Los Angeles Times
Romance, roast, record, repeat
Natasha Leggero and Moshe Kasher grew their careers and grew closer with a podcast.
You don’t want to ask Moshe Kasher about composting toilets. The comedian admits as much: “You don’t want to ask me about composting toilets.” But it’s too late — he’s on a roll.
“Listen,” Kasher says, “They are the future. They use no water. They don’t smell. This is a Cadillac Desert. And we will eventually be using composting toilets. It’s the right thing to do and the tasty way to do it.”
“They don’t need plumbing,” Kasher’s wife, fellow co
median Natasha Leggero, adds. “You just have to get down on your knees and start cranking it with dirt. The flush is you churning dirt over and over.”
For all of her input, it’s clear that Leggero, 48, didn’t always know this much about eco-friendly waste disposal prior to marrying Kasher in 2015. But absorbing bits of information about your partner’s niche interests is, for better or worse, part of long-term monogamy, and this is just one of the many pearls of wisdom Leggero and Kasher impart via their relationship advice podcast, “The Endless Honeymoon.”
Though their podcast technically launched in 2019, it has evolved into a multifaceted vehicle for Kasher and Leggero to grow their comedy careers and stay financially afloat during the pandemic. Also, the hosts just really like hanging out together. At least, that was the initial justification for combining their live acts, where Leggero and Kasher would each perform for 30 minutes and then proceed to roast couples in the audience as a third segment. “We just wanted to go on the road together,” Kasher, 42, says. “We were tired of going on the road separately. Then we did a theater tour, and Netflix saw it and they wanted to do a special. And then came the podcast. It all felt very organic.”
The couple continues their honeymoon with the streamer when they bring the live version of their podcast to the Masonic Lodge on Tuesday as part of the massive Netflix Is a Joke Fest.
One key difference with the couple’s podcast versus the live show, however, is that Kasher and Leggero tend to offer legitimate advice on “relationships, marriage and life” to callers, whereas they generally save roasts for live settings. As for what qualifies two comedians to be love life coaches? Well, you’d be surprised. “It’s such an obvious fit for comedians,” Leggero said. “Comedians kind of think they know everything anyway. Plus, Moshe was in AA for like 20 years, and he was a religious studies major. And I had, like, 15 long-term relationships that had failed. So I felt like we did just have a lot of experience.”
That’s not to say that Leggero and Kasher — from Rockford, Ill., and Oakland, respectively — don’t rib each other at the first available opportunity. But there are no “Take my wife, please!” jokes here. For every lampoon (Kasher starts this week’s podcast by accusing Leggero of “nap abuse”), there is a genuine compliment. “He had two things that I didn’t even know I wanted,” Leggero says about Kasher, who is sitting beside her on a sofa in their Silver Lake home studio. “I think this is what really helped our relationship — he was not jealous of anything. Which was really cool, because I had dated other comedians [where] I was always feeling like I’m in trouble. But one time I was like, ‘Hey, do you mind if I mention onstage that thing that we talked about? You know, about you doing that thing?’ And he was like, ‘You can talk about anything you want. You never have to ask me if it’s funny and you want to make fun of me.’ ”
“I mean, if it’s funny, it’s worth it,” Kasher says with a shrug.
“I’m not saying that’s why I married him,” Leggero adds. “But just that feeling of like, ‘Oh, this guy can hang, you know?’ ”
“I had a list too,” Kasher quips. “Big butt and a smile.” Leggero cackles.
When they’re not bantering with each other and offering listeners dating advice, Leggero and Kasher open up their “secrets hotline,” where callers can anonymously spill details about their sex lives, among other taboo subjects. No topic is off limits. Past secrets span cheating fantasies, bed-wetting, jealousy-based arousal and the ethics of toothbrush sharing. It’s an ideal opportunity for Leggero and Kasher to share their own hot takes, a back-and-forth dynamic which usually devolves into more scorching roasts.
As for how the podcast began to take on a more earnest tone, Kasher recalls how a reviewer critiqued their 2018 Netflix special over its lack of helpful advice to couples in the audience. “Which I just thought was so stupid,” Kasher says before admitting that the note ultimately ended up informing the podcast. “It’s like, yeah, our comedy special was comedy. But then when it turned into a podcast, the nature of the questions also started to become more serious.
“On the road, there’s very little real advice,” Kasher adds. “It’s really pure comedy. But on the podcast, Natasha was a big cheerleader for sincere advice. Also, podcasting is more of a subdued, conversational thing than being onstage. And I honestly think if we tried to do sincere advice onstage, it would be really corny.”
