When she’s not playing badass mercenaries in Zack Snyder zombie movies, Tig Notaro’s been known to do a little stand-up comedy. Or a lot of stand-up, actually: she’s one of the most acclaimed comedians of the last decade, and that’s because she’s really damn good at it. Seriously, she does deadpan better than anybody since Newhart.
It’s been a few years since Notaro’s last special, Happy to Be Here, premiered on Netflix, and in the meantime she’s kept busy with, well, that zombie movie, a role in Star Trek: Discovery, her podcast Don’t Ask Tig, and an online talk show, among other projects. Then there was a little matter of a global pandemic that made shooting a stand-up special rather difficult, at least for responsible comedians. But we’re finally, maybe, crawling out of our Covid bunkers, and with that hopeful return to normalcy comes news of a new Tig Notaro comedy special. Her next special will arrive on HBO and HBO Max later this summer, with Ellen DeGeneres on board as executive producer. It’s not a typical stand-up special, though: it’s fully animated.
As far as pandemic-era workarounds for safe stand-up goes, that’s a pretty unique one. HBO’s touting it as the first ever fully-animated stand-up special, and considering I can’t think of another one—or even all that many partially-animated stand-up specials—I’ll take the cable network at its word.
Notaro didn’t sign up any slouches for the animation on this one. It’s being handled by Six Point Harness the studio behind the Oscar-winning short Hair Love, the Adult Swim series Lazor Wulf, and Michelle Obama’s Waffles + Mochi. Hiring Six Point Harness ensures that the special won’t just look good, but also have a strongly distinct style.
Why animation, though? Let Notaro answer that herself, courtesy of the press release HBO sent out earlier today. “After having had the pleasure of seeing bits and pieces of my comedy animated over the years by some talented artists, I became DRAWN to the idea of creating a fully animated hour,” she says. “Stand-up can be a very solitary art form, so combining it with a collaborative years-long creative effort was such a joyful experience. I’m so proud of this special and can’t wait for everyone to be fully vaccinated watching with their Nana.”
There’s no release date yet, and no trailer. There’s not even a name for the special. All we know is it’s animated, it stars Tig Notaro, and it’s coming to HBO at some point this summer. So, uh, stay tuned, and hopefully we’ll get a sense of what this unusual project looks like soon.