Interview: Comedian Natasha Leggero talks honeymoon tours, theatre criticism and ‘Another Period’

Floodwater Comedy Festival Presents: Natasha Leggero

IMU Main Lounge — Thursday, Apr. 21 at 8 p.m.

Illustration by Jared Jewell
Illustration by Jared Jewell

Get ready, Iowa City — Natasha Leggero will be performing in the Iowa Memorial Union Main Lounge on Thursday, Apr. 21 at 8 p.m as part of the Floodwater Comedy Festival. Tickets are $25 in advance and are available on Floodwater’s website.

Leggero is an actress and comedian who has appeared in dozens of films and TV programs in recent years. Whether it’s Reno 911, voice-over work on various animated shows or as a panelist on programs such as @Midnight and Chelsea Lately, Natasha’s comedic voice and vision rings through.

Mostly recently, Leggero has been hard at work on the hilarious television show Another Period with Riki Lindhome (Garfunkel of Garfunkel and Oates). The two co-created, co-write and co-star on the series. Another Period can currently be streamed on HULU or viewed on Comedy Central.

You live with someone special correct? Tell me about your dog — Mayor Cutie, yes?

Oh! Mayor Cutie is a Caesar Chihuahua that we found on the street, and she now has an agent. She is very photogenic, and we try to take her on set whenever we can because she likes the attention.

Illustration by
Illustration by Jared Jewell

I kid with that last question, because you really do live with someone special. You recently got married: How is that first six months with Moshe [Kasher] going? Are you enjoying marriage? Honeymoon tour?

Every day is a party! Moshe and I are actually going on a Honeymoon Tour, so you can check my website for dates but it’s a destination based tour … The concept is we are only going to the best honeymoon cities in America. So unfortunately Iowa City is not on there.

You are originally from Rockford IL — how has that Midwestern upbringing impacted your comedy?

Oh right, because you’re in Iowa. Well I’m from the Midwest; that was where I spent the first 16–18 years of my life. Whenever it was legal for me to leave I left, but I did spend time there so that did sort of shape my perspective.

It seems to me that your tone of comedy is more in line with critique, which if I’m not mistaken is actually what you attended school for?

My major was in theatre criticism, so I guess I just transferred those skills from critiquing theatre to critiquing society. It really trained me in those critical thinking skills and how to look at things. You know, comics are some of the most interesting people, because they don’t look at the obvious thing. They’ll look at things … that people are afraid of. They’ll find funny in something serious or even tragic. Criticism is just being able to view the world in different ways, and to look at the unpopular viewpoint — and if you make the unpopular or not so obvious viewpoint funny, and it’s truthful, that’s the kind of comedy I like watching. People like Bill Burr or Tig Notaro. But I also like comedians that have a silliness to them too.

Congratulations on Another Period getting a second season order. Will that be 10 episodes again?

Yes, we are doing 10 episodes. We just shot them and now we are editing them, and they will begin airing June 15.

What has the experience been like co-creating that with Riki Lindhome? What is it like being part of a duo like that?

It’s fun! It’s really nice to have a partner because someone is always doing one thing [while] you do the other thing — and that means someone is always picking up the slack. In addition, everyone has got different talents, so … you can just do what you are naturally best at, and they in turn are doing what they are naturally best at, and then hopefully nothing gets lost in the cross ya know?

That’s distributed/produced by Red Hour correct? They’ve been producing great, entertaining films for some time — and really funny TV in more recent years. When working with a company with experience like that, do you rely on them a lot, or do you just hand them the end product?

It’s all very collaborative. Jeremy [Konner] will do his director’s cut and then Riki and I will do a cut and then Red Hour gives us notes and Comedy Central gives notes. Also, having good producers is essential because they’ll also talk to the network on your behalf, and help you fight for your vision. So yeah, it’s all very collaborative.

The show is definitely fun to watch. How would describe Another Period to someone completely ignorant of it?

It is if the Kardashians lived in Downton Abbey. (laughter) Basically, we are these heiresses trying to get famous in 1902, which is really hard because there is no technology. It’s just the daily life of this American family living in Newport, Rhode Island with way too much money. We researched it, and at the turn of the century that was an amazing place, and historically people were living like rappers! So we’ve gone to Newport, and we have all these stories and we’ve studied it and are frankly inspired by that time in American history.

Hilarious — the idea of trying to go viral at the turn of the century.

I know! They didn’t even have photographs so you would have to pose for your portrait all day long!

Ryan Morrow is a dog loving comic book creator that makes his living selling things to people — did you want some things? This article was originally published in Little Village issue 197.

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