On-the-ball humor

October 16, 2013
Tig Notaro was the Belle of the Bentzen Ball. (Bret Hartman/for The Washington Post)
Tig Notaro was the Belle of the Bentzen Ball. (Bret Hartman/for The Washington Post)

The Bentzen Ball offered not one but two chances to hear Tig Notaro, above, talk about poop. The comedian, who curated the D.C. comedy festival along with Brightest Young Things, was billed on only one show, but I caught her performing all four nights.

Her opening- and closing-night performances were bookended by discussions of bodily functions. First, during a masterful headlining set at the 9:30 Club on Thursday, Notaro plucked a woman from the crowd and asked her to spell diarrhea (and use it in a sentence) in front of 1,200 people. The joke: Imagine if you flash-forwarded to this moment a few years ago, saw a brief glimpse of yourself saying diarrhea in a nightclub, and couldn’t ask any questions about it.

Then, as the surprise co-host at Ira Glass’ closing show Sunday at the Lincoln Theatre, the pair discussed a David Sedaris story that didn’t make it onto “This American Life” because it was about him discovering something left unflushed at a party. Notaro, ever the quick wit, came up with an idea for a podcast: “Turd Talk With Tig and Ira.”

This was the perfect kind of smart/stupid humor on display at the second iteration of the Bentzen Ball.

Rudi Greenberg is Express' Weekend Pass editor and comedy columnist.
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Rudi Greenberg · October 16, 2013