“Nice turtle,” Tig Notaro says when I meet her at an HBO boardroom along with my small Chinatown red-eared slider in its sad lunchbox-size aquarium. “Are we having him for lunch? Turtle soup?” If Ms. Notaro—a comedian celebrated for her self-deprecation and deadpan delivery—is in any way put out to be sharing a meal with a floating salmonella factory, she doesn’t show it. Then again, the 44-year-old-comedian is probably most known for being able to keep a poker face even in the toughest of circumstances.
“I think I’m a nice person,” said Ms. Notaro, who was in town promoting her upcoming HBO special, Boyish Girl, Interrupted (August 22, 10 p.m.). “But ... I can come across as not the warmest.” She chewed an asparagus spear. “I don’t worry about it. People can feel whatever they want about me.”
I wouldn’t call Ms. Notaro cold, but she certainly is unflappable ... perhaps unstoppable. Her recent output evokes hare more than tortoise; consider that her 2015 has already included three specials: Showtime’s Knock Knock, It’s Tig Notaro, Netflix’s documentary Tig and her first HBO comedy special (as well as her directorial debut) that premieres this Saturday night. And much like Ms. Notaro herself, its humor is derived from the dissociation of humor as a coping mechanism: halfway through Interrupted, Ms. Notaro fiddles with the buttons on her long-sleeved dress shirt, and pretty soon is topless, revealing her post-double mastectomy body.