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The Comic's Comic Presents Last Things First

Last Things First asks comedians and funny performers about the historic lasts and firsts in their lives as their comedy careers have blossomed.
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The Comic's Comic Presents Last Things First
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Jan 17, 2022

Beth Lapides is an actress, writer and comedic performer who has appeared on Will & Grace, Sex & The City, and Politically Incorrect. But she is best known for creating the alternative comedy show UnCabaret, which has been running off and on and mostly on since the late 1980s in Los Angeles. Lapides turned UnCab into a Comedy Central special in 1997, and then four more specials in 2012 for Amazon Prime Video. In between, she shot a talk show pilot for MTV. In 2022, Lapides has delivered her first exclusive audiobook about the power of life-changing decisions called “So You Need to Decide.” In the book, she talks about her own decision to create UnCabaret, and also interviews the likes of Margaret Cho, Isaac Mizrahi, Bob Odenkirk and Phoebe Bridgers.

If you like this conversation, please consider subscribing to my Substack called Piffany at Piffany.Substack.com so you can read bonus commentary on this episode as well as more comedy news and insights. Thanks in advance, and now that that’s out of the way, let’s get to it!

Jan 10, 2022

Nick Vatterott grew up in St. Louis but discovered his comedy voice in Chicago. You may have seen him perform on Conan, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, or his own half-hour special for Comedy Central. Or you may have heard him on his podcast series, Get Rich Nick, in which he and fellow comedian Nick Turner attempt every get-rich-quick scheme under the sun to teach us and themselves about capitalism in America. Vatterott does have a “day job” writing for HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher. But the former winner of the Andy Kaufman Award demonstrates his own out-of-the-box break-the-mold approach to comedy with his latest stand-up special, Disingenuous, released at the end of 2021.

If you like this conversation, please consider subscribing to my Substack called Piffany at Piffany.Substack.com so you can read bonus commentary on this episode as well as more comedy news and insights. Thanks in advance, and now that that’s out of the way, let’s get to it!

Jan 3, 2022

Justin Spitzer is a television writer and producer who worked as a writing assistant on Queer as Folk and Grounded for Life before breaking into the writers room on The Office, where he worked for seven seasons and received three Emmy nominations. Spitzer went on to create, executive produce and showrun his own beloved NBC sitcom, Superstore. In 2021, he signed a new four-year overall deal with Universal Television — his first big project under that deal is American Auto, which received a sneak preview on NBC and Peacock, and stars Ana Gasteyer as the new CEO of Payne Motors in Detroit, who just so happens to know nothing about cars. Spitzer spoke to me about his love for workplace comedies, his own career trajectory in Hollywood, and how having a wife who’s also in the biz — Jenna Bans, the creator of NBC’s Good Girls — helps them both keep on the right track.

If you like this conversation, please consider subscribing to my Substack called Piffany at Piffany.Substack.com so you can read bonus commentary on this episode as well as more comedy news and insights. Thanks in advance, and now that that’s out of the way, let’s get to it!

Dec 27, 2021

It’s time once again for Jason Zinoman, the comedy critic for The New York Times, to sit down with me as we deconstruct the year that was. This time we’re taking our best cracks at 2021. Was anyone bigger in comedy than Dave Chappelle? Was anyone better than Bo Burnham? We talk about the good, the bad and the ugly of everything in comedy worth talking about in 2021. Was there a Most Valuable Performer in Comedy this year? What does it even mean to be an MVP in comedy? Jason and I hash it all out, and through our differences, we find some common ground. It’s the only year-in-review comedy podcast you need to listen to, so listen up!

If you like this conversation, please consider subscribing to my Substack called Piffany at Piffany.Substack.com so you can read bonus commentary on this episode as well as more comedy news and insights. Thanks in advance, and now that that’s out of the way, let’s get to it!

Dec 20, 2021

Russell Howard is one of the UK’s most successful comedians, the writer and star of The Russell Howard Hour on Sky and Russell Howard’s Good News on the BBC network. After releasing his first Netflix special, Recalibrate, in 2017, Howard prepared to embark on a world tour in March 2020, with a documentary crew filming his preparations and family life. Instead, his new wife went back to work as a doctor on the COVID frontlines while he quarantined with his family — and from his childhood bedroom, began broadcasting a pandemic talk show for Sky called Russell Howard’s Home Time. When gigs began opening up again, Howard jumped at the chance to perform for live audiences, no matter where or how. You can see the results of his pandemic work in a new documentary, Until The Wheels Come Off, which accompanies his 2021 Netflix stand-up special, Lubricant. Howard spoke with me about his approach to comedy and to life, and how it may have changed 20 years after he first got onstage as a teenager.

