The comedian first met his wife while working at an Applebee’s in Tennessee
Comedian Nate Bargatze has been married to his wife Laura Bargatze since 2006 — long before any of his Netflix specials, award nominations or sold-out shows.
When Nate and Laura first began dating, they worked together at an Applebee’s restaurant in Tennessee. During the early years of their relationship, he got his career off the ground by attending comedy college in Chicago, handing out flyers as a “barker” in New York City and eventually moving to Los Angeles where he kept fine-tuning his craft.
Now, Nate has appeared in the Netflix specials The Tennessee Kid in 2019 and The Greatest Average American in 2021 — the latter earned him a nomination at the 2022 Grammy Awards. The comedian then kicked off 2023 with his Prime Video special Hello World and he was tapped to host Saturday Night Live, a gig he called “beyond a dream come true” on Instagram.
Throughout it all, Laura has been by his side, along with their daughter, Harper. “I never had any doubt that our life would work out, whether he chose not to do comedy or found a job or some other career path,” she shared on The Nateland Podcast in 2020.
So, who is Nate Bargatze’s wife? Here is everything to know about Laura Bargatze and her relationship with the comedian.
Nate and Laura met while working at Applebee’s
Though Nate has been a comedian for over 20 years, his relationship with Laura had more humble beginnings: The two met in their early 20s while working together at an Applebee’s restaurant in Tennessee. Nate was a host, while Laura was a server — roles he would later joke about in The Greatest Average American.
“Someone asked [Laura] recently … did you ever imagine when you started dating that your lives would become all that it’s become?” he recalled in the stand-up special.
Nate continued, “She said, ‘When I met him, he was a host and I didn’t think he was smart enough to be a server. So, yeah — we’ve got a little bit farther than I expected.’ ”
Still, he impressed her in a memorable way. Speaking on The Nateland Podcast, Laura said he caught her eye one night when they went out with fellow Applebee’s employees after work, and he silenced everyone for a specific reason.
"He put in The Little Mermaid soundtrack and told his friends to, like, ‘Shush, shush, I’m listening to this song,’ ” she said. “I was like, if anyone could put in The Little Mermaid soundtrack and shush a bunch of 20 year olds … to be quiet while he sings it. I thought that was totally confident.”
Laura was supportive of his comedy ambitions
Nate moved on from Applebee’s to work as a meter reader for a water company, Variety reported. He and Laura were still dating, and it seemed to be the start of a stable career.
“I had great benefits. I wasn’t the best at school, so this was a solid job you can have for the rest of your life,” he told the outlet.
However, as a high school senior, Nate had a different vision for his adult life. When asked where he would be in 10 years, he wrote that he’d “play Zanie’s,” the famed Chicago comedy club. So, when Nate and a friend learned about a comedy college in Chicago, he decided to ditch his county job and pursue stand-up — and Laura was fully supportive.
“He said, ‘I have to tell you something,’ and … my mind is racing. Just, like, what could it be,” she said on The Nateland Podcast. “He’s like, ‘I want to be a stand-up comedian.’ And I was like, okay, alright … do that!”
“I had a good feeling about it,” Laura added.
Today, Nate considers her support critical to his success. “If you have a boyfriend or girlfriend that is going to be in the way, then you gotta choose,” he added on The Nateland Podcast. “This is a thing that’s a commitment … You’ve got to make sacrifices to hopefully live a life that nobody gets to live.”
They’ve been married since 2006
Nate proposed to Laura in 2005 while he was pursuing comedy in N.Y.C., and she was living and working in Tennessee. During a visit, he popped the question to her on a carriage ride through Central Park, they revealed on The Nateland Podcast.
“I was completely shocked,” she said.
They tied the knot on Oct. 13, 2006 — and their wedding day fell on Friday the 13th, which Nate would later joke about in The Tennessee Kid.
“We got married on Friday the 13th. Got a pretty sweet deal on that,” he quipped. “They were wide open. We were like, ‘What times are available?’ They go, ‘Every one of ‘em. All 24. You can call us that day if you want.’ ”
In addition to their wedding date, Nate spoke more about their nuptials, revealing how his mom and Laura planned the wedding — and that “they’re both cheap.” One area where it was particularly obvious that they cut corners was the DJ, who Nate’s mother hired.
“Our DJ was awful,” Nate said. “He got super drunk [and] played the same song three times in a row.”
Outside of his stand-up material, though, Nate commemorates his and Laura’s union on social media with touching sentiments. When the couple celebrated their 17th wedding anniversary in October, he wrote a loving message on Instagram to his wife of nearly two decades.
“Friday the 13th turned out to be ok,” Nate wrote alongside a picture of the couple with their daughter, Harper. “I couldn’t have done any of this without you. I love you Laura . Happy Anniversary!”
Nate and Laura have a daughter, Harper
Nate and Laura welcomed their first child, a daughter named Harper, on July 8, 2012.
