Road Trip of Triumph

A cancer survivor, Sarah Silverman’s boyfriend and another comedian get into a borrowed RV …

Comedians Kyle Dunnigan, Tig Notaro and David Huntsberger, from left, co-hosts of the “Professor Blastoff” podcast, are taking the show on the road in a stranger’s RV.
Comedians Kyle Dunnigan, Tig Notaro and David Huntsberger, from left, co-hosts of the “Professor Blastoff” podcast, are taking the show on the road in a stranger’s RV.

Kyle Dunnigan is worried.

“This is looking like it’s going to be a disaster,” the comedian says.

It’s mid-April, 10 days before Dunnigan will head out on the road to co-host the first “Professor Blastoff” tour — a live version of the podcast, which blends comedy with headier subjects like science and philosophy — and he’s running through his to-do list for the day.

The tasks keep piling up: He needs to pick up a recording device, help book guests, secure the RV they’re borrowing and prepare for a show that night with girlfriend Sarah Silverman.

“We were all just dropping the ball on preparing ourselves for this tour,” Dunnigan says of his co-hosts and tourmates, comedians Tig Notaro and David Huntsberger.

Namely, the trio almost didn’t have a way to get around.

They found a ride only after Silverman sent out a tweet asking if anyone had an RV to lend for the three-week tour.

“This guy is being really nice and letting us borrow” his RV, Dunnigan says. “I thought it would never work. I don’t even think he’s [a fan of the show], he’s a fan of Sarah’s.”

“Professor Blastoff” may not be a mainstream success, but the podcast did develop a strong following last year in the wake of Notaro’s battle with breast cancer. After she recovered, Notaro released an album, “Live,” in which she used comedy as a way to deal with the diagnosis and a string of bad luck that preceded it. The way Notaro handled her diagnosis made her more famous than ever and, in turn, set the stage for the “Blastoff” tour.

In the midst of Notaro’s treatment, Dunnigan lived with her when the two moved to New York last year to write for Comedy Central’s new sketch series, “Inside Amy Schumer.”

He thought to himself, “ ‘You’re going to be Tig’s caretaker.’ [But] when she got there, we just had a great time.”

“Tig is tough,” adds Huntsberger, who released a new stand-up album, “Explosion Land,” last month. “She developed this toughness that is uncommon and sort of prepared her for everything she was dealing with.”

Which makes a poorly planned tour seem like nothing to worry about.

Sixth and I Historic Synagogue, 600 I St. NW; Sun., 8 p.m., $15-$20; 202-408-3100. (Gallery Place)
Rudi Greenberg is Express' Weekend Pass editor and comedy columnist.
SECTION: {section=express, subsection=null}!!!
INITIAL commentConfig: {includereply=true, canvas_permalink_id=washpost.com/8bvh5zpd9k, allow_comments=true, commentmaxlength=2000, includeshare=true, display_comments=true, canvas_permalink_app_instance=m6yzjj840m, display_more=true, moderationrequired=false, includefeaturenotification=true, defaultsort=reverseChronological, canvas_allcomments_id=washpost.com/km4ey0dajm, comments_period=14, includevoteofftopic=false, allow_videos=false, childrenitemsperpage=3, markerdisplay=post_commenter:Post Commenter|staff:Post Writer|top_commenter:Post Forum|top_local:Washingtologist|top_sports:SuperFan|fact_checker:Fact Checker|post_recommended:Post Recommended|world_watcher:World Watcher|cultuer_connoisseur:Culture Connoisseur|weather_watcher:Capital Weather Watcher|post_contributor:Post Contributor, includesorts=true, includeheader=true, defaulttab=all, includeverifiedcommenters=true, includerecommend=true, maxitemstop=2, includereport=true, source=washpost.com, allow_photos=false, maxitems=7, display_ugc_photos=false, includepause=true, canvas_allcomments_app_instance=6634zxcgfd, includepermalink=false}!!!

