While the small bits of stand-up comedy that we do get are funny (Dore’s material especially works), it’s the in-between scenes that provide the most affecting moments in the documentary. Notaro and Dore have a natural rapport as they travel together, something she also shares with longtime friend Nick Kroll, who appears early on to help her choose locations and pretend to be her love interest. While on the road, Notaro is suddenly struck with terrible stomach pains that land her in the hospital. Dore is appropriately worried but also keeps the mood lighthearted, talking with Notaro about her illness — and the other tragedies in her life — in the way that friends do: he’s concerned but not overbearing, allowing her to reveal as much or as little as she wants. The hospital visit catches them both off guard — “I probably have some bouncing back to do,” she admits later, referring to her recovery from surgery — but they don’t break their stride, instead joking about how the documentary has switched from a comedy to a drama. And then they head back on tour.
When they pass a combination fireworks and gravestone store, neither can resist stopping and shopping. “I would love to buy your headstone,” Dore tells Notaro as they look around, trying to decide which one to get while acting out the role of mourners. Early on, when describing his living room set, Dore remarks, “That was weird. It was fun, but it was weird.” That might be the best way to describe Knock Knock, It’s Tig Notaro. It’s fun, it’s weird, and it’s a must-watch.