Natasha Leggero is to comedy what cocaine is to the upper class: completely indispensable, wonderful at parties, and an excellent post-ironic study in socioeconomic politics. At a recent Gatsby-esque soiree I was lucky enough to grab her ear for a second and ask her a few questions regarding her profession. She put down her tiny silver spoon, excused herself politely from the gathering of various movers and shakers, and followed me onto the crescent shaped balcony where I dazzled her with lines — not of Colombia’s second finest export — but of questions.
Let’s start off with a ‘Meet The Beatles’ kind of question. What made you want to get into comedy?
I always thought stand-up comedy had to be men in suits talking about their wives, so when I found out it was more like sassing for money I was hooked.
There’s a line in your new CD where you say ‘I reinvented myself’ to your mother. Did you?
Well, can you think of someone notable who didn’t?
Why the name ‘Coke Money’?
All proceeds go to the cocaine shortage my nose is having.
You have an impeccable sense of fashion in a field where many comedians look like they’ve just gotten ambushed by the Salvation Army. You look gorgeous onstage. Who are your style inspirations?
Why thank you. My sartorial instincts have always told me to dress like I’m at a cocktail party in New York, even at the bus stop.
Comedy / performance inspirations?
John Waters, Oscar Wilde and people who give birth in toilets.
Your character onstage, if I may, could come across to the untrained ear as one of the kinds of people that you mock with the character. Do some people not get the joke and treat you accordingly? I ask this because I can only imagine what some Star Magazine reading simpleton might think if they took your act outside the context of a comedy club.
I don’t think it’s fair to say that people who read Star Magazine are simpletons. They just never got exposed to anything better so they just read and listen to whatever is in front of them. In 7th grade I listened to the radio and one day this 8th grader told me that there was other music besides the radio and a whole new world opened up. Most people who have bad taste just never had a cool friend. Hey Kesha fans, I’m your cool friend!
You reference a conversation with Snooki on your CD. One: did that really happen? Two: If it did, NO FUCKING WAY. Three, do you feel like America is being dumbed down?
I think we are right at the beginning of the end of capitalism and the masses are being distracted with nonsense while the rich cleverly find ways to legally steal everything. So, yes.
Comedy is a very male-dominated art-form. Does that affect your outlook at all, or do you have a more “fuck ‘em, if it’s funny they’ll laugh” kind of mentality? As to which, Chelsea Handler’s show is evenly split between men and women writers. Do you feel that affects the show for the better?
Everything is changing now - women have to work so we are infiltrating every art form. The women’s movement ruined a permanent vacation for half the species. Although I guess it’s good we had the women’s movement because men used to be able to legally rape us. Chelsea has a voice and people with both vaginas and penises know how to write for it.
You have a formidable Twitter following. Do you feel like a comedian has to master social media these days? How does it help, or hinder?
Well when I used to sit down to write I would procrastinate by hand washing sweaters, vacuuming, polishing silver. Now I just check my @ replies. So my house is not as clean since twitter.
What’s on your rider (list of demands) for backstage at the comedy club?
Sparkling water (problem in midwest) and an opener who doesn’t talk about taking a shit.
And finally, just for shits:
What is your favorite word? Pussy
What is your least favorite word? Kardashian
What turns you on creatively, spiritually or emotionally? metamorphisis
What turns you off? bragging
What is your favorite curse word? Fuck
What sound or noise do you love? Alto Saxophone. I used to hate it- it always reminded me of being poor in NY in the 90’s. But I’ve just discovered Earl Bostic!
What sound or noise do you hate? Getting yelled at to take out my liquids at the airport.
What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? Tap dancer.
What profession would you not like to do? Work at a food court.
If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates? Miss Leggero, You’ve been upgraded to a suite.