Before stepping into their home studio, which is plastered in palm leaf wallpaper and houses a sprawling white sofa, Leggero motions to an outdoor seating area where fellow comedian Todd Barry is seated, wordlessly scrolling through his phone. “You might recognize famous comedian Todd Barry here,” Leggero says. (This is the first and last time Barry gets mentioned or shows up during the afternoon.) Prior to recording this week’s episode, Leggero and Kasher pose for photos with their three elderly Chihuahuas. Splitting off for separate portraits, Kasher jokes how the photographer “said something about being inspired” as he mugs for the camera next to a midnight-blue wall.
In person, Kasher and Leggero’s dynamic mirrors the way they interact on “The Endless Honeymoon,” with one needling the other at the first sign of a dropped defense.
Kasher, a naturally fast speaker, is a whirlwind of thoughts and hot takes, which makes it easy to understand his reputation for improv and skewering audiences. Leggero, who was a regular roundtable panelist on “Chelsea Lately” from 2008 to 2014 and currently co-hosts TBS’ “Rat in the Kitchen,” is an impeccable roaster herself, having participated in a few official Comedy Central Roasts, including of James Franco and Justin Bieber. Doing stand-up, Leggero is observational and unmerciful, lampooning everyone from Rite Aid cashiers to typewriter-toting hipsters, a dumpster-diving Burning Man attendee named “Flapjack” and, naturally, Kasher.
In the early days of “The Endless Honeymoon,” Leggero says she’d actually use the podcast as a vehicle to air out marital issues with Kasher. “I would just bring it to the audience and I would get so much feedback,” she says. “Moshe’s a very, very good arguer, and it’s exhausting to argue with him. So I’m like, OK, I’m just going to bring it to the crowd. But that might be a little immature.”
Kasher started doing the same thing. A few months ago, he asked their audience if it was normal for him to use Leggero’s toothbrush whenever he felt like it. “It blew up,” he says. “It was such a clear answer from crowdsourcing it that I realized, like, in really stark terms, this isn’t cool, and I need to stop. Lesson learned.”
In addition to crowdsourcing advice for their own partnership, Leggero and Kasher have been pleasantly surprised at how legitimately heartfelt their comedy podcast has grown over the last three years. “I do feel an instinct to help people when they call because, like, I always glamorized elders when I was young,” Leggero says. “Like, you could go to [elders] and ask questions about life. I wish I’d had more of that. You’ve got all of these young people calling in and they’re trying to start their lives and get in relationships, and there might be something really obvious and harsh you might need to tell them. And, like, I feel like I’m not afraid to tell them that sometimes. And I don’t know if that’s good or bad, but I’ve just been around [long enough to know].”
Kasher also remarks at how many people have told him and Leggero that “The Endless Honeymoon” was a source of comfort during the COVID-19 pandemic. “A couple of years in, I got a lot of people writing in and thanking us, saying, ‘You got me through the pandemic,’ ” Kasher says. “I think a lot of podcasts had that effect on people, but it was really sweet that a little community formed around it and that people were using it as an escape for darker times.”
The podcast got Leggero and Kasher through the pandemic too, both emotionally and financially. Like many working comedians, Kasher and Leggero toured extensively pre-pandemic. But once March 2020 hit, “all the work went away,” Kasher says. “For the first time in a long time, I was feeling financial and creative panic. This podcast a hundred percent got us through the pandemic — just having something to do. We had advertisers. It paid the bills. So it wasn’t just our listeners that used it. We used it to get through too.”
“The Endless Honeymoon,” whose listenership skews younger and female (according to producer Laura Grossman), has also given Leggero and Kasher an opportunity to become more open-minded as individuals.
“Part of being an intelligent person, to me, is being an open person,” Leggero says. “I want to hear and understand experiences. I want to course-correct. I want to expand my mind to things that maybe I might not have been open to before.”
And, despite how much they love to heckle each other, the podcast has brought Leggero and Kasher much closer. Yes, they both still have packed individual schedules — they’re both writing books and TV shows, and Leggero regularly auditions — but the podcast has become a source of comfort and career consistency.
“My thing is that there are better people at giving advice in the world than us, but there are not funnier people giving advice than us,” Kasher says. “I’m not Esther Perel and I never will be, but she’ll never be able to crack a joke.”
‘My thing is that there are better people at giving advice in the world than us, but there are not funnier people giving advice than us.’
— Moshe Kasher