I know I’m a year (or more) late to the party here, but I just discovered the joy of Nikki Glaser’s sex-centric comedy, via her 2016 stand-up special (modestly titled “Perfect”), and her short-lived talk-show Not Safe with Nikki Glaser (both of which were produced by Comedy Central). Besides being a naturally funny performer/story-teller, and a warm and appreciative hostess, Glaser is also passionate about promoting an open-minded and sex-positive outlook, and combatting shame… her use of the word “pervs” as an all-inclusive term of endearment for her guests and audience members, while cheerfully/curiously exploring all kinds of kinks and erotic occupations, genuinely made me feel better about my own dirty little secrets, and helped me laugh away some of my pesky prudishness. Her zealous proselytising and quippy/snarky monologues made me think of her as “The Samantha Bee of Sex”, though obviously there’s some overlap between them when it comes to the political aspects of sexuality, health, and gender, which Glaser also addressed with gusto and playful teasing.
Still, for all the admirable investigative work she did, I think the highlight of Not Safe for me was the recurring “Tinder Tapout” segment (eps #1/5/10-11/16/20), in which Glaser adopted the persona of a smoking-hot-but-highly-unstable “Party Bitch” named Kayla, to test the patience of male admirers on the eponymous “dating” app, and see how much straight-up insanity they were willing to excuse/ignore, in the hope of getting laid. The horrifying stream of casual (often criminal) confessions, neck-snapping non-sequiturs, and inappropriately cute emojis that spewed forth from her filthy fingers, had me laughing so hard it physically hurt, and I had to keep pausing the show so that I could recover before the next bombshell dropped. Overall, I’d rate the show a solid “A”, but those Tapouts were a gold-plated “A++”!
My only negative criticism of Not Safe would be that Glaser sometimes flubbed her lines during the monologues, which spoiled the scripted jokes and dulled her barbs a little… but her off-the-cuff humour more than made up for it, especially during the field-pieces and interview segments. Speaking of which, she managed to “perv out” with an impressive array of celebrity guests across the first season, including: Rachel Feinstein (ep #1.1), Kristen Schaal (eps #8/12), Natasha Leggero (ep #1.10), Mary Lynn Rajskub (ep #1.11), Riki Lindhome (ep #1.13), Maria Bamford (ep #1.14), and Margaret Cho (ep #1.19). Sadly, the series wasn’t renewed, and won’t returned for a second run this year… but there are still 40 episodes of the spin-off podcast for me to listen to, so that’s some comfort, at least. I will miss Glaser’s little shoulder-shimmy as she danced to the intermission music though… :(