Sunday, March 26, 2017

Happy Birthday Natasha Leggero!

"The amazing courage of American veterans and specifically those who survived Pearl Harbor is in any way diminished by a comedian making a joke about dentures on television. Do we really believe that the people who fought and defended our freedom against Nazis and the Axis powers will find a joke about Spaghetti O's too much to bear? Sorry, I have more respect for Veterans than to think their honor can be impugned by a glamorous, charming comedian in a fur hat."
"It sucks that the only survivors of Pearl Harbor are being mocked by the only food they can still chew." in response to being criticized for a joke she made during NBC's “New Year's Eve with Carson Daly,” on December 31, 2013, which itself was in response to a tweet posted on December 7th, 2013, by the Campbell Soup Company, wherein they posted a picture of a smiling cartoon SpaghettiO holding a United States flag, captioned "Take a moment to remember #PearlHarbor with us." Natasha’s response was this: “It sucks that the only survivors of Pearl Harbor are being mocked by the only food they can still chew."

Lillian Prays for a Divorce

Picture Legend:

1. Ms Leggero
2. Ginger Lynn Allen
3. Cheap Trick
4. In the supermarket
5. Cute
6. Rockford
7. Still cute
8. Natasha and Gigantor
9. Natasha, Rikki, and Kate
10. Starting out in stand up
11. More stand up
12. Appearing in the second season in 2004 as Rita the Drunk on “The Joe Schmo Show”
13. Tasty beverage
14. With Charlie Day on “It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia”
15. Effects of tasty beverage
16. As Bunny Hernandez on “Reno 911“
17. More effects
18. As Dr Leggero on “The Sarah Silverman Show”
19. Still effecting
20. Sarah Silverman “Tubbin’ with Tash”
21. Getting ready
22. In 2009‘s “He's Just Not That Into You”
23. On “Chelsea Lately”
24. Chelsea “Tubbin’ with Tash”
25. On “Are You There, Chelsea?” with Laura Prepon
26. The Flash
27. Callie Maggotbone
28. Transported
29. James Franco roasters
30. Trip to Venice Italy
31. A lot of leg in Italy
32. A little tired
33. Time to come home
34. In “Burning Love”
35. Naked
36. On “Community”
37. In “Dealing with Idiots”
38. On “Midnight with Chris Hardwick”
39. On “The League”
40. On “Comedy Bang! Bang!”
41. “Key and Peele”
42. As Prostitute in “Neighbors”
43. Cake
44. in “Let’s be Cops”
45. More partying with the girls
46. With Julie Bowen on “Modern Family”
47. The Bellacourt sisters of “Another Period”
48. Lillian
49. Lillian and Mayor Cutie
50. Beatrice and Lillian
51. Natasha promoting the show on Jimmy Kimmel
52. Natasha & Rikki of “The Daily Show”
53. With Lauren Lapkus
54. With Andrew Rannels and Lauren Flans
55. Lillian trapped with the servants
56. With Bebe Drake
57. Lillian make a sandwich
58. The sisters
59. Chelsea Peretti
60. Hubby Moshe Kasher
61. Moshe with Christina Hendricks on “Another Period”
62. The Honeymoon Tour
63.  Rikki and Natasha talk about their trip to Senegal
64. Lady Leggero... and her dog  

   This morning it is my great pleasure and honor to give a great big Joyce’s Take happy birthday shout out to one of my favorite actresses and comedians, the lovely and talented Natasha Leggero!
   Natasha was born at a very early age in Rockford, Illinois (42° 15′ 34″ N, 89° 3′ 52″ W), which of course is the third largest city in the state of Illinois, the 171st most populous city in the United States, the largest city in Illinois outside of the Chicago metropolitan area, and the city of the 148th most populous metropolitan area in the United States!
   Isn’t it wonderful!
   One of it’s 14 zip codes is 61109.
   Another of my favorite actresses, Ginger Lynn Allen, star of “Too Good to Be True,” “Young Guns II,” “New Wave Hookers,” and many other fine films fame, was also born as a small female infant in Rockford.
   Ginger is one of the few actresses I’ve ever met! I saw her in a place called Acton, right here in California (34° 28′ 22″ N, 118° 11′ 1″ W).
   The famous rock band Cheap Trick is also from Rockford.
   Natasha’s paternal grandparents were Peter F. Leggero, Sr. and Rosalie Mae Canezaro (the daughter of Leroy/Leon Canezaro and Josephine Margaret Spirages/Spragio/Spragios).
