert fifty thumbs up emojis

    • yes!!! her and stephanie getting together is my favourite!!!

  57. thanks for sharing. I was looking for something worthwhile to watch. Can’t wait to watch!

  58. Amy Lauree says...

    We just watched it recently too! It was incredible. I was also so moved by Tig and her partner, Stephanie’s story, especially Stephanie and how that all came about. Very inspirational how Love’s boundaries get blown out of the water when you meet the right person, no matter what your orientation is.

  59. megan says...

    I too have been overlooking Tig. Not tonight! Thanks for the suggestion.

  60. Jillian says...

    I first discovered Tig Notaro a couple of years ago when she appeared on Conan. My husband and I both think she’s hilarious! Her delivery is spot on. She has a special on HBO that’s supposed to air in late August.

  61. I loved it! I saw two Tig films in July and enjoyed both. I don’t get HBO but will be visiting someone who does and am going to convince them to record her August special so I can see it. I love hearing her story from her point of view. I didn’t know much about her beyond her having cancer so it was nice to get my information straight from the source.

  62. 100% agree with you, Joanna! This was SO good! It was raw, honest, hilarious and heartbreaking all at once. After I finished the documentary I fell down a YouTube rabbit hole of Tig’s past sets and laughed for hours. What an amazing story.

  63. Kaylan says...

    I truly loved it too!

  64. ruby says...

    I’m so watching this! BTW I just watched “Dior and I” and loved it! you should check it out ;)!

  65. Madeline says...

    I just watched it and had the same reaction- telling everyone I know to go watch it! So inspiring and beautiful. Loved the humor and honesty.

  66. Clare says...

    I love knowing more about the connection between life and art/ entertainment– I saw this and was very, very moved by how honest she was throughout and how that translates to her comedy. A great recommendation!

  67. Catherine says...

    I first fell in love with Tig’s comedy years ago thanks to This American Life. This documentary was amazing on so many levels. She’s so funny because she’s such a great story teller and this movie is proof of that. If you watched this documentary and wanted to hear more of her, here’s a great piece that lets you get to know her more and not just her comedy: http://themoth.org/posts/storytellers/tig-notaro
    P.S. The Moth is another great podcast a highly suggest.
    P.P.S. Thanks Joanna for The Mortified recommendation. Can’t stop listening!

  68. jeannie says...

    I look forward to seeing this! You hooked me on documentaries when you suggested “Man on WIre.”

  69. I kept seeing it in my Netflix feed and love Tig Notaro but kept passing it over…but now I want to see it as soon as possible because Joanna said it’s good!

    • Maya says...

      Same here!