“I’ve never been a comedian that’s been trying to get my own sitcom,” says Tig Notaro, but she’s starring in her own half-hour series nevertheless. However, “One Mississippi,” which debuted its first season on Amazon in September, isn’t the kind of series one would have expected from a stand-up comic 10 or 20 years ago. The tragicomic series explores illness, death and sexual abuse, with much of the material drawn from Notaro’s own life. But before streaming services like Amazon and Netflix opened the door for unconventional stories, “I don’t think there was a world for me to have a show before.” Watch our complete video chat with Notaro above.
Notaro has told her own story before, in her candid stand-up routines and the 2015 Netflix documentary about her life, “Tig.” “A lot of times people will think, ‘Oh I know your story, I read the book and saw the movie,'” says Notaro about how people’s initial reaction to “One Mississippi,” “but no, you should watch the show because it doesn’t follow that whole timeline.”
What was refreshing to Notaro about the series is that she gets to stray from the biographical details that her audience knows well. “I get to fictionalize things,” she explains, which is creatively freeing. “I’ve gotten to the point four years later where I’m a little tired of telling my story,” so as she strays from the beaten path, “it became more exciting to me.”
The premiere of “One Mississippi” closely followed another career milestone for Notaro: last summer she earned an Emmy nomination for writing her HBO stand-up special “Boyish Girl Interrupted” – she didn’t see that coming. “I’m not going to go into specifics, but I was basically told that there wasn’t a push behind my special for the Emmys,” she reveals. “But then I was sitting at home and my friend ‘Oh, by the way, congrats on your Emmy nomination’ … I had no idea. How did it feel? I was shocked.”
Now “Boyish Girl Interrupted” has also been nominated for a Grammy for Best Comedy Album – her second nom in the category, following “Live” in 2013. And she earned a Writers Guild nomination for co-writing the pilot episode of “One Mississippi” with Diablo Cody. Next she could also be a contender at the Golden Globes and SAG Awards for “One Mississippi,” not to mention the Emmys again in 2017. Now that she has already made an impact at those awards it may be less surprising when they comes around again.
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