NIKKI GLASER became my friend back in 2011. Okay, sure, she was a friend who didn't know who I was, but thanks to the podcast You Had to Be There, every week I'd turn to her for the scoop about life on the road, boy troubles, and frank sex talk. It was at the Bridgetown Comedy Fest in the dank Mt. Tabor Lounge that I first saw a live taping of her and Sara Schaefer's co-hosted podcast. Glaser hasn't left my headphones since.
I mentioned that show when we talked on the phone. "Oh my god... my dumb ex-boyfriend was on it. No, no, no—there were two people, the rapper who rapped on it, who ended up being a guy I dated after that. I booked him on the podcast so I could try to get him to go out with me. He ended up being the worst guy ever. I was using my podcast booking to get guys. Really, really cool of me," she says, laughing.
In that confessionary burst, Glaser's overwhelming appeal is obvious. She's not afraid to get personal. Onstage, her comedy is just as lightning quick, filled with smart wordplay, well-crafted jokes, and outré glimpses into the life of a woman who's figuring shit out.
"I just needed a break," she says of her current hiatus from podcasting. "You end up saying too much. Actually, my boyfriend broke up with me because of my last podcast. He never listened, but then he decided to one day, and he was not happy. I can't not share everything in my life. And people get hurt, so I need to have better boundaries.
"You're trying to be entertaining, just like you would in any conversation, but you look back on things you said years ago and you're like, 'Why was I even talking about that?'" Glaser continues. "I will sacrifice my humility to entertain at any cost."
Yet that lack of boundaries landed the St. Louis comedian a gig on MTV. Nikki & Sara Live!—a talk show continuation of Glaser and Schaefer's podcast—was only on for two seasons, but it was an energetic blend of the two friends' undeniable chemistry as they joked, played pranks, and interviewed celebrities. Most memorably, the two superfans went gaga over surprise guest Justin Timberlake. Sadly, the show was canceled after 24 episodes. It also was the end of Glaser and Schaefer's collaboration, at least for now.
"We'll definitely work together again someday," Glaser says. "We just needed to do our own thing for a little bit after our show on MTV went away. It was kinda upsetting. I would love to work with her again. She's so funny and so talented and I have a lot of love for her. She's like my sister."
Until then, Glaser's staying busy with a comedy special in the works, and roles in the new season of Inside Amy Schumer and Judd Apatow's Trainwreck. She also shot a pilot that's tailor-made for her dish-session talents.
"It's a sex talk show. It's so funny and so good and I'm so proud of it," Glaser says. "The gist of the show is that we're all having sex and nobody's talking about the nitty-gritty details of it. It's crazy that there's not already a show that talks to people about what they're into, what they're doing, and what their hangups are. I have so many comedian friends who I'm dying to talk about this stuff with in a public forum, because they have such great perspectives on it and they're so open. Let's talk about it, because we're all doing it, so who cares?"
While she waits to hear about her pilot's fate, Glaser's headlining clubs and listening to her pop star iteration. "I can't stop listening to Taylor Swift's 1989. I feel like she writes for me. I mean, I'm 30 years old, so it shouldn't be that way, but she really captures how I feel about relationships and boys. As much as she can be a little bit petty in some of her lyrics, and vindictive, I kind of support that, because I do the same thing [in my stand-up] when I've been hurt by a guy.
"Go Taylor! Fuck John Mayer."