If you like this conversation, please consider subscribing to my Substack called Piffany at Piffany.Substack.com so you can read bonus commentary on this episode as well as more comedy news and insights. Thanks in advance, and now that that’s out of the way, let’s get to it!

Dec 6, 2021

Mary Elizabeth Kelly is an actress who studied musical theater at Northwestern before moving to New York City. She didn’t quite land on Broadway, although she did rack up TV credits performing on Law & Order: SVU, Alternatino with Arturo Castro on Comedy Central, and Netflix’s Master of None, where she went on a date with Aziz Ansari’s character. Kelly and her husband moved to Los Angeles thinking she’d further her acting career, but the COVID-19 pandemic had other ideas. Instead, she found herself on TikTok, where her impersonation skills and mouth-acting parodies introduced her to millions of new fans. Kelly spoke with me about adapting her career from musical theater to TikTok, auditioning for Saturday Night Live in the summer of 2021, developing her first solo live comedy show, and what comes next for her.

If you like this conversation, please consider subscribing to my Substack called Piffany at Piffany.Substack.com so you can read bonus commentary on this episode as well as more comedy news and insights. Thanks in advance, and now that that’s out of the way, let’s get to it!

Nov 29, 2021

I first met Alex Edelman when he was just a teenager, aspiring to become a stand-up comedian while already scoring a lucrative internship with the Boston Red Sox. He achieved much throughout his 20s. A New Face at Montreal’s Just For Laughs. Multiple performances on Conan. Co-founded the Off The Wall Comedy Club in Jerusalem. Wrote on The Great Indoors on CBS. Opened on tour for the likes of Beck. Wrote and produced the YouTube benefit Saturday Night Seder, raising millions for COVID relief. He’s written and starred in three hit stage shows in London and at the Edinburgh Fringe. His first, Millennial, won him the Best Newcomer Award. His third, Just For Us, launches its first proper U.S. run in New York City in December 2021 at the Cherry Lane Theatre. Directed by Adam Brace and presented by Mike Birbiglia, Just For Us recounts what happened when Edelman decided to attend a meeting of white nationalists in New York City so he could face anti-Semitism, well, in the face. Edelman talked with me about growing up and finding his comedic voice, with plenty of shout-outs to the comedians and others who’ve helped him along the way.

If you like this conversation, please consider subscribing to my Substack called Piffany at Piffany.Substack.com so you can read bonus commentary on this episode as well as more comedy news and insights. Thanks in advance, and now that that’s out of the way, let’s get to it!

Nov 21, 2021

Carole Montgomery racked up dozens of TV credits as a stand-up comedian during the 1980s comedy boom, with her first big break coming on Showtime’s Comedy All Stars hosted by Don Rickles. After giving birth to her only child, she began a 10-year stint in Las Vegas, initially hired by Steve Schirripa at The Riviera, then eventually over at The Luxor. After returning to New York City in 2006, she performed on Nick at Nite’s The Search for the Funniest Mom in America, Comics Unleashed with Byron Allen, and on the TV Guide Network's Standup in Stilettos. But at 48, she couldn’t find regular work in the clubs. So she started her own showcase, Funny Women of a Certain Age. It quickly became a fixture back on Showtime, with stand-up showcases airing on the premium cable network in 2019, 2020 and again in 2021. Fran Drescher, who appeared on that first showcase, is now president of the SAG-AFTRA actors union. Her third showcase features actress Teri Hatcher, plus performances by Wendy Liebman, Monique Marvez, Leighann Lord, Marsha Warfield and Montgomery herself — she joined me to share her firsthand perspective as a funny woman of a certain age.

If you like this conversation, please consider subscribing to my Substack called Piffany at Piffany.Substack.com so you can read bonus commentary on this episode as well as more comedy news and insights. Thanks in advance, and now that that’s out of the way, let’s get to it!

