The first time Natasha Leggero came to Just for Laughs Montreal, it would be a stretch to say she went to the festival. Despite a slot in their prestigious New Faces showcase, her nerves got the better of her: “I was so nervous to do [it], I think I just stayed in my hotel room the entire time, the entire festival except for my set.”
As Leggero’s star has risen, the nerves have subsided- a welcome development given her prominent placement in this year’s fest. Leggero is one of the hosts for JFL’s All-Access Live, a key piece of the festival’s yearlong presence across Canada. The All-Access shows, combined with highlights from other JFL events, are edited and broadcast on Canada’s The Comedy Network. She’ll be hosting and headlining a show for the series, as will Mike Birbiglia, Wyatt Cenac, and Leggero’s husband Moshe Kasher. Knowing that she’ll be in good company alongside friends and fellow comics has brought Natasha a long way from that early New Faces appearance.
“For comedians, you’re always going to these festivals and hanging out with your comedian friends, so there’s always a unique group of comedians there, so that influences your experience as well.”
In addition to her All-Access Live appearance, Leggero will be sharing the stage with Kasher as part of their Endless Honeymoon Tour. The tour was inspired by a Newport couple she learned about while researching her Comedy Central series Another Period, whose level of luxury was so great, they went on a decade long honeymoon. “Moshe and I were very inspired by that,” Leggero said. She was quick to add, “We can’t afford to go on a straight honeymoon [like that], so it’s basically a working honeymoon,” but one she’d be more than happy to stretch out over ten years!
Leggero’s curious to see how one element of the show goes over with an international audience. “I’m excited because we do a group thing together. I do a set, he does a set, and then we’ll come on stage together and do live couples counseling.” She wondered aloud what sorts of problems they’d be addressing for a Canadian crowd: “I feel like Canadians are just a nicer version of Americans, so I don’t know what kinds of couples problems we’ll run into!”
Leggero and Kasher, by her own admission, are likely only qualified to give “light counseling” a year and a half into their marriage, but the shared segment of the show has provided fun challenges for audience interaction. “Usually there’s one member of the couple who really wants to discuss something, and then the other one’s a bit reluctant, and then they’ll talk them into it. And then they’ll come up.” Once on stage, they do their best to talk the pair through a problem they’ve been facing and are willing to share.
“Some of them are easy. I want the dog to sleep in the bed, he doesn’t- what do we do? And we come up with some very practical solutions based on both of their pet peeves.” But they do have a big win to their credit- a couple who was on the verge of a breakup before attending a show has since Tweeted at Leggero and Kasher that they got married! “So, we’re very proud of that,” Leggero admitted with a laugh.
If you’re headed to Montreal, be sure to catch All-Access Live July 28th with Natasha Leggero at either 7:00pm or 10:00pm; additional comics will be announced closer to the show. Natasha Leggero and Moshe Kasher’s Endless Honeymoon Tour starts on July 19th and will be touring the U.S. and Canada through August 9th.