   Leon was born in Louisiana, the son of Italian parents, Benedict Canezaro and Roalie Bondi. Josephine was also born in Louisiana, the daughter of Carlo Spragio/Spragios, who was Italian, and of Josephine “Josie” Alleman, who was also born in Louisiana, to Italian parents.
   I know, it’s kind of hard to follow, but by some miracle Natasha’s parents made it to Illinois and she appeared almost out of nowhere.
   She’s Italian by the way, yet she has bragged that a DNA test she took revealed 6% Sub-Saharan (everything south of the mighty Sahara Desert) African ancestry.
   Both of Natasha's parents were Roman Catholics, and so was Natasha, but eventually her parents, and Natasha, converted from Roman Catholicism to Judaism.  
   Here she is talking to Conan about that conversion.
   Her father’s name is John. No one knows what her mother’s name is, yet she raised Natasha after a divorce.
   She attended elementary school in Chicago, which is 89.3 miles east of Rockford via the scenic I-90. She began performing in plays there, starting at 10 years old.  
   After successfully graduating from elementary school Natasha attended Rockford East High School, which is a comprehensive four year high school.
   I attended Monroe and Chatsworth high schools in the famous San Fernando Valley, which has absolutely nothing to do with Rockford East High School.
   Natasha worked a paper route to make money, something we have in common. She mowed lawns, and over saw underground cat races. She eventually worked her way up to supermarket cashier, working there for several years.
   The NCAA All-American basketball player at the University of Illinois, Bill Erickson, also attended Rockford East High School.
   Bill was 6ft 1in’s tall when he was alive (he sadly passed in 1987). Natasha’s future partner in “Another Period,” Rikki Lindhome is 5ft 9in’s tall, two inches shorter than I am. Natasha on the other hand is 4ft. 11in’s tall. Rikki’s singing partner in Garfunkel and Oates, the lovely and talented Kate Micucci, is 3 inches taller than Natasha.
   Picture 7 above is of all three of them, displaying their corresponding heights.
   Natasha’s a little person, but what she lacks in stature, she makes up for with a fierce, delightful, and inventive personality.
   When a picture is taken of Natasha without any frame of reference, like numbers 3 & 5 above, you can hardly tell that she’s height challenged.
   Well enough about her teeny tiny lack of tallness.
    It has been said that Natasha was an excellent student. She also participated in her high school's drama classes, in which she excelled, which is odd for a short person.
   After graduating from high school, Natasha attended Illinois State University, where she studied for two years, spending a semester studying in England.
   While at Illinois State, she auditioned for the Stella Adler Conservatory and was accepted into their theater program. She then relocated to New York City to attend the conservatory, spending two entire years studying (she has stated that throughout her training and auditioning times, she waitressed for 10 years).
   The Conservatory is very famous, and a lot of our best actors and actresses have studied there. I don’t want to drop any names, but some of them were Warren Beatty, Marlon Brando, Robert De Niro, Benicio del Toro, Candice Bergen, Peter Bogdanovich, James Coburn, Melanie Griffith,
Harvey Keitel, Jane Levy, Salma Hayek, Martin Sheen, Judd Nelson, Nick Nolte, Sydney Poitier, Sidney Pollock, Anthony Quinn, Mark Ruffalo, Cybill Shepherd, Mario Van Peebles, Alfred E. Neuman, Bianca Lawson, Bugs Bunny, and Lilly Englert.
   Very impressive!
   “It taught me how to be a working actor in the 1700s,” she would say of her experience there.
   In 1996, Natasha was talked into moving to Sydney, Australia by her wanker boyfriend, and lived there for a year before returning to New York.
   Here she is talking to Colbert about working the phones in an Australian brothel.
   After Natasha got back from the brothel, she attended Hunter College in Manhattan, where she graduated in 2000 with a B.A. in Theater criticism. She then moved to Los Angeles shortly after graduation.
   In L.A. Natasha began her career doing Stand Up comedy at the Comedy Store on Sunset Blvd, in West Hollywood.
   Here she is talking about Hip Hop.
   And Fergie.
   And going through with it.
   The IMDB lists an uncredited role as a waitress in Ryan Gosling’s 2001 “The Believer,” as her first acting job.
