Stop me if you’ve heard this one: A radio host, an actress, and a stand-up comic walk into a bar… They’re all Nikki Glaser, and she’s incredibly exhausted. And in the midst of wooing America by appearing on most of its favorite television programming, she maintains a rigorous tour schedule that has her bringing her iconic brand of comedy to town June 27th-29th at the Houston Improv
A comedic tour de force, Glaser has been stunning audiences since her television debut on the Tonight Show a mere two years into a her stand-up career. Her previous show Not Safe on Comedy Central was one of the first of its kind to explore talking about various aspects of sex in society. No stranger to risqué topics, her latest hour covers everything from lowering her dating standards to her own take on how #MeToo actually works. And in the span of the last year alone she’s appeared on three different Netflix series, with her own one-hour special slated to debut on the platform later this year.
While her ascent in entertainment has been tremendous, she’s showing no sign of slowing down and is always looking for the next challenge (sometimes literally as in the case of her American Ninja Warrior appearance). You can listen to Nikki every Monday-Thursday on her Comedy Central Radio show You Up w/ Nikki Glaser where she’s interviewed the likes of Chelsea Handler, Dr. Phil, and Kevin Hart. We caught up with her in a rare moment of free time to answer a few questions about comedy and her favorite TV moments.
Byline Houston: In a time when comedians are constantly getting in trouble for what they say, you’re one of the leading voices in provocative and obscene comedy. Where do you think that influence came from?
Nikki Glaser: I have always felt like my jokes pushed the envelope, even when I was a kid. Like I would make some observations that I thought were funny and people were just horrified and thought I had a dark and disturbed mind. And then when I started doing comedy those were the first kind of jokes I made, and the person that inspired me to get into comedy was Sarah Silverman because she was making those kinds of jokes, and making them look good. So my brand kind of came together early because I’d rather people be horrified than bored.
Byline Houston: Is it difficult to navigate your brand of comedy within today’s reactionary social media environment?
Glaser : I mean, not really because I know I’m never writing from a place of malice or trying to hurt someone, but being cancelled is a fear of mine for things I’ve said. But I feel like worrying about that is like worrying about getting struck by lightning if you play golf, you know? So I just don’t play golf. And by the way, most of the jokes that are told on the golf course are the ones that will get you cancelled.
Byline Houston: Having done a whirlwind of tv and movie appearances over the last 2 years, does any particular experience stand out as fun or memorable?
Glaser: Doing Conan for the first time in 2012 was huge because of how big of an influence he was on me, and just that feeling of making one of your heroes laugh is awesome. Oh and Dancing with the Stars, because anytime I’ve had to work on something really hard like a late night set or doing the roasts, I’ve always felt like I can ace it because of the work I put in. And with Dancing with the Stars it was something where I worked really hard, and then failed. But I always love doing things I think I can never do like dancing live on TV.
Byline Houston: With all the glitz and glamour that your career has brought in your life do you still love going on the road and performing at the clubs?
Glaser: Oh yeah, definitely . Sometimes the travel is annoying, the stuff you have to put up with like the green room being sh*tty can be frustrating. But even at the worst club I may dread some of the experience up to the moment I get on stage and then it becomes the best part of my day. I wouldn’t be going if it still wasn’t fun, and now in my career people know who I am and that’s just a game changer! Performing for crowds that are there to see you is so much more fun then anyone told me it would be.
Byline Houston: Your special comes out later this year on Netflix, what aspect are you most excited for people to discover about it?
Glaser: I’m really excited for women to watch my special and feel a new sense of empowerment in regard to sex, and I’m also excited for men to learn some new tricks—guys are gonna have more sex based on some of the information I’m sharing to young men and women. What I’m not excited about is the editing process, taking an hour and forty-five minute long performance and condensing it to an hour. It’s a hard process editing and watching yourself and second guessing everything, but the messages I want are out there and I’m hoping its funny as hell.