The stand-up star announced her birth on X (formerly known as Twitter). “My beautiful new daughter Harper Blair. Awesome day,” he captioned a picture of their newborn in a hospital bassinet.
As she’s grown older, Harper has returned the favor for her father. She announced Nate on all three of his specials, introducing her father the same way each time: “Please welcome my daddy, Nate Bargatze!”
Nate also frequently references their daughter in his stand-up routines, joking about the difficulty of third-grade homework and not knowing which bus she rode on.
The father-and-daughter duo later sat down to watch some of his jokes about Harper to get her take on them for Netflix — and she didn't disappoint.
“You think you’re funnier than me,” Nate said to her in a YouTube video. “Way funnier,” she agreed.
Laura is a producer on his podcast, The Nateland Podcast
According to her LinkedIn profile, Laura graduated from Middle Tennessee State University in 2005 with a bachelor’s degree in business administration. Her first job after graduation was as a marketing coordinator for Applebee’s, and she continued to work in marketing when she first moved to N.Y.C. with Nate, she shared on The Nateland Podcast.
While living in the Big Apple though, Laura became a corporate event planner.
“I saw an ad in a paper and it was for an event planner … and I was like, that’s what I want to do,” she said on the podcast. “I was golden because it was a travel job and it was … late nights. I didn’t ever have to wait on [Nate] to get home because I had my own thing going on.”
Nate added, “Laura’s independent.”
After working as a corporate event planner for nearly a decade, Nate and Laura began collaborating in 2019. She is an executive producer on his podcast, The Nateland Podcast, and serves as a talent manager at Bargatze Enterprises.
Nate frequently jokes about Laura in his stand-up routines
Nate will often reference interactions with his wife in his comedy, joking about everything from how marriage is “like a mosh pit” to how they argued over the phrase “one fell swoop.” But Laura doesn’t mind being the butt of Nate’s jokes, she revealed on The Nateland Podcast.
“It pays our bills,” she said. “I pick at people and that’s my love, so if I’m picking on you, I love you.”
But Nate shared how he had to tone down some of his jokes about Laura because the audience would assume that their marriage was troubled.
“There was one time a friend of yours came,” Laura recalled, “and she goes, ‘Oh, he just said he wanted to murder you.’ ”
She continued, “I was like, he doesn’t mean it. He’s not really going to murder me, so it’s fine.”
For the most part, though, the marriage material Nate jokes about in his comedy routines are typical husband-and-wife disagreements — which is why people find them so funny, he said.
“When things are so relatable,” Nate started.
“Everyone’s laughing,” Laura finished.
They attended the 2022 Grammy Awards together
In April 2022, Nate and Laura attended the 64th Annual Grammy Awards, where his album, The Greatest Average American, was nominated for best comedy album. (Chelsea Handler, Louis C.K., Lewis Black, Lavell Crawford and Kevin Hart were also nominated in the category.)
Nate was also a presenter at the Hollywood event. He later posted photos of himself and Laura on the red carpet and at the awards show on his Instagram account. Although he didn't take home the win, the comedian put jokes aside to compliment his date to the Grammys.
“My wife looked beautiful. We had a lot of fun,” Nate wrote on Instagram.
They live in Tennessee
Nate and Laura are both from the South — he’s from Tennessee, and she’s from Alabama — but his comedy career has led them to live all over the United States.
When they were first engaged, the couple lived in N.Y.C. while Nate launched his comedy career. He worked as a dog walker and drove a FedEx truck during the day. The aspiring performer also handed out flyers for the Boston Comedy Club at night in exchange for free stage time at the end of the night, according to The Atlantic. But neither Nate nor Laura envisioned staying long-term.
“It kind of starts to wear on you a little bit,” Laura said about their time in N.Y.C. on The Nateland Podcast. “We were broke at that point, and New York’s not that fun if you don’t have some spending cash.”
As for Nate, he knew it was time to make a move when he got too comfortable doing comedy, he revealed to Variety.
“I could play everywhere, do spots at all the clubs,” he said. So, the couple decided to move to L.A. in 2012. But, two years later, Nate and Laura made the decision to quietly move back to Nashville, according to The Tennessean.
“My biggest fear was, ‘They’re going to think I quit,’ ” Nate shared. “So I just didn’t say anything. When I [would travel] to L.A., my manager knew, but I didn’t want somebody to not want to meet with me because I didn’t live there.”
The couple currently live about 25 minutes south of Nashville, per Variety. Nate spoke more about their move back to Tennessee to Nashville Scene in 2022.
“Once I started touring a lot, and I was going to all these clubs, and almost every weekend you’re working somewhere else,” he shared. “I realized, my whole family is still here, my wife’s from Alabama, her family’s like an hour from here.”
“So I was like, ‘You know what, I just want to go home,’ ” he added.
For more People news, make sure to sign up for our newsletter!
Read the original article on People.