   2004 saw her as Rita the Drunk on 9 episodes of “The Joe Schmo Show.” She was  Stripper #1 on the “Charlie Gets Crippled,” episode of “It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia,” in 2006. In 2008 she played Dr Leggero (not related) on “The Sarah Silverman Show.”
   Speaking of Sarah Silverman, here she is appearing on Natasha’s web series “Tubbin’ with Tash,” in 2013.
   She played Amber in 2009‘s film “He’s Just Not into You,” along with Ben Affleck, Jennifer Aniston, Drew Barrymore, Jennifer Connelly, Bradley Cooper, Ginnifer Goodwin, Scarlett Johansson, Justin Long, Kris Kristofferson, Mary Stuart Masterson, Luis Guzm├ín, and Busy Philipps.
   Here’s her entire  soliloquy.
   Natasha talked about a day in her life to David Marchese, for Spin on October of 2011.
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.
3. Kick-starter
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.”
9. Showtime
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.
   She was a regular panelist on Chelsea Handler’s late night comedy talk show “Chelsea Lately.” Here’s compilation clip.
   Speaking of Chelsea Handler, here she is “Tubbin’ with Tash.”
   And speaking of Chelsea’s book, “Are You There, Vodka? It's Me, Chelsea,” Natasha guest starred as Nikki Natoli on 6 episodes of the sitcom based on the book, “Are You There, Chelsea?” starring Laura Prepon. Here’s an excerpt from “The Gynecologist,” episode.
   “Take New York City, add every horrifying beast, science-fiction freak, and fantasy faerie, shake thoroughly, and you've got Ugly Americans.”
   Natasha was the voice of Callie Maggotbone on 31 episodes of “Ugly Americans,” an animated sitcom. Here’s a short clip. And here she is talking about the show on “Attack of the Show.”
   2013 saw Natasha roasting poor innocent James Franco. Here’s an excerpt.
   “Burning Love is a scripted comedy series produced by Ben Stiller, which is a spoof of reality dating competition shows like The Bachelor, The Bachelorette and Bachelor Pad.”
   Natasha appeared on 17 episodes as Haley on “Burning Love.” Here she is in a short piece describing the show.
   It is important that “Burning Love,” places Natasha with Ben Stiller for the first time, as he would ultimately produce “Another Period" as well.
   In 2013 she appeared on shows like “Community,” “Arrested Development,” the film “Dealin' with Idiots.”
   She was on “The League,” and “Comedy Bang! Bang!” Here she is on “Key and Peele.”
   In 2014 she was in the Seth Rogen vehicle, “Neighbors,” as Prostitute.
   She also played Annie in the comedy feature film, “Let’s be Cops.” Here’s a clip.
   I first became aware of Ms Leggero as Vivian, in Rikki and Kate’s too short lived  TV show, “Garfunkel and Oates.”
   I said to myself at the time, who is that devastatingly beautiful and sexy, short lady?
   It was Natasha!
   In 2015 she played Dana in the “Fight or Flight,” episode of “Modern Family.”
   She has literally been involved or in tons of other fine shows and projects, too numerous for me to care to mention.
   On June 23, 2015, a Tuesday, at 10:30pm, the Pilot episode of “Another Period,” premiered on the Comedy Central channel. It was created by Rikki and Natasha, and they wrote 5 of the 10 episodes of the first season, and 5 of the 11 episodes of the second (with the help of Jeremy Konner (who directs the show) on the season’s finale). It was renewed for a third season last May
   “Another Period,” stars Lauren Ash, Michael Ian Black, Paget Brewster, Beth Dover, Brett Gelman, Lauren Flans, Christina Hendricks, Alice Hunter, Brian Huskey, Dave Koechner, Natasha, Riki, Jason Ritter, David Wain, and Armen Weitzman.
 It is produced by Stuart Cornfeld, Jeremy Konner, Natasha, Debbie Liebling, Riki, Mike Rosenstein, and Ben Stiller.
    The show follows the lives of the Bellacourts, the first family of Newport, Rhode Island, at the turn of the 20th century. Lillian (Natasha) and Beatrice (Rikki) are sisters "who care only about how they look, what parties they attend and becoming famous, which is a lot harder in 1902." Natasha and Rikki often describe the show as “Keeping Up with the Kardashians,” goes to  “Downton Abbey.”