Nov 15, 2021

Lukas Arnold is an actor and voiceover artist who graduated from Northwestern University in 2017 and decided to pursue stand-up comedy after taking a class at Carolines on Broadway. He was just starting to get gigs around New York City when the COVID-19 pandemic shut everything down. On March 18, 2020, Arnold posted his first TikTok video. A year and a half later, he had amassed 2.2 million TikTok followers. The young comedian sat down with me over Zoom to talk about using his voice to his advantage both before and during the pandemic, whether there are any secrets to TikTok success and more.

If you like this conversation, please consider subscribing to my Substack called Piffany at Piffany.Substack.com so you can read bonus commentary on this episode as well as more comedy news and insights. Thanks in advance, and now that that’s out of the way, let’s get to it!

Nov 8, 2021

Jenny Zigrino first hit my radar in 2014 via the Marlon Wayans comedy contest on TBS, Funniest Wins. Zigrino didn’t win the contest, but much like her colleagues who didn’t “win” Last Comic Standing, she may just be winning the long game. Wayans cast her in his parody movie, 50 Shades of Black. She also won a supporting role in the big-screen sequel, Bad Santa 2. She performed stand-up multiple times on Conan, and followed that up with appearances on @Midnight, Adam Ruins Everything, and Adam Devine’s House Party. She also has starred in and created her own Comedy Central webseries, “Bad Ass Bitches of History,” and has both a Comedy Central half-hour and a stand-up album already to her credit. In 2021, she co-starred in the horror comedy movie, Too Late, and Zigrino sat down with me just before she’s ready to film her solo hour special as part of the 2021 New York Comedy Festival. 

If you like this conversation, please consider subscribing to my Substack called Piffany at Piffany.Substack.com so you can read bonus commentary on this episode as well as more comedy news and insights. Thanks in advance, and now that that’s out of the way, let’s get to it!

Nov 1, 2021

As befits her name, Joyelle Nicole Johnson is a comedian and writer who brings joy to the stage. She made her network TV debut in 2018 on Late Night with Seth Meyers, but it was her May 2021 appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon that made such an impression that Fallon decided to executive produce Johnson’s debut stand-up special for Peacock. Her previous credits have included writing on Broad City, warming up the audiences for Netflix’s Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj, and she’ll be seen on the upcoming season of HBO Max’s Search Party. Johnson released her first comedy album, Yell Joy, on Juneteenth of 2021, and recorded her Peacock special, Love Joy, on her 40th birthday. The comedian talks to be about all of that and more.

If you like this conversation, please consider subscribing to my Substack called Piffany at Piffany.Substack.com so you can read bonus commentary on this episode as well as more comedy news and insights. Thanks in advance, and now that that’s out of the way, let’s get to it!

Oct 25, 2021

Ricky Velez grew up in a blue-collar family in Queens and started living a blue-collar career before he discovered comedy, roomed with Pete Davidson, and won the New York’s Funniest stand-up competition. In that order. After winning that contest in 2014, Velez rose quickly through the ranks, earning a gig as a correspondent on Comedy Central’s The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore and appearing on Variety’s 10 Comics to Watch list. He has since appeared on Netflix’s Master of None, Comedy Central’s This Week at the Comedy Cellar, and he reunited with Davidson to co-star and co-produce the 2020 film, The King of Staten Island. Davidson and Judd Apatow now have teamed up to produce Velez’s first stand-up comedy special, Here’s Everything, for HBO. If you like this conversation, please consider subscribing to my Substack called Piffany at Piffany.Substack.com so you can read bonus commentary on this episode as well as more comedy news and insights. Thanks in advance, and now that that’s out of the way, let’s get to it!

Oct 18, 2021

Ahir Shah is a British comedian who was nominated for the Edinburgh Comedy Award at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2017 and 2018. He has turned his 2019 touring show, DOTS, into his first proper televised comedy special, which debuted on HBO Max in 2021. Shah sat down with me over Zoom not once but twice, as we had far-ranging discussions about comedy, religion, the politics of satire on British television courtesy of Nish Kumar’s Late Night Mash, and how Shah feels about having an amplified voice in this time of great uncertainty. If you like this conversation, please consider subscribing to my Substack called Piffany at Piffany.Substack.com so you can read bonus commentary on this episode as well as more comedy news and insights. Thanks in advance, and now that that’s out of the way, let’s get to it!

