Wed Hot American Summer 

Naked in the desert with newlywed comedians Natasha Leggero and Moshe Kasher

click to enlarge art_feature_natasha_and_moshe.jpg

With our racist legislators, despotic sheriffs and incompetent, education-hating governing bodies, Arizona offers the wide field of comedy—from the Daily Show to The Simpsons to 30 Rock—plenty to work with. As part of her 2015 special Live at Bimbo's, comedian Natasha Leggero got in a particularly good one. Discussing her aversion to attending the Burning Man festival in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada with her then-boyfriend, comedian Moshe Kasher, she quips: "If I wanted to be part of a dysfunctional community of white people in the desert, I'd move to Arizona."


But last year, before Leggero and Kasher married in October, the Another Period co-creator and star actually went to Burning Man with Kasher. Love, you know, makes people do weird things.

"I thought it was interesting," Leggero says via phone with Kasher on the line to discuss their Honeymoon tour. The 11-date run finds the couple extending their honeymoon by launching an "attractive destinations only"-based stand-up tour. The idea was inspired by a duo hearing about a turn-of-the-century couple who extended their honeymoon for 15 whole years.

"So we decided we should follow in their footsteps and do our own long-ass honeymoon," Leggero says.

"Our original idea was to perform at the edge of the Grand Canyon in Arizona," Kasher says. "But they did not have an appropriate venue."

Jokes between the two are constant, and often seem aligned to a secret internal logic specific to the two of them. Individually, Kasher's mark is seen in his sometimes aggressive stand-up, his book Kasher in the Rye: The True Tale of a White Boy from Oakland Who Became a Drug Addict, Criminal, Mental Patient, and Then Turned 16 and his podcasts, "The Champs" (with Chappelle Show co-creator Neil Brennan) and the "Hound Tall Discussion Series." Leggero, on the other hand, is recognized for her dry jokes and delivery, work on Another Period and Chelsea Lately and appearances in films like Let's Be Cops. But they work exceedingly well in tandem, firing missives between each other and never letting on when the other is spinning an elaborate lie (re: set-up) to benefit a punchline.

But let's get back to Burning Man. Kasher's been making the trek to the festival—the part car show, part art exhibit, part rave, part experimental community initially founded in 1986—since 1996. 20 years into Kasher's attendance, Leggero decided she ought to give it a go.

"I thought it was interesting," Leggero says, continuing, "I was just telling Moshe, I like the conservational aspect. There's a leave no trace [ethic]... there are 70,000 people out there for six days. Imagine all the garbage people would create at a festival? They have no garbage. Everyone takes what they bring. You're just super-conscious about it. I wish we would do that as a holiday here in America, [adopt] these habits we should get into.

"So that, I was really into," she adds. "The music? That, I wasn't into."

"We had a good time," Kasher rejoins. "Natasha is in her persona right now pretending she didn't have fun, but she actually really liked it. I had to go looking for her at dawn because she was at a rave camp, and I had lost her. I found her completely naked on ayahuasca saying, 'I love the Earth.' None of this is true, but I wish it was."

What is true, Leggero says, was the need to shower in the desert, which, per Burning Man tradition, was a whole situation. She describes a massive gathering of Burning Man attendees, naked, ready to get hosed down at a shower sponsored by Dr. Bronner's, makers of those certified organic and fair trade soaps you see at hip boutiques like Target.

"You have to get completely naked while they're playing the didgeridoo," Leggero says. "Everyone's dancing naked in line, and you get into this car wash area, naked, pressed up against people, and then someone from above foams you down with a car wash hose, and they water you and you go out into the desert and dry off.

"It was really fun, and I guess what Natasha is trying to say is, she emerged changed, never to be the same," Kasher says. "It was my first time seeing her naked, so it was kind of cool."

The two married in a traditional Jewish ceremony, but per their distinct sense of humor, included gags that poked holes in mythic Jewish stereotypes (namely, the whole "consummate the marriage through a sheet" thing). At its best, both Leggero and Kasher's humor transcends its brashness and lands squarely in poignant territory. But just as often, they seem intent on riffing on each other, a sort of non-stop joke barrage.

"We tried to avoid doing bits because when non-comedians do bits at their wedding it's cringe-worthy," Kasher says. "But we felt this would be one good bit we could do, and so we did the 'she's a virgin/sheet' move, and we were very pleased with the results. We got a couple script deals out of it."

Though they're performing separate sets, the couple promises to give martial advice together from the Scamp trailer they'll be touring in, sharing the secrets they've found to maintaining a healthy relationship.

"If anyone has any questions or issues they'd like to work out in their marriage or relationship they are welcome to email us or tweet at us," Leggero says. "We'll set up an appointment and Moshe and I are going to be giving of our time in this way, to try and help our fellow couples."

Oh, and as for the Arizona burn? Turns out Tucson needn't take it personally. Leggero admits:

"Well, I've only been to Phoenix, so that's not really fair."

More by Jason P. Woodbury


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Readers also liked…

  • Más MAS

    Borderlands’ Más takes us back to a time our community broke, but reminds us that theater can heal and bring us back together
    • Sep 17, 2015
  • 21st Century Storytelling

    The Institute for Collaborative Storytelling kicks off in Tucson
    • Jul 30, 2015

The Range

The Lantern Fest: Get Your Shine On

The Weekly List: 26 Things To Do In Tucson In The Next 10 Days

The Annual Community Mental Health Arts Show Is Back

More »

Latest in Arts: Feature

  • House of Boris

    Get to know on stage the man who helped invent screen horror
    • Oct 20, 2016
  • It’s Open Studio Season!

    Tucson artists open their doors to show off metal jaguars, painted dreams, photos and more
    • Oct 20, 2016
  • More »

Most Commented On

  • Dance Unlimited

    Twyla Tharps’s “Three Dances” and Artifact’s Animal Farm go toe to toe this weekend
    • Oct 6, 2016
  • Space Age Whimsy

    Tucson Modernism Week delves into our town’s mid-century modernist architecture
    • Sep 29, 2016
  • More »

Facebook Activity

© 2016 Tucson Weekly | 7225 Mona Lisa Rd. Ste. 125, Tucson AZ 85741 | (520) 797-4384 | Powered by Foundation