Natasha Leggero on Playboy radio and horrifying pop culture
In her standup appearances, Natasha Leggero critiques terrible pop culture while wearing evening gloves and pearls -- but her witty, spot-on commentary takes the gloves off, at least figuratively. The comedian, who's appeared on Chelsea Lately, Burning Love and Free Agents, is bringing her Servantless Household Tour to the downtown Comedy Works tonight through Saturday. In advance of the show, we caught up with Leggero and talked about Playboy radio, Adam Carolla and, of course, terrible pop culture.
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Westword: What was the first time you did standup?
Natasha Leggero: The first time I did it, I had moved to Los Angeles and I saw this girl I knew do it, and I had no idea you could just be a girl and stand up on stage and talk about your life. I always thought to be a comedian you had to be some old man in a suit talking about his wife. So I got inspired by seeing this girl I had known in New York just kind of talking about life in L.A. compared to New York. And so I tried it and it's still the best show I've ever had. I've been trying to get that good of a response since. Probably mostly because I wasn't expecting people to laugh, so in addition to them laughing, there was this shock element that I was experiencing on stage. Also, I think I had taken half of a tranquilizer, so maybe it was the drugs.
Had you figured out to wear elbow-length gloves at that performance, or did your dressing up evolve later?
I've always dressed up my whole life. In college and high school, I'd always kind of tear apart old dresses and try to make them new; I went through a phase where I only wore Brownie uniforms. I mean, I've always kind of dressed in my own way, but I was a little self-conscious to do that when I started standup, so I dressed pretty normal. And then I just experimented, and one time I went on stage really dressed up, and I found that I could be a little meaner and people would laugh because they just thought I was playing a character. [Laughs]
Do you think of your standup as a character?
I think most people on stage are an exaggeration. It's like an extreme version of themselves, in most cases.
What's your favorite joke to tell right now?
I've been listening to Playboy radio a lot on Sirius, so I'm really getting into doing an impression of these girls who are on Playboy radio giving advice. They're Playmates. The one thing that Playmates are not supposed to do is talk, and they're giving advice. Like, you don't see them, so you don't get any of the benefits of it. Just hearing their great advice.
What kind of advice do they give?
It almost all has to do with sex, but from a somewhat victimized place. [Laughs.] They make it sound like they're -- sorry, I have to be quiet, I'm in a nice hotel -- like they're horny all the time, but you know when the microphones turn off all they talk about with each other is their ringworm and their taxes.