18 Things to Know About Jewish Comedian Leo Reich

In his debut HBO special "Literally Who Cares," Reich jokes that he's one of the first ever Jews to try stand-up comedy.

“I do this as representation. You know I’m one of the first ever Jewish people to try stand-up comedy?” Leo Reich says in his debut HBO special “Literally Who Cares?!” Of course, Reich is joking. But we here at Hey Alma absolutely cannot get enough of this up-and-coming British Jewish comedian and the new voice he brings to the comedy world.

Here are 18 things to know about Leo Reich.

1. Leo has described his family as “secular but culturally Jewish.”

2. This is what he looked like as a toddler!

3. He grew up in Islington, a borough of London. His father is a film producer, his mother works in education and he has two siblings.

4. Leo attended elite private boys’ school City of London School. For university, he attended Cambridge and wrote a dissertation on recipes in modernist literature. He graduated from Cambridge in 2019.

5. While at Cambridge, Leo became a member of the legendary sketch comedy group the Footlights.

6. Before “Literally Who Cares?!” Leo and his friend Emmeline Downie took a two-person sketch show to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival called “Manhunt.”

7. Leo is queer and came out to his parents via his stand-up set. When an interviewer asked him for his thoughts on what his parents would like to say to him on stage, this was his response:

“The idea of my parents on stage is on some level so harrowing to me that I can’t even really imagine.”

8. He thinks religion is “a really good deal.”


religion is a good deal !!!! #comedy #fyp #foryou #foryoupage #standup #standupcomedy #funny

♬ original sound – leo reich

9. Two important comedic influences for Leo are Lena Dunham and British Jewish comedian Simon Amstell. According to the New Yorker, “Do Nothing,” Amstell’s 2009 show, “provided a model for mining comedy from the experience of being a young, gay, cripplingly self-conscious Jewish man.

10. In 2020, amidst the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, Leo filmed a short stand-up set for Comedy Central in London.

“The excitement of doing something for Comedy Central that was filmed — I think — kind of overrode the feeling of total failure,” he told the New Yorker, referencing the struggle of performing for a Zoom audience.

11. Apparently, Leo is a hero of the Jewish people!

Thanks, Leo!

12. These are his thoughts on being labeled as a Gen Z comedian:

“I think that the obsession with generational divide and trying to encapsulate the politics and viewpoints of an entire age group of people and separate them out is insane, obviously. Part of what I’m trying to do in the show is pick those stereotypes and inconsistencies and assumptions about young people apart a bit, and show the paradoxical nature of all of the things that people assume about people my age and younger,” he told Them. “I can’t really blame anyone else because I brought it on myself, calling myself a Gen Z comedian. But at the same time, I hope that it translates on some level that I’m joking about that.

13. He’s opened for fellow Jewish comedian Catherine Cohen!

14. He made his U.S. late night TV debut on “Late Night with Seth Meyers.”

15. Leo has extremely relatable anxieties:

16. Leo was nominated for Best Newcomer at the Dave Comedy Awards in 2022.

17. His special “Literally Who Cares?!” premiered on HBO on December 16, 2023 immediately after the network premiere of “Barbie” — a double feature which Leo dubbed “BARBENREICH.”

18. Leo wrote two episodes of the show “Entitled,” which comes to Showtime in 2024. Per Deadline, “‘Entitled’ stars [Brett] Gelman as Gabe, a conniving American widower who posthumously must get to know The Beaucrofts, his British wife’s eccentric estranged family, in their crumbling gothic mansion in the English countryside.”

Evelyn Frick

Evelyn Frick (she/they) is a writer and associate editor at Hey Alma. She graduated from Vassar College in 2019 with a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature. In her spare time, she's a comedian and contributor for Reductress and The Onion.

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