Between her voice work on Ugly Americans, her blistering performances on the celebrity roasts, and her popular stand-up specials, Natasha Leggero is one of comedy’s hottest dynamic forces. Next, she’ll parlay her talents to Another Period, the faux-reality show she co-wrote with Riki Lindhome of “Garfunkel and Oats” fame, that parodies the current wave of fame-seeking reality stars albeit with a twist: It takes place in the early 1900s.
EW talked to Leggero on about the inspiration behind the show, her writing process, and, of course, what really went down at the Justin Bieber roast.
EW: What was the inspiration for Another Period?
NATASHA LEGGERO: Riki Lindhome and I wanted to create something together, and I had come to her with these two ideas: One was a fake reality show in modern times with these really stupid girls—it was called Dumb—and then I also had this idea for a dramatic show that takes place in 1902. And Riki was like, “Well, why don’t we combine them?”
What’s your writing process like? Is it a stereotypical writers’ room, or are you just bouncing ideas off each other over wine?
Well, the wine is good for the brainstorming aspect, but we have six writers, including Moshe Kasher.
Have you learned anything new from creating your own show?
This is the first time I’ve ever done anything like this, so one of the main things that I’ve learned is once I can imagine who would play the character, it just opens up. When I started thinking, like, “Michael Ian Black should be our butler,” then all of a sudden every single thing he says as Michael Ian Black becomes hilarious, and the pages just start to write themselves. Like, once Christina Hendricks signed on to be our maid, it was like “Oh! This is exactly who this person is!” And you just write for that voice.
How do you stop from cracking up on set?
It’s a luxurious thing, to be able to lose a take. When you’re only getting two takes and you’re in charge of everything—you know, because as the producer, you have to not only be worrying about your part, but you want to make sure everything else is going smoothly.
Is it important to stay true to the period of 1902?
Yeah. We got that kid from Jackass—playing one of our sons—and he had spiked hair. And it’s like “No; this takes place in 1902! You can’t spike your hair!” But after the Justin Bieber roast, I asked Snoop Dogg to do our theme song for Another Period. He actually did it. There’s a little bit of gangsta rap in the period piece; I’m not going to lie.
I think 1902 is considered the golden age of hip hop.
Of the celebrity roasts you’ve been a part of, which was your favorite?
The James Franco Roast was very fun, but it felt a little bit more, like, “Hollywood.” Whereas somehow the Justin Bieber roast was just like a party. I mean, people were drinking scotch, smoking pot. People were just doing whatever they wanted. Martha Stewart was there! It just felt very fun and relaxed.
If you could roast one celebrity, who would it be?
Another Period premieres on June 23 on Comedy Central.