Tig Notaro: Glass Ceiling for Gay Women on TV Is Cracking, But It’s ‘A Very Slow Process’

TCA 2016: Comedian delights and bums out critics in equal parts

Tig Notaro is an openly gay actress, something that thankfully matters less and less with each TV season. Still, it’s quite rare to center a show around an “out” lesbian, despite Ellen DeGeneres making some sitcom strides almost 20 years ago.

“I guess the ceiling is cracking — or whatever is above us — but it’s clearly a very slow process,” Notaro said Sunday during the Television Critics Association Summer Press Tour. “I found out in making this show that this is actually the first half-hour comedy made around an openly gay female actor.”

One media member in attendance slightly corrected the latter statement, pointing out that the short-lived “Ellen Show” debuted after DeGeneres publicly came out. Notaro deflected that fact with her trademark (and brilliant) dry wit, which we wouldn’t even do justice to by quoting. Suffice it to say, she plans on “One Mississippi” having a better run than the one-and-done “Ellen Show.”

All told, the stand-up comedian spent equal time on her weekend panel cracking up and bumming out media members.

Years ago, Notaro notoriously went through an extremely rough four-month period in her real life: losing her mother, getting cancer and undergoing a bad breakup. That time frame is condensed on the “One Mississippi” pilot.

“One Mississippi” debuts September 8 on Prime Video, as part of Amazon’s month-long comedy push. Watch its first trailer above.