Comedian Tig Notaro had a famously stressful year in 2012. Within months, she got pneumonia, Clostridium difficile (an intestinal infection spurred by antibiotic use), went through a breakup, her mom died unexpectedly, and she was diagnosed with breast cancer. It doesn't exactly sound like comedy gold. But even before the shock had worn off, Notaro was airing her woes on a stage in Los Angeles. The now-legendary set killed. Popular Science recently caught up with Notaro to talk about finding the comedy in tragedy.