   Wikipedia describes Lillian as “the second-eldest Bellacourt daughter, who is often seen wearing a tiara. After Charles Ponzi left [her] at the altar at age 11, ‘the height of a woman's sexual peak,’ she entered into a loveless marriage with Victor, with whom she has produced eight daughters, most of whom are named Susan. Lillian is smart and resourceful, but often falls victim to her own selfishness. She falls into a deep depression when Laverne Fusselforth dies during their wedding ceremony and his grandson marries Hortense. Lillian consistently carries around her vicious chihuahua, Mayor Cutie, before killing the dog in a fit of rage.”
   And Beatrice as “ the youngest daughter. She is twin to Frederick, with whom she involved in an incestuous relationship. Beatrice serves as the "ideal woman" of the turn of the century. Tall, rich, and slender, she is a talented singer with no interest in politics and no opinions of her own. She also exhibits exceptional selfishness and sociopathic tendencies, attempting to murder people without empathy. She has several children, including a son whom she calls The Little Asshole. In the second season, Frederick sends Beatrice to a nunnery when their relationship begins to threaten his position as vice president. Beatrice finds God as a result, and she returns to Bellacourt manor with the intention of saving Lillian from damnation.”
   Producer Ben Stiller guest starred as Charles Ponzi, inventor of the “Ponzi Scheme,” in the 6th episode of the 1st season.
   Rikki and Natasha of course ran the media gauntlet to promote the show. Here is Natasha on Jimmy Kimmel.
   And with Rikki at Comic-con.
   And some excerpts of episodes:
   America's First Worst Family Is Back
   The Real Aristocrats of Bellacourt Manor
   Trying the Halibut
   The Claudette Sisters' Demise
   The Hatchet Control Debate
   Too Much Cocaine Wine
   The Cure for Hysteria
   And of course
   I'll F**k You in Heaven - Uncensored
   In August of 2015 Natasha took part in the following curious interview with her friend Chelsea Peretti about Natasha’s Comedy “Special, Dinner Parties, and Donks.”
   It's a big week for Natasha Leggero: Her stand-up special Live at Bimbo's premieres Saturday night at 11 p.m. on Comedy Central, the same network that earlier this week renewed the show she co-stars in and co-created, Another Period, which wraps up its acclaimed first season on Tuesday. To discuss this exciting time, and many other things, Vulture had Leggero's friend Chelsea Peretti of Brooklyn Nine-Nine interview her. They discussed the longest vacation they could imagine taking, dinner-party guests, gloves, and why Leggero doesn't own sweatpants. Enjoy!
Chelsea Peretti: Let it be known that I have not yet made it home from my road trip. I’ve just switched drivers. We have five minutes left, and I’m a huge angel. Ready? First question: Are you pumped for your special?
Natasha Leggero: [Laughs.] I’m actually kind of horrified because now I feel like I can’t do any of those jokes on the road and I have to start all over.
Right. Now, were the people of San Francisco offended by the name of the venue?
Live at Bimbo’s? [Laughs.]
Was there outrage about the word bimbo?
There was a lot of outrage. There was some protesting. One thing, though, I do regret is that I should have had the first few rows dress nice, because it was this really nice supper club, and everyone was in casual clothes, and it just looked bad.
You should have hired a stylist for the first two rows. That would have been a huge investment. That’s what I wanted to do. But I was thinking, what if I would have had extras who were only in tails.
There were a lot of comedy specials where they had hot women standing at bars, like fake cocktail tables onstage. You could have gone that direction.
But, like, only tuxes and evening gowns.
You’re doing like a more high-end version of that, or more of a throwback thing.
Well, there was this guy in the front row — you know guys with those sunglasses on the back of their neck? It was like, "That’s not hot." 
No, I'm not familiar that genre of human. Okay now, I have some more questions for you that may not directly relate to the special but will help promote it, okay? Always thinking about your brand, trying to help you grow your brand, just one sister to another, just trying to help you really hit that brand hard.
[Laughs.] By the way, if they don't say in this interview that I'm laughing, you’re gonna sound—
No, they’ll say, "Natasha had stony silence." Okay, so, here’s the first question outside of the others I’ve just asked you. Okay, you and I bond over our love of vacations. What’s the longest vacay you could happily go on?
That's a good question.
You know how comedians are always like, "I hate being offstage. I’m only happy onstage." What’s the longest you could go in vacation mode?
I would definitely like to go on a long vacation where I didn’t perform. Well, I was just in Newport, Rhode Island, doing a house tour for my show, Another Period, and they talk about this rich couple that went on a ten-year honeymoon.
