Leo Riker is a character

Recent news headlines have left Leo Reich with a big existential question: How do we stop war? How is the economy? In his new HBO special Leo Reich: Who Cares? ! The comedian takes direct political action to help those struggling like himself. just kidding! He was "simply talking about myself."

"If I'm going to satirize something, it's something I find in myself," Reich tells Bustle. "I'm not going to point the finger at other people and say, 'You really need to fix these problems.'" I point my finger in the mirror and say, 'What's wrong with you?' '"

The 25-year-old Londoner's special blends stand-up comedy and performance art, including a song written by the Six's co-songwriter Toby Marlowe to mock his own "most ruthless, selfish, individualistic, materialistic" side. part. He sees self-deprecation as a way of exploring how people can be both deeply aware of their own shortcomings and yet deeply unwilling to change—for example, joking, Big problems like "like climate change or whatever" can ultimately be solved by "very small, meaningful individual actions", such as investing in carbon-neutral therapists.

Provided by HBO

The comedian landed the coveted HBO special incredibly quickly. After spending several years honing his craft at London comedy clubs and Cambridge University's Footlight Sketch Theater, Reich debuted Who Cares? ! ” at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in the summer of 2022. After completing shows in Melbourne, Australia, and New York City, as he puts it, "All of a sudden, I'm sitting in this skyscraper and it's like, 'You've got a deal!' ... I think now we're in here."

Proximity to the vanguard is one of his greatest strengths. There's a lot of talk about Gen Z these days, but not much about Gen Z themselves. “As a generation, Gen Z is often talked about but rarely humanized in a real way on screen,” he said. (In the future, he wants to correct that record with his own sitcom.)

Reich warns against overgeneralizing his highly atomized generation, but acknowledges that his peers have been uniquely affected by the proliferation of social media, and that cracks in online self-expression are starting to show. "Every time we turn on our phones, every time we show ourselves on Instagram or a dating app or anywhere else, there's a huge amount of shame," he said. "I think we're at an interesting tipping point where our relationship with how we represent ourselves online has become so disconnected that no one really believes themselves when they post something. I don't know how long this can continue."

Provided by HBO

As such, Reich is not interested in pointing out where his character ends and his "real" self begins. "We're constantly putting on different versions of ourselves, whether online or with people we know, people we love," he said. “Finding your true core at your core is actually one of the most expressive things you can do.”

Learn more about Reich in the Bustle Booth questionnaire below.

in a noisy stall

What was your coffee order?

An iced black Americano in the middle of winter.

What cities have weather locations saved on your phone?

Just London. Is that sadness? I will lie. Monaco and Guadeloupe.

What's your zodiac sign?

Leo. That's my name too. Incredibly humiliating.

What's your favorite overused movie line?

"Ladies. This is Fritz Bernitz." [from Bridesmaids ]

What was your favorite cartoon as a child?

Xiaolin duel .

What’s a movie or TV show that you’re currently obsessed with?

We are all strangers . Hot and sad? Now that's a movie.

Who is your celebrity idol?

Santa Claus! I love how he uses his platform.

If you had to be on a reality show, which one would you choose?

The Japanese assign small tasks to young children. I would be that kid. I like small tasks.

What are your favorite karaoke songs?

"It's all on me." I had tears in my eyes, my fifth beer in hand, and my friends were on the phone.

What has inspired you recently?

nature! just kidding. My own Instagram!

How would you like people to describe you?

"I accept this man as my lawful husband."