Natasha Leggero is a bitch

We spoke to the roast-mistress and co-creator of the 1902-set faux-reality show Another Period ahead of her Just for Laughs show this weekend.

Natasha Leggero

Natasha Leggero has been hard at work catching some limelight, and these days she’s shining. At 41, the Italian-American actress and comic from scenic Rockford, IL, has been on stage for over 30 years, but it’s only in the second decade of this millennium that she’s reached the mainstream radar.

After playing small roles in dozens of TV shows, Leggero and fellow comedian/actress Riki Lindhome created their own show, Another Period, on Comedy Central (broadcast on MuchMusic here in Canada). It’s a biting takedown of useless American socialites on reality TV, set in 1902 — the show has been described as a two-barrelled parody of Catching Up With the Kardashians and Downton Abbey, and judging from the one episode that’s aired so far, it’s got Leggero’s signature bite and a manic streak that really triggers the lolz.

But if there’s one venue where Leggero’s star has really risen, it’s her appearances on the Comedy Central celebrity roasts. Here are a couple of her greatest hits, from the roasts of James Franco and Justin Bieber:

Another Period
Another Period

“Aziz (Ansari) is only in show business because he’s too ugly to be a genie.”

“Kevin (Hart), you look like someone put 50 Cent in the dryer.”

“Justin (Bieber) was born to a teenage single mom. No wonder he’s got moves — he was in the womb dodging a coat-hanger.”

Via the hard-working middlemen at Just for Laughs, where Ms. Leggero will be performing her one-woman show this month, I connected with her by email:

Lorraine Carpenter: You’re famous for the celebrity roasts, and you wrote yourself the role of a pretty nasty piece of work on Another Period. How much of this is you?
Natasha Leggero: All of it. I’m a bitch.

LC: Is there a muse you need to tap for your mean material?
NL: Me in 7th grade.

LC: Are other comedians intimidated by you? Should they be?
NL: I’m only 4’11”, so probably not.

LC: How do you feel about coming back to Just for Laughs?
NL: I suspect it will be one of the highlights of my life.

LC: I read that you began performing on stage at age 10. Was this the work of showbiz parents?
NL: No, my dad is a used car dealer and my mom was a secretary and they enrolled me in theatre classes because they thought I was a homosexual boy. As it turns out, they were right.

LC: Did you really get a BA in theatre criticism? Is that where your roasting prowess developed?
NL: Yes and yes!

LC: You hosted an online talk show from a hot tub (Tubbin’ With Tash). Were any of your guests gross?
NL: Depends on what you call gross. I personally adore Eric Andre’s asshole! ■

An Evening With Natasha Leggero happens at l’Astral (30 Ste-Catherine W.) on Saturday, July 25, 9:30 p.m., $29.64–$42.64

Additionally, for more Just for Laughs coverage, please visit our Comedy section.