In an interview with Billboard, comedian Tig Notaro revealed that she will soon be launching her own comedy label called Bentzen Ball Records. The label’s name was inspired, according to Notaro, by “a guy named Ole Bentzen who apparently died of a heart attack from laughter while watching A Fish Called Wanda. It’s kind of a good way to go, to laugh at stuff.” The company is a sister label to independent venture Secretly Canadian, the label behind Notaro’s 2012 album, Live.
“I’ve had so much attention over the years that there’s a tendency to get sick of myself,” said Notaro of her quickly acquired fame. “This is such a nice way to redirect the interest and passion and get behind what other people are doing. There are so many amazing comedians I love out there who are a bit offbeat or not completely mainstream, that I think can be with a little exposure.”
It’s no wonder that Notaro is looking to step out of the spotlight and help others into it for a while: in just a few years time, the comic has filmed biographical documentaries for both Showtime and Netflix, written a book (I’m Just a Person, coming out June 14th,) started her own comedy festival (Bentzen Ball Comedy Festival,) starred in an Amazon original show (One Mississippi,) and shot an HBO comedy special. That’s more work than most comics can find throughout the length of their careers.
Now, the comic can use her comedy clout and well of resources to help bring attention to some fresh-faced comics, ones who very well become the next big thing. In fact, Notaro has already announced the first comedian to be signed to the label: Aparna Nancherla, a comic and writer best known for her work on Late Night with Seth Myers. Nancherla has started to gain some momentum in her career as of late, collaborating with Michael Ian Black on his new Seeso show Debate Wars, working with Elizabeth Banks on her new comedy website, WhoHaHa, and making appearances at the New York Comedy Festival.
Perhaps Notaro’s label is just what she needs to get her new album, Just Putting This Out There (coming in July,) and the material of other fledgling comics, off the ground.