Ruth Reyes/Photo Editor
When the Student Programming Council (SPC) member introducing Nikki Glaser’s comedy show to the audience in Glenn Memorial Church said Glaser could not make it due to a fraudulent third-party booking agency, I almost got up and left.
But I stayed, and I was rewarded for it. Glaser’s stand-up show this past Saturday was entertaining for those who can appreciate vagina jokes — which I do. Glaser had the whole audience laughing for the entirety of the hour-long show.
Glaser is most known for her role as Lisa in Amy Schumer’s Trainwreck (2015) as well as Comedy Central’s Not Safe with Nikki Glaser. Performing in the picturesque Methodist church, Glaser joked that she was thrown off by the religious setting, stating that she was sure that the room had never before heard such ungodly words uttered. The audience laughed as Glaser took to the podium for a few minutes to deliver her obscene jokes, comparing the church’s drapes to her own labia.
I hadn’t heard of Glaser before SPC announced that she would perform for this year’s Dooley’s Week, so I did not know what to expect. However, SPC had associated her with Schumer, a widely beloved comedian, so I expected the same sort of vulgar, girl-power humor. Glaser rested on her tie to Schumer throughout her show as she lamented how badly she wanted to curse in the church and frequently delivered jokes based on sex and race.
The similarity between Schumer and Glaser did not lessen the humor of Glaser’s jokes, but it did make them more expected and less original. Then again, sex sells. Most successful comedians ultimately dig up explicit topics to shock the audience. And Glaser was no different; the more explicit and sexual the joke, the more shocked the audience became and the more the students seemed to enjoy it.
Glaser’s strongest jokes centered around sex and culturally sensitive topics. She made the overused airport security and Transportation Security Administration (TSA) topic her own when she satirized the security process. When TSA told her to empty her pockets, she joked that she felt like she should have taken her tampon out. Since it was a heavy flow day and she had a massive tampon in, she joked that her tampon would look like a stick of dynamite to the x-ray machines. She finished the bit with how she “[couldn’t] believe ISIS [had] not thought of that yet.”
Glaser eventually transitioned to race when she discussed how she changed her name’s spelling in accordance with her dates’ races. She explained her different spellings of each name: “I dated a black guy so I changed my name to Nique$ … but then he cheated on me so I changed it to NiKKKi.” Glaser took her explicit sense of humor further when she progressed to beastiality, saying, “Your dog wants to go down on you, I’m sorry to tell you.”
She finished the show with more innocent jokes, including a spot-on impression of Rachel from Friends and a story about her miserable failure in competing on American Ninja Warrior. Those simpler and more superficial jokes clumped together at the end of her performance left a weak impression on the audience.
Glaser fell short in the delivery of some of her jokes during the last 15 minutes of her show, utilizing weak transitions while searching for the next punchline on her phone, leaving the audience in an awkward silence as they anxiously awaited her next joke. For instance, she abruptly transitioned from American Ninja Warrior to marijuana with no explanation of their relation. Those shortcomings exemplified her problems with with pacing and memorization of jokes as she struggled to deliver coherent punchlines.
Although she sometimes lacked in originality and struggled with pacing, Glaser’s performance was an entertaining hour of obscene comedy. At times, she tried too hard to imitate Schumer, making her jokes explicitly sexual even when they did not come naturally to her. However, the moments when Glaser found her own voice, pointing out the ridiculous aspects of sex, were easily the strongest and most rip-roaringly hilarious parts of her performance. Overall, Glaser knew exactly what to say to get college students laughing, and I would certainly turn to her again for a pick me up the next time a promised Migos concert falls through.