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Act One: Too Soon?

In July, Tig was diagnosed with cancer. A week later she went on stage on Los Angeles and did a now-legendary set about her string of misfortunes.

Act Three: Ashes

How writer (and frequent This American Life contributor) David Sedaris and his family reacted when Sedaris's mother—a lifelong, unrepentant smoker—developed lung cancer. After a lifetime of barbed, funny remarks, no one in the family is prepared to talk about their feelings.

Prologue

Ira talks about the adage "Comedy equals tragedy plus time." Usually it's true, he says, though today's show is devoted to someone who decided to go on stage the same week she was experiencing some horrible things — and talk about those things.

Act Two: Julia Gets Cancer

In the second half of the show, she talks about her own cancer — cervical cancer that was diagnosed six months after her brother got sick. Julia eventually turned some of these vignettes into a one-woman show called God Said, Ha!, which Quentin Tarantino made into a movie and Julia released as a book.
Serial Season Three: Hear Every Episode