Did it end in divorce? That would be the perfect ending.
No, they came back with four kids, and they had their mansion redecorated for ten years. Ten years is probably too much.
I was very impressed that you went and researched for your show. How long were you in Rhode Island?
Only like two days. But it’s the only way I can get inspired. But to answer your question, I think that I could go for a year.
A year?! That’s like the craziest answer conceivable. I thought you were going to say a couple months.
That’s how long it takes to have a baby. Not that I'm having a baby, but, you know, I’m thinking.
Where did you grow up, again?
Rockford, Illinois.
Rockford. Because, see, Rockford sounds sophisticated.
It’s not. It’s rated the third-worst city in America to live in.
Well, tell that to the name, because it sounds really highfalutin.
Like, there’s shootings there almost daily.
Really? They need to change the name. But what I was laughing about when I was writing these questions was thinking about how you said you had never heard of Harvard until you moved to L.A., and that the people in Rockford, the students, were groomed to work at grocery stores.
I thought that’s a fascinating piece of intel for your fans, and I'm wondering, is there anything that you miss from your previous life, or was there no looking back?
Well, I did used to work in a grocery store, and, sadly, don’t miss that. I actually remember specifically working at a grocery store and staring at the clock and just thinking, When’s my life going to start?
Did you get any perks, like free bruised peaches or day-old pastries?
I was allowed to get 20 percent off from deli items on my break.
That’s good! Did you go HAM? But there’s nothing from that way of life that you miss, or was it just all garbage?
I do have this memory of long summers with nothing to do. That was nice. You know, biking to your friend’s house and then, like—
Bagging groceries together.
Did you guys all hang out and practice bagging groceries?
[Laughs.] My friend did work there with me. I remember one time at the grocery store, Cheap Trick is from my hometown, and the main guy was in the grocery store, and I wanted him to go through my line. So the woman who I was currently checking out, I let her have almost everything for free.
You were like, "Take it! Go!"
Yeah. [Laughs.]
That’s amazing. And did he?
Yeah. We didn’t talk or anything.
Did you look at him really seductively?
I’m not exactly sure. When you’re living in a place like that, you think kind of anything’s your ticket out.
You’re like, "Take me with you!"
A cult!
It’s like Jim Jones, the Jonestown Massacre guy. Someone passed the journalist a note. Did you write something on a grocery bag? Cheap Trick, I’ll be your opening act. Now, you throw great dinner parties, so I thought it would be an interesting thing to ask you the classic question of who would be your dream dinner-party guests of any historical period?
I remember when I read this book, I think it was about Gertrude Stein. She was hanging out with Picasso and Hemingway in Paris in the '20s, and she bought up all of this modern art before the people were famous. She had Picassos and Modiglianis and Matisses, and she would hang them up in her dinner party and then seat the artists so they could be facing their own artwork. She said that the parties would last ten hours because everyone just wanted to stay and admire their own art. But I think that’s pretty flattering.
I’d like for my special to be playing on your wall on a single monitor next time I come.
Your special’s great. I would do that, Chels.
But who would be your dream guest?
What if it was like, me, you, a couple of our comic friends, like maybe Moshe [Kasher], Brendon [Walsh], and then we could invite, like, Oprah.
You’re not even jumping into history. You’re just being very now-centric. It’s unlike you.
Oh, I see. Like, dead people? I guess I’d want to have, like, Oscar Wilde and Tennessee Williams. But it would be dead people, their cadavers.
[Laughs.] And then alive Oprah, and me, you, Brendan, and Moshe.
[Laughs.] It would give us something to talk about. Oh, here’s a good question. Do you like having a donk?
A what?
A donk.
What’s a donk?
[Laughs.] What, you’ve never heard the term a donk?
Oh, like a butt?
Yeah. [Laughs.]
Do I like having a big butt? You have a big butt. I feel like if I didn’t have a big butt, we might not be friends. Do you think that's true?
If you were really slim — no butt — I’d still hang out with you.
I do think it’s good that butts are in, though.
It’s great for girls like us.
Yeah, very good.
But what a travesty for other people. Are you wearing gloves right now?
No, I'm not wearing gloves right now. I have a new look, though, which is tan driving gloves.
Now, who sees that?
It’s just for yourself.
That's the epitome of liberated fashion.
Yeah. Well, maybe you would take them off and hold them in your hand when you go into the shop or put money in the meter. So it’s a very subtle look.
