Tig Notaro was already a respected fixture in standup comedy when, in 2012, she catapulted to a new level of attention by uttering four words at the start of a now famous set at the Los Angeles club Largo.
"Hello," she told the audience. "I have cancer."
Notaro's frankness about her diagnosis — all while also chronicling a time that included an additional serious health crisis, the sudden death of her mother and a painful breakup — garnered her a jolt of high-profile praise and a whole new audience of fans. Soon after, it became the inspiration for her lauded Amazon series "One Mississippi," costarring Notaro's real-life wife Stephanie Allynne.
"The show is about this time period where everything fell apart in a short period of time," Notaro told Salon. "After I went through all of that, I truly somehow believed I was through all of the hard stuff in life and well, now, it's smooth sailing. I really really thought that."
But life had more in store for Notaro.
"It wasn't what I went through in the four months of 2012, but life continues to dole out serious challenges — and tremendously wonderful, beautiful things too. But the horror doesn't go away," she said.
The show is back now for its second season, and Notaro recently celebrated a milestone: five years of being cancer free. We sat down earlier this week to talk about the reality check that a perfect storm of bad news can provide. Watch our conversation in the video.