Natasha Leggero, who returns to the downtown Comedy Works for shows October 12 through October 14, is no stranger to the Mile High City. She recorded her comedy album Coke Money at Comedy Works back in 2011, and has returned several times in the intervening years. Leggero enjoys the hard-won respect of fellow comics both for the quality of her jokes and her refusal to apologize for them; her cutting routines are always a highlight of the otherwise hit-or-miss Comedy Central Roasts, where Leggero stands out as much for her merciless wit as she does for her elegant couture, including her signature elbow-length opera gloves. Leggero built up an impressive on-screen résumé with memorable roles on Reno 911, Burning Love and DICE and in films like Let's Be Cops and Neighbors before creating her own series, the Gilded Age satire Another Period.
Westword caught up with Leggero via email to discuss the upcoming season of that show as well as Tubbin' With Tash, her next comedy hour, and why she likes to perform in Denver:
Westword:What do you have in store for season three of Another Period? Do you know the premiere date yet?Try as I might, I couldn't find one.
Natasha Leggero: It premieres January 23 alongside Drunk History on Comedy Central. Both shows have the same director, Jeremy Konner. I'm really excited about this season; everything is turned up a bit. Our brother Frederick, who is definitely the dumbest character, becomes president, which might sound vaguely familiar to some viewers.
What do you think makes the Gilded Age so ripe for parody, and do you ever see echoes of their excesses in today's culture?
Yes, what is so interesting is the Gilded Age was pre-income tax. Before they implemented the income tax, people were so rich they didn't know what to do with their money. They would literally cover a ballroom ceiling in spare diamonds. Now, 100 years later, the rich have found loopholes to not pay income tax again! (Although back then, they legally didn't have to.) Now they just hire consultants who went to Harvard Business School to teach them how to get out of paying taxes "legally."
While the writers take liberties with the odd anachronism here and there, the costumes and historical timeline are pretty accurate. How much research goes into it?
A lot of research! We had one wardrobe designer who would get visibly upset at the thought of a character wearing an evening dress in the day. Back then, there was a time and place for everything; things were so formal. We would have to pitch her exactly why the character was wearing this particular nighttime dress in the day, and if you could come up with a good enough excuse, she would allow it. It would always have to come from a character quirk.
Live at Bimbo's came out in 2015. Do you have plans to release another special anytime soon?
Yes! I'm shooting a special for Netflix November 29 in Austin with my husband, Moshe Kasher. It's a special of our honeymoon tour.
How do you go about the daunting task of building a new hour once you've burned through jokes for a special or an album?
It's extremely hard and takes me several years. Life experience helps! Get married! Have babies! Get a divorce!
Speaking of albums, you recorded your 2011 album, Coke Money, at Comedy Works. What do you think makes the club an ideal setting for album recordings?
Ask any comic and they will probably tell you that Denver's Comedy Works is the best club in the U.S. I'm assuming it's a mixture of the low ceilings and slightly raked stage of the club and the amazing Denver crowds.
Do you ever plan to do another season of Tubbin' With Tash?
Yes! We are shooting season two this December! I have a new hot tub, so I need to shoot another season so I can write it off as an expense.
Do you have any other exciting developments on the horizon that you'd like to mention before we wrap up?
I'm pregnant, so if you come to the show, don't bring me any drugs.
Natasha Leggero will be at Comedy Works downtown, 1226 15th Street, Thursday, October 12, through Saturday, October 14. Call 303-595-3637 or go to comedyworks.com for times and tickets.
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Byron Graham is a writer, comedian and gentleman thief from Denver. Co-host of Designated Drunkard: A Comedy Drinking Game, the deathless Lion's Lair open mic and the Mutiny Book Club podcast, Byron also writes about comedy for Westword. He cannot abide cowardice, and he's never been defeated in an open duel.