Oct 11, 2021

After spending his 20s as a computer programmer, Will Hines caught the improv bug when he began studying and performing at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre in 1999 in New York City. He has gone on to become one of the most respected and experienced improv instructors with the UCB in New York and Los Angeles, as well as working with corporate clients, and he turned his Tumblr, Improv Nonsense, into a book: How to Be The Greatest Improviser on Earth. His screen credits included a recurring role on Brooklyn Nine-Nine as D.A. Carl Kurm, plus appearances on Kenan, Broad City, Search Party, Inside Amy Schumer, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Adam Ruins Everything, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, Community, as well as sketches with Conan, Jimmy Kimmel Live, Funny or Die, CollegeHumor and AboveAverage. Will caught up with me during his return to NYC for the North Coast Comedy Festival, where he both performed stand-up and taught an improv workshop.

If you like this conversation, please consider subscribing to my Substack called Piffany at Piffany.Substack.com so you can read bonus commentary on this episode as well as more comedy news and insights. Thanks in advance, and now that that’s out of the way, let’s get to it!

Oct 4, 2021

You’ve been hearing the wit and wisdom of Harry Shearer for the past four decades. Since 1983, Shearer has hosted and produced a weekly hourlong radio program, Le Show, that mixes news reports, interviews and music that can be equal parts referential and comedic. (It’s heard around the world on the radio or via podcasts.) You’ve also enjoyed Shearer’s contributions to the monumental rockumentary, This Is Spinal Tap, as Derek Smalls, and of course, absorbed so many funny lines from his vocal work on The Simpsons, where he won an Emmy for his work as Mr. Burns, Smithers, Ned Flanders, Principal Skinner and Kent Brockman. He’s also been Grammy-nominated for multiple albums, and wrote and directed multiple documentaries about New Orleans in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Shearer joined me over Skype from his home in New Orleans to talk about all of that, his younger days in The Credibility Gap with Michael McKean and David Lander, and his youngest days as a child actor working alongside legends Jack Benny and Mel Blanc.

If you like this conversation, please consider subscribing to my Substack called Piffany at Piffany.Substack.com so you can read bonus commentary on this episode as well as more comedy news and insights. Thanks in advance, and now that that’s out of the way, let’s get to it!

Sep 27, 2021

Sophie Santos grew up in locations around the country, moving from Kansas to Alabama and eventually New York City, where she hosts “The Lesbian Agenda,” a satirical comedy show that she plans to take on the road to further her agenda. In 2021, Santos voiced roles in two Audible Original podcast series, Hit Job starring Pete Davidson and Keke Palmer, and Hot White Heist starring Bowen Yang, Alan Cumming and Cynthia Nixon. Santos has just written her first book, a memoir called “The One You Want To Marry (And Other Identities I’ve Had),” and celebrates the book launch Oct. 1 at Brooklyn’s Union Hall  in conversation with comedian and actor Aaron Jackson. Santos talked with me about coming out as a lesbian first, and later as a comedian, finding her way and her voice. She also shared stories about working on the dating show, Blind Date, as well as taking her two-person musical parody show, “Riverdale Live,” to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. 

If you like this conversation, please consider subscribing to my Substack called Piffany at Piffany.Substack.com so you can read bonus commentary on this episode as well as more comedy news and insights. Thanks in advance, and now that that’s out of the way, let’s get to it!

Sep 20, 2021

Niccole Thurman is an actress, writer, and the co-host of the podcast, The Scroll Down with Marcella Arguello. Originally from Kansas, Thurman studied acting at the University of Kansas before finding her place in comedy through The Second City in Chicago. She served as a correspondent on Comedy Central’s The Opposition with Jordan Klepper, and you might also have seen her on such shows as Netflix’s Grace and Frankie, HBO’s A Black Lady Sketch Show or NBC’s Superstore. You currently can hear as the voices of Jabberjaw, Squiddly Diddly and Dee Dee Sykes in the HBO Max series Jellystone, and spot her in picture frames and flashbacks on the NBC sitcom, Kenan. Her recent writing credits include the 2020 Primetime Emmy Awards for Jimmy Kimmel, IFC and AMC’s Sherman’s Showcase, HBO Max’s Haute Dog, FOX’s Let’s Be Real for Robert Smigel, and the Peacock competition show, Baking It, for Maya Rudolph and Andy Samberg. Thurman sat down with me to talk about how she found her point of view through her various gigs as well as her growing social media presence. If you like this conversation, please consider subscribing to my Substack called Piffany at Piffany.Substack.com so you can read bonus commentary on this episode as well as more comedy news and insights. Thanks in advance, and now that that’s out of the way, let’s get to it!