If health and appearance were no issue, what would you be eating all day?
I would probably smoke pot, have a bottle of wine with me, and maybe potato skins.
Mmm, yes, with, like, sour cream, chives, bacon bits, cheddar.
Yeah, I think that would be pretty cool. And then also I like lobster salad.
Yeah, that fits more with your nude-glove thing.
Yeah, a little bit of Rockford. A little bit of Bel-Air.
That’s a good name for your next special: A Little Bit of Rockford, Little Bit of Bel-Air.
That’s a good title.
   In October of 2015 Natasha married stand-up comedian, writer and actor, Moshe Kasher, who has appeared on “Another Period (picture 60).”
   After their wedding Natasha and Moshe worked together doing stand up on their THE HONEYMOON TOUR.   
   In September of 2015 Natasha wrote the following for Cosmopolitan Magazine:
Hello, My name is Natasha Leggero. Perhaps you've seen me without pants on various TV shows (Reno 911!, Burning Love) and movies (Neighbors, Let's Be Cops). I was also on the Justin Bieber roast sitting next to Shaq. I'm currently starring in a show that I created, wrote, and produced with my friend Riki Lindhome called Another Period. Believe it or not, it's not about my period. It's a reality show set in 1902 Newport, Rhode Island. Imagine if the Kardashians lived at Downton Abbey. I wasn't always fancy; I grew up in Rockford, Illinois. When I went home last year for the holidays, I saw people biking in the snow along the freeway. In California, if you bike, it's because you care about the environment, but in Rockford, it's because you have a DUI. (Do you get the vibe?) My first stand-up gig was at the Comedy Store in L.A. It's still the best gig I've ever had. (Maybe it was the half a Xanax my hairdresser gave me to calm my nerves?) Here are some other fun facts about me, if you care.
1.The funny one
There's often some sort of darkness that turns people to comedy. Tina Fey got slashed. Sarah Silverman couldn't stop wetting the bed. Chelsea Handler's sibling died. My parents divorced, and my mom was alone. I was the oldest and had this very strong feeling that I had to be the one who dissipated the bad news and made it all happy — the diffuser.
2. Wherefore art thou?
I went to the Stella Adler Studio of Acting, which taught me how to be a working actor … in the 1700s. We had to learn the entire opening speech from Romeo and Juliet. "Two households both alike in dignity, in fair Verona where we lay our scene…" We had to do that whole speech every morning with a cork in our mouths. When I got to L.A., I had this affected accent that made me virtually uncastable. So I started doing stand-up, where I could be myself.
3. Short story
I'm 4-foot-11. An agent once told me I was too short to ever become an actress — that nothing would ever happen for me. It was so horrifying. I remember collapsing on the floor and heaving because I thought he was right! But he was wrong.
4. Newport news.
I've always been fascinated with class. At the turn of the century, something like 90 percent of the wealth in America was in Newport. These eccentric people had these extravagant vacation homes. There was one woman who would actually move mansions farther from the ocean — like two mansions away — because the difference in the humidity helped her hairstyle. These people were living like rappers with no income tax, 30 servants, and platinum walls, while there was complete squalor happening throughout the country. Gilded Age was actually a sarcastic term. Basically, it implied putting gold on shit.
   Sadly we’re getting close to the end.
   Here is a 2014 acting reel you might like. I know I did.
   And here she is describing to Anderson Cooper our current diamond famine.
   And here she and Rikki visit Senegal.
   Let’s see, what else?
   Natasha currently resides in Los Angeles.
   Her Elvish name is Ennostiel Berialagoswen
   She has a net worth somewhere between $500,000 and $250 million.
 Her hobbies include, but are not limited to: aerial barrel rolling & wing walking, extreme poetry, reverse mountaineering, impaired archery, pole tossing & vaulting, speed knitting, smoking pot, tuna wrangling, making fireworks, social lunacy, choir, prolonged Burmese zazen, competitive baby avoidance, hot tub diplomacy, elephantidae husbandry, snake dancing, garden engineering (including advanced Ghost pepper cross breeding), paddle sports, three dimensional checkers, mime mocking, strip billiards, passive functional tattooing, endonasal endoscopy, and planetary terraforming.
   Here are two long stand up performances I can leave you with, here, and here.
   And lastly, all of us here at Joyce’s Take wish her and Moshe continued good fortune and health, and a very happy birthday!

   Please send all of your extra diamonds to

   And jerk off more old men.

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