Dressed to Kill: A Day in the Life of Rising Comedienne Natasha Leggero
Why funny is deadly serious: Read guest editor Patton Oswalt’s introduction to SPIN’s first ever “Funny” Issue, plus the full Das Racist cover story and our feature on the kings of (very, very, very short) comedy.
An average day in the life of rising comedienne Natasha Leggero is every bit as glamorous as you’d imagine. Which is to say: sorta
1. Holy water
Yeah, I got a Bible lying around. It’s actually an illustrated version. I was raised Catholic in Rockford, Illinois. But I’m not a practicing Catholic anymore. Oh God, no.
2. Taking out the trash
In L.A. you tend to see a lot of people do very bizarre things. I love it. I was in New York City for five years before moving here — every two blocks someone’s having the worst day of their life. Everyone’s so mad. L.A. people are more relaxed. Just to be clear, though, I’m much more likely to murder someone emotionally than physically.
In general, comedians are attracted to vice. The problem is that you’re doing your job with an open bar. I was just watching this documentary about Bill Hicks and he was doing psychedelics, then he started playing comedy clubs and got into drinking. It does take you to some new heights onstage. The problem happens when you need it.
4. Cleaning house
That’s my favorite silverware. Duncan [Trussell, Leggero’s boyfriend and Lavender Hour podcast cohost] is from the South, so with his family, guns are always close by. Once I went with them to a hunting camp and watched them kill squirrels. They kind of have a fanny pack they wear that they stuff the corpses in.
5. Dirty laundry
Mayor Cutie is in the laundry basket. She’s a Chihuahua-Jack Russell terrier — we found her in a garbage can in an alley. A lot of little kids started buying all these Chihuahuas when Paris Hilton got one and didn’t want to keep them. I don’t have a baby, you know? My friends have babies. Parents can’t do anything. Having a baby is like a DUI from the universe.
6. Pillow talk
Duncan and I do our podcast here in our house. It’s 100 percent riff, but we’re not afraid to go deep. It’s a salon effect. That’s actually how Duncan and I got together — he got me to go out with him by saying, “Let’s start a salon.” Once a week he’d come over and pick a topic and we’d have this discourse. Then after, like, four of those he tried to kiss me.
7. Food for thought
I have a joke: “I used to think I liked older men but then I realized I was just hungry.” A long time ago, some girl started doing that joke, too. She said this guy gave it to her. Like, “Here’s a good joke for girls.” I had to date a gross man for a year and a half to come up with that joke. I put in all the work! I told her, “You can’t just do the same joke.”
8. Vanity fare
Wearing vintage outfits was probably a reaction to how disgusting some of the places I had to work were. I remember playing a Narcotics Anonymous meeting at the back of a thrift store in Anaheim and being like, “This could be even funnier if I was wearing a dress.”
This is at the Comedy Store. Even when I’m filming [NBC’s Free Agents, I try to get up and perform at least two or three times a week. Doing TV is great, but TV is for starring on, not for watching.
— AS TOLD TO DAVID MARCHESE, PHOTOGRAPHS BY TURE LILLEGRAVEN
More Laughs From SPIN’s “Funny” Issue:
• Funny Is Deadly Serious: Patton Oswalt Introduces SPIN’s New Issue
• Das Racist Cover Story: These Colors Don’t Run
• ‘Portlandia’ Stars Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein Toast Rock’s Great Cliches
• We Like Short Shorts! Online Comedy That Keeps It Simple (and Stupid)
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Read the entire November 2011 issue of SPIN.