A very special Nikki Glaser interview
This week’s Funny Title Here is brought to you by Paolo (in whose name I am posting because he is at home with food poisoning!) and fantastic comedienne Nikki Glaser. Nikki was “born in Cincinnati, grown in St. Louis, colleged in Kansas, and now living in LA.” She was also kind enough to take some time out of her day to answer a few questions of ours.
Paolo: According to your Myspace blog, you spent the summer teaching English to Korean-American 9th graders. How did you get roped into doing that and, is teaching really like the Edward James Olmos epic, Stand and Deliver? Do you think you made a difference at the end of the day, and do you think/know that they’ll make a biography film regarding your experience with these kids, a la Matthew Perry in The Ron Clark Story? Michelle Pfeiffer in Dangerous Minds?
Nikki: I walked into this whole teaching experience with the dream of being exactly like Michelle Pfeiffer in Dangerous Minds. Or Hilary Swank in Freedom Writers. But it turns out that I’m more a Debbie Kaye Letourneau from The True Hollywood Story. Kidding…
Although the other day, one of my students told me that I was the “tightest teacher in school.” I was like, how does he know!?
Paolo: How did you get into comedy?
Nikki: I got into comedy during my freshman year of college. My friends kept telling me I should do stand-up, so I signed up for a comedy showcase on campus. I wrote jokes for few months and ended up having a really great set. I think I talked a lot about adult braces. I remember getting off stage and immediately calling my dad to tell him I wanted to quit school to pursue comedy.
P: Who are your comedic influences?
N: I have many. You can probably look at any clip from my first two years in comedy and see them clearly in my delivery … but the comic I’ve looked up to the most would have to be Sarah Silverman. When I was in 8th grade, I came across an article about her in the New York Times. I had no clue who she was, but I was instantly blown away by her jokes, despite the fact that I only understood a handful. I remember sitting at the kitchen table and reading one of her jokes to my dad:
“I was molested by my doctor, which is so bittersweet for a Jewish girl.”
My dad burst out laughing. I didn’t understand why it was so funny, and I remember him awkwardly explaining the racial implications of the joke. It’s been my ultimate goal in comedy is to write jokes that make my dad laugh as hard as I saw him laugh that afternoon in the kitchen.
P: What was the absolute worst show you’ve ever had?
N: It was probably at the Des Moines Funny Bone. I had to do 25 minutes in front of an Army base who chose a comedy club as their first outing in three weeks. They heckled me the entire time. I did my time and immediately escaped to the storage room/closet off of the green room. I sobbed and called my family to tell them I was quitting stand-up to pursue school. Then the manager of the club came and found me huddled on the cement floor next to cans of tomato paste. He told me the head Sergeant of the group wanted to speak to me. The Sarge told me he was sorry for his men’s behavior and that they would be running an extra 4 miles the following morning because of it.
P: If you volunteered to make a mix tape of only five songs to give to a person (let’s say me) for them to get to know you better, what would be on it?
Watching the Wheels by John Lennon
Misunderstood by Wilco
Nineteen by Tegan and Sara
Dark Come Soon by Tegan and Sara
Not a Girl, Not Yet a Woman by Britney Spears
P: I think this was a good interview, do you think this was a good interview? What would you have done differently?
N: It was fun. I wish there were more questions. Preferably about Britney Spears. For some reason, I’ve been youtubing her all night. She was really an amazing performer. Watch her clip from the MTV VMAs in 2000 and tell me I’m wrong. I wish I had another question to answer.
P: Did you just write this question yourself?
P: Lastly, any bonus extra stage final thoughts for the adoring fans of the words on this blog?
N: Ooh! Let’s see…hm. I already said the thing about Brintey Spears… so… um.. nope. I’m good! Thanks!