UGC FROM ARTICLE: !!!

FINAL commentConfig: {includereply=true, canvas_permalink_id=washpost.com/8bvh5zpd9k, allow_comments=true, commentmaxlength=2000, includeshare=true, display_comments=true, canvas_permalink_app_instance=m6yzjj840m, display_more=true, moderationrequired=false, includefeaturenotification=true, defaultsort=reverseChronological, canvas_allcomments_id=washpost.com/km4ey0dajm, comments_period=14, includevoteofftopic=false, allow_videos=false, childrenitemsperpage=3, markerdisplay=post_commenter:Post Commenter|staff:Post Writer|top_commenter:Post Forum|top_local:Washingtologist|top_sports:SuperFan|fact_checker:Fact Checker|post_recommended:Post Recommended|world_watcher:World Watcher|cultuer_connoisseur:Culture Connoisseur|weather_watcher:Capital Weather Watcher|post_contributor:Post Contributor, includesorts=true, includeheader=true, defaulttab=all, includeverifiedcommenters=true, includerecommend=true, maxitemstop=2, includereport=true, source=washpost.com, allow_photos=false, maxitems=7, display_ugc_photos=false, includepause=true, canvas_allcomments_app_instance=6634zxcgfd, includepermalink=false}!!
Comments
SECTION: {section=express, subsection=null}!!!
INITIAL commentConfig: {includereply=true, canvas_permalink_id=washpost.com/8bvh5zpd9k, allow_comments=true, commentmaxlength=2000, includeshare=true, display_comments=true, canvas_permalink_app_instance=m6yzjj840m, display_more=true, moderationrequired=false, includefeaturenotification=true, defaultsort=reverseChronological, canvas_allcomments_id=washpost.com/km4ey0dajm, comments_period=14, includevoteofftopic=false, allow_videos=false, childrenitemsperpage=3, markerdisplay=post_commenter:Post Commenter|staff:Post Writer|top_commenter:Post Forum|top_local:Washingtologist|top_sports:SuperFan|fact_checker:Fact Checker|post_recommended:Post Recommended|world_watcher:World Watcher|cultuer_connoisseur:Culture Connoisseur|weather_watcher:Capital Weather Watcher|post_contributor:Post Contributor, includesorts=true, includeheader=true, defaulttab=all, includeverifiedcommenters=true, includerecommend=true, maxitemstop=2, includereport=true, source=washpost.com, allow_photos=false, maxitems=7, display_ugc_photos=false, includepause=true, canvas_allcomments_app_instance=6634zxcgfd, includepermalink=false}!!!

UGC FROM ARTICLE: !!!

FINAL commentConfig: {includereply=true, canvas_permalink_id=washpost.com/8bvh5zpd9k, allow_comments=true, commentmaxlength=2000, includeshare=true, display_comments=true, canvas_permalink_app_instance=m6yzjj840m, display_more=true, moderationrequired=false, includefeaturenotification=true, defaultsort=reverseChronological, canvas_allcomments_id=washpost.com/km4ey0dajm, comments_period=14, includevoteofftopic=false, allow_videos=false, childrenitemsperpage=3, markerdisplay=post_commenter:Post Commenter|staff:Post Writer|top_commenter:Post Forum|top_local:Washingtologist|top_sports:SuperFan|fact_checker:Fact Checker|post_recommended:Post Recommended|world_watcher:World Watcher|cultuer_connoisseur:Culture Connoisseur|weather_watcher:Capital Weather Watcher|post_contributor:Post Contributor, includesorts=true, includeheader=true, defaulttab=all, includeverifiedcommenters=true, includerecommend=true, maxitemstop=2, includereport=true, source=washpost.com, allow_photos=false, maxitems=7, display_ugc_photos=false, includepause=true, canvas_allcomments_app_instance=6634zxcgfd, includepermalink=false}!!
Show Comments
Most Read
Next Story
Rudi Greenberg · May 2, 2013