Sep 13, 2021

Bill Engvall is a Grammy-nominated comedian from Texas who made up one-fourth of the mega-successful Blue Collar Comedy Tour alongside Jeff Foxworthy, Larry the Cable Guy and Ron White, touring from 2000 to 2006 and making a sketch comedy show together. Since then, Engvall also has starred in multiple solo stand-up specials, his own TBS sitcom, The Bill Engvall Show, made it to the finals of season 17 of ABC’s Dancing with the Stars, and had a recurring role on Tim Allen’s FOX sitcom, Last Man Standing, in the role of Reverend Paul. He put out his own podcast, “My Two Cents,” as well as weekly videos to his followers, “Sunday Morning with Bill.” In the summer of 2021, Engvall announced he’d be embarking on his final comedy tour, announcing his retirement from stand-up after more than 40 years. But you’ll still see him in the new reality TV series, Blue Collar Auction, and Engvall sat down with me to talk about his career and the lessons he has learned along the way. If you like this conversation, please consider subscribing to my Substack called Piffany at Piffany.Substack.com so you can read bonus commentary on this episode as well as more comedy news and insights. Thanks in advance, and now that that’s out of the way, let’s get to it!

Sep 6, 2021

Julie Seabaugh grew up on a farm and discovered stand-up when Dave Attell performed during her senior year at the University of Missouri, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in journalism. In 2003, after moving to New York City, Seabaugh launched her earliest independent effort into comedy journalism with the online magazine, Two Drink Minimum. A career with alt-weeklies followed, with stops across the country from the Village Voice in NYC to the Riverfront Times in St. Louis, Las Vegas Weekly and LA Weekly. In 2018, she published her first book, Ringside at Roast Battle: The First Five Years of L.A.'s Fight Club for Comedians, and her love of Mitch Hedberg led to producing/hosting 2020’s Hope on Top: A Mitch Hedberg Oral History for SiriusXM’s Comedy Central Channel. Seabaugh caught up with me over Zoom to talk about her latest project, co-directing and producing the documentary Too Soon: Comedy After 9/11, which premieres on VICE TV on Sept. 8, just before the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attacks that took down the World Trade Center. Her film also will have a commemorative screening on Sept. 11, 2021, at Grauman's Chinese Theatre in Hollywood. Seabaugh spoke with dozens of comedians for the documentary, and now she speaks to me. If you like this conversation, please consider subscribing to my Substack called Piffany at Piffany.Substack.com so you can read bonus commentary on this episode as well as more comedy news and insights. Thanks in advance, and now that that’s out of the way, let’s get to it!

Aug 30, 2021

Tone Bell is an actor, writer, and comedian from Atlanta who began his comedy career in Dallas before going Hollywood. Since winning the NBC Stand Up For Diversity competition in 2011, he has co-starred or starred in multiple sitcoms, starting with Whitney on NBC and including  Bad Judge, Truth Be Told, Disjointed, and Fam. His film credits include Sylvie’s Love, Little, Dog Days, and The Weekend. Bell also has gotten to portray the legendary comedian Richard Pryor in the BET series, American Soul, and recently co-starred in the award-winning movie, The United States vs. Billie Holiday. which he jokes about on his second comedy album, One Night in Austin. Bell caught up with me over Zoom to talk about all of this and more. If you like this conversation, please consider subscribing to my Substack called Piffany at Piffany.Substack.com so you can read bonus commentary on this episode as well as more comedy news and insights. Thanks in advance, and now that that’s out of the way, let’s get to it!

Aug 23, 2021

Michael Hartney is an actor, writer and comedian who was the final artistic director for the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre when it shuttered its New York City operations in 2020, and one of the founding members of the nonprofit Squirrel Comedy Theatre. Hartney created the roles of Stanley and Mr. Williams in the original Broadway cast of School of Rock the Musical, and on TV, he has appeared on 30 Rock, The Politician, The Break with Michelle Wolf, and Throwing Shade, where he also served as a staff writer. He has been a Comedy Central Comic to Watch, a New Face at the Just For Laughs festival in Montreal, and he can be seen every Wednesday night hosting Characters Welcome, a streaming character comedy show. Hartney joined me over Zoom to talk about how he has navigated through the end of the UCB in NYC to the launch of the Squirrel Comedy Theatre, and everything in between. If you like this conversation, please consider subscribing to my Substack called Piffany at Piffany.Substack.com so you can read bonus commentary on this episode as well as more comedy news and insights. Thanks in advance, and now that that’s out of the way, let’s get to it!

