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Widows and Weddings: Or How ABQ Does Comedy

Widows and Weddings: Or How ABQ Does Comedy

Comedian Genevieve Mueller presents a live reading of “How to be a Widow” at Tortuga on Friday, June 10. Newly-ish married comedians Natasha Leggero and Moshe Kasher present "The Honeymoon Tour" on Tuesday, June 14 at the National Hispanic Cultural Center.

by M. BRIANNA STALLINGS

‘How to Be a Widow’

The average citizen probably wouldn’t crack wise about death by liver failure — which is why comedian Genevieve Mueller isn’t an average citizen. After losing her fatalistic husband to severe alcohol abuse when their infant son was just 5 months old, the widow Mueller ran with the adage “Tragedy plus time equals comedy” and found a way to laugh at devastating loss. One result is her six-part essay series, “How to be a Widow,” published online at Medium.com.

widowVulnerable, scathing and self-aware, “How to be a Widow” brilliantly addresses such seemingly unhilarious topics as “How to be a Mom to a Son Who has a Dead Dad” and “How to Heal Just Enough.” Mueller says the best review she ever got for her comedy “was when a lady came up to me afterwards and said, ‘You make me feel bad about laughing but I can’t stop myself,’ then gave me her business card. She was a grief counselor. I hope people listen to my story and realize there is not one right way to grieve.”

Mueller has written for Cracked and Reductress and wrote a column called Comedy Matters in the Weekly Alibi. She has opened for comedians Doug Stanhope and Marc Maron and co-hosts Dead Things Podcast with Will Bolt.

Mueller presents a live reading of “How to be a Widow” at 7 p.m. on Friday, June 10, at Tortuga (901 Edith SE). For more info on this free event, visit facebook.com/events/1763727730539710

‘The Honeymoon Tour’

The American comedy landscape is peppered with married power couples: Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, Jerry Stiller and Anne Meara, Gene Wilder and Gilda Radner, Megan Mullally and Nick Offerman. As of October 2015, add stand-up comedians Natasha Leggero and Moshe Kasher to that list. The newlyish-weds celebrate with The Honeymoon Tour, coming to the NHCC Bank of America Theatre (1701 Fourth Street SW) at 8 p.m. on Tuesday, June 14. Comedy2

When I interviewed late comedian Joan Rivers in 2011, I told the fashionable funny girl I’d dressed up for our phone call; I knew she couldn’t see me, but I suspected she would instinctively know if my outfit wasn’t on point. Rivers laughed and replied, “Good call. And you’re right. I would!” Were I granted a phone interview with exquisite wit Natasha Leggero, I would don my finest ball gown. She’s just that swank.

Along with Riki Lindhome (half of the comedy duo Garfunkel and Oates), Leggero is executive producer of turn-ofthe-century sitcom “Another Period,” a spoof hybrid of “Downton Abbey” and “Keeping Up with the Kardashians.” In it, shallow, wealthy Rhode Island sisters Lillian (Leggero) and Beatrice (Lindhome) Betancourt are preoccupied with fame, beauty and celebrity. Leggero has also appeared on “Modern Family,” “Inside Amy Schumer,” “Chelsea Lately” and “Drunk History.”

Moshe Kasher, meanwhile, finds humor in being the son of deaf Jewish parents, Christians and atheists clashing in YouTube videos’ comments, and the rodential hairiness of his forearms. That’s just the stuff I can print.

Kasher’s comedy albums include 2009’s “Everyone You Know Is Going to Die, and Then You Are!,” and 2013’s “Live in Oakland.” Alongside a recurring “Another Period” role, Kasher has appeared on “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon,” “John Oliver’s New York Stand Up Show” and “Chelsea Lately.” Kasher is also a published playwright and author. His 2012 memoir is titled “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.”

Presale tickets for The Honeymoon Tour are available for $20 at nhccnm.org. Season 2 of “Another Period” premieres on Comedy Central the day after Leggero and Kasher appear in Albuquerque.

M. Brianna Stallings is a staff writer for ABQ Free Press.

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Dennis Domrzalski is managing editor of ABQ Free Press. Reach him at dennis@freeabq.com.