Comics Applaud Natasha Leggero’s Shirtless Answer to Bert Kreischer

‘If the boys can do it, why can’t the girls?’
Comics Applaud Natasha Leggero’s Shirtless Answer to Bert Kreischer

How many double standards can one comic take on in a single set? At least two, judging by Natasha Leggero’s act at the Hollywood Improv last week. First, Leggero removed her top in comic protest of perpetually shirtless Bert Kreischer’s ability to do so without repercussions. Then she leaned into comedian gender inequity in an Instagram post: “Should female comics be able to do the same things as male comics? Because I’ve also been thinking about trying to fuck my opener.”

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Leggero and Kreischer were on the same bill last Wednesday night. After Kreischer finished, Leggero began her set by removing her coat and throwing it into the audience, according to Page Six. Her shirt went soon after, with Leggero shouting, “If the boys can do it, why can’t the girls?” 

From the crowd, Kreischer let out a loud, “Holy shit!” 

Leggero followed up the performance with an ironic social media post this weekend — first of her own nipples covered by a black bar (the only way Instagram would allow such a photo); then an image of Kreischer with the same black bar, the kind that Instagram would never require for the male comic. 

The post got plenty of cheers from other female comics on Instagram. You could put together a stand-up all-star team of comedians who applauded Leggero’s posts this weekend. “This is an excellent update,” raved Chelsea Handler in response to the black-barred photos. 

“Queen,” said Sarah Silverman.

“ICONIC,” wrote Margaret Cho.

Rachel Feinstein shared a lineup of popping champagne bottles. Atsuko Okatsuka gave an appreciative “hahaha” followed by a parade of applauding hands. Meredith Salenger, Alison Brie and Mary Lynn Rajskub shared their approval, as did male comics Nick Thune, Rob Huebel and Mark Normand.

“You are incredible,” said Riki Lindhome, Leggero’s co-star on Another Period

Melissa Villasenor cheered: “This rocks! You rock!”

In an apparent reply to Leggero’s “Should female comics be able to do the same things as male comics?” question, Marvelous Mrs. Maisel star Rachel Brosnahan responded, “Funny way to propose, but yes.”

Comic Beth Stelling had a pointed response to Leggero’s notion of sleeping with her opening act: “You could always try to fuck your opener, and if they say no, unfollow them on social media.” 

The defiant act clearly touched a nerve among comedians about the industry’s double standards. And in case you were wondering, Leggero’s post was heartily endorsed by the comic who most enjoys the benefits of shameless, shirtless comedy:


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