Aug 16, 2021

Phil Wang was one of only two comedians from outside the United States to be invited to perform as part of Netflix’s The Comedy Lineup series in 2018. Born in England but raised in Malaysia until he returned to the U.K. at age 16, Wang graduated from the University of Cambridge with an engineering degree and the prestige of serving as a president of the Footlights, the legendary campus comedy troupe whose other past presidents have included Peter Cook, Eric Idle, Hugh Laurie and Douglas Adams. For his part, Wang’s credits have focused mostly on stand-up, releasing two previous specials for free on YouTube, making the rounds of the British comedy panel series, and guesting on series seven of Taskmaster. Philly Philly Wang Wang broke ticket-selling records at the 2019 Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and he intended to film it for Netflix in May 2020, but had to put it off for a year due to the pandemic. Wang sat down with me to talk about his career and comedy philosophy. If you like this conversation, please consider subscribing to my Substack called Piffany at Piffany.Substack.com so you can read bonus commentary on this episode as well as more comedy news and insights. Thanks in advance, and now that that’s out of the way, let’s get to it!

Aug 9, 2021

What was podcasting like before the iPhone? Jesse Thorn knows. After college radio, Thorn, host of public radio’s Bullseye with Jesse Thorn, broadcast his podcast The Sound of Young America from his home, eventually building his own podcast network, Maximum Fun, which includes Stop Podcasting Yourself; Judge John Hodgman; My Brother, My Brother and Me; and dozens more. Thorn sat down with me to talk about those early years and the struggles that came with it, the power of building your own community, adapting podcasts for TV and streaming, and even some fun stories about the role Thorn played in the launch of Marc Maron’s podcast as well as working with a then-unknown Jonathan Van Ness. If you like this conversation, please consider subscribing to my Substack called Piffany at Piffany.Substack.com so you can read bonus commentary on this episode as well as more comedy news and insights. Thanks in advance, and now that that’s out of the way, let’s get to it!

Aug 2, 2021

Rob Barnett has been a radio DJ and program director, pivoted to TV as programming director for MTV and VH1 in the 1990s, pivoted back to radio to launch CBS Radio’s “Free” FM in the wake of Howard Stern’s departure, hiring Adam Carolla to replace Stern on the West Coast stations, then left to do his own damn thing online by founding My Damn Channel, where he funded original projects by Harry Shearer, David Wain and Don Was, and recruited folks such as Grace Helbig, You Suck at Photoshop, and Beth Hoyt, and funded more than 30 other original comedy series working with people such as Josh Gad, Maria Bamford, Illeana Douglas, Gilbert Gottfried and Coolio. Barnett also briefly worked with me and The Comic’s Comic. Fourteen years after launching My Damn Channel, Barnett has translated the life lessons he has learned in hiring and recruiting talent into a new line of work as a headhunter, and just published his first book on the subject, “Next Job, Best Job.” Barnett sat down with me to share stories about how radio, TV and Internet media used to work (or not work), and what he has learned about show business along the way. If you like this conversation, please consider subscribing to my Substack called Piffany at Piffany.Substack.com so you can read bonus commentary on this episode as well as more comedy news and insights. Thanks in advance, and now that that’s out of the way, let’s get to it!

Jul 26, 2021

Tig Notaro has both survived and thrived in the decade since she first disclosed her breast cancer diagnosis to a live audience in Los Angeles in August of 2012. Notaro has released three stand-up specials, two on HBO and one on Netflix, in addition to a road-trip special for Showtime, while she also was the subject of a documentary for Netflix. She poured some of her life story into her own series for Amazon Prime Video, One Mississippi, and wrote a memoir, “I’m Just A Person.” She has been nominated for two Grammys and an Emmy, gotten married and became a mother to twin boys. Notaro has more recently reached new heights with a regular role on Star Trek: Discovery, replaced a disgraced comedian in post-production on the hit Netflix zombie movie, Army of the Dead, and now has turned one of her stand-up performances at Largo into an animated special for HBO called Drawn. Notaro joined me to talk about making Drawn and reflected on her career up til now, so let’s get to it!

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