January 27, 2023
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BECKY DIGILO

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Nikki Glazer’s stand-up set is infamous for being candid about the most intimate details of her life.

St. Louis native Nikki Glazer is still buzzing from last night. Not from drinking — the 38-year-old comedian quit drinking 10 years ago. Even after last night’s sold-out show in Atlantic City, which was part of Glazer’s The Good Girl Tour, which she calls the best tour of her career. No, Glazer’s nerve endings are still smoldering because she just met Jerry Seinfeld for the first time. The two performed at different showrooms in the same Atlantic City casino, after which the comedy legend called Glazer into his dressing room.

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Preparing to tell Seinfeld, one of her all-time heroes, how much he means to her, Glazer was stunned when he swept over her instead.

“Turns out he’s a big fan!” she says RFT by phone from her hotel room in New York. “I thought, ‘Are you giving the impression of what I was about to tell you!?’ I was very shocked that he even knew me, let alone a fan. It was amazing. It was one of the best moments of my career and it just happened last night.”

Seinfeld’s praise was especially important to Glaser as someone who, despite considerable success and fame, still struggles with feelings of self-doubt as a performer.

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“I’m the kind of person who always has a lot of self-doubt and I always have impostor syndrome. I constantly doubt my talent,” she says. “But I’m not allowed anymore because Jerry Seinfeld told me that I’m talented and I really believe him and he has proof of it and I’ll never forget what he told me last night and you can.” Ask Jerry Seinfeld.”

click to enlarge Even Jerry Seinfeld considers himself a fan of Nikki Glazer.  - ANY PHOTO

ANY PHOTO

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Even Jerry Seinfeld considers himself a fan of Nikki Glazer.

Such a fast-paced sentence of rapid-fire sentences is typical of Glaser, who constantly demonstrates a dizzying ability for searing verbal cues that can be funny, insightful, and heartbreaking at the same time. It’s this spasmodic, high-voltage cognition that often gets Glazer stuck in a constant cycle of fraught self-esteem, but also makes her one of the funniest and most talented comedians of her generation. She’s seen a resurgence of success over the past few years: well-received Netflix and HBO stand-up specials, sold-out shows across the country, a hugely popular podcast, and a host role on HBO’s reality dating show. Fboy Islandbrutally funny celebrity takedowns, Autobase Karaoke an episode with her favorite band, Wilco, and on-air performances that have made her the favorite of everyone from Howard Stern to Conan O’Brien.

Next on the list is what Glaser believes will be another highlight of her career: her upcoming New Year’s Eve performance at the Stifel Theatre, her biggest headlining show yet.

“It’s a damn honor!” she said. “I mean, I was only happy with Pageant! This has been the goal forever. So to be at this level is higher and higher. I am so excited to play in this beautiful theatre.”

What’s more, for the first time in years, Glazer doesn’t have to travel to play a homecoming show. After several years in New York and Los Angeles, Glaser returned to her parents in Kirkwood when live performances were wiped out by COVID-19.

“I need to be around people, otherwise I get lonely and depressed,” she says. “When the lockdowns started, I couldn’t perform every night and I needed people around, so I moved in with my parents.”

Glazer credits the slower pace of life at home to have saved her from a work-induced breakdown.

“In the last eight or so years that I’ve become more famous, there’s been more work and I can’t say no, so I worked all day and still performed at night,” she says. “So, right before the pandemic, I was on the verge of serious burnout. I kind of went crazy.”

A few months later in Kirkwood, Glaser was reacquainted with a lifestyle that had amenities and benefits she had almost forgotten about. “I thought it was the sweet life! You just have dinner, watch TV and go to bed,” she says. “I haven’t had a life like this since high school.” As a result, Glaser stayed even after the lockdown was lifted, going out of town for concerts but making St. Louis her permanent home.

Asked about the amount of attention she gets around town as a St. Louis-based celebrity, Glazer insists that she is rarely recognized, and whenever she does, she is shocked. She recently attended a high school reunion (Kirkwood High School, Class of 2002) and reported that her former classmates didn’t seem to be impressed with her, although she thinks they should be.

“The truth is, celebrities are dumb,” she says. “This is an empty business. It doesn’t really bring you happiness. So I think St. Louis is right.”

At the same time, Glaser remains full of internal contradictions, admitting that she herself is easily blinded by famous people. She says: “I am still amazed by the star. I mean, if I saw Becky, the carpet queen, I’d go crazy.”

After a year of living in her childhood bedroom, Glaser moved into her current apartment in the Central West End, where she enjoys walking her dog, drinking coffee, running in Forest Park, meditating, playing guitar and recording. Nikki Glazer Podcast once a week. Glazer enjoys the pace and normality.

“I watch the sunset or play frisbee in the park with my boyfriend,” she says. “We go to yoga, then we have dinner, and then we watch White Lotus. This is amazing”.

Her boyfriend is television producer and radio host Chris Convy, whom Glazer fans know by Welcome home, Nikki Glazer?, a reality show that chronicles her adventures in St. Louis. Such a frank look at Glaser’s life became her hallmark. Her stand-up sets are notorious for openly describing the most intimate details of her life, which include lewd, I can’t believe she said riffs on sex, masturbation, hygiene and other lewd topics.

“For some reason, I’m free to say whatever I want on stage, even more so than in a therapist’s office,” she says. “There is something special about an auditorium in the dark and with a microphone. I’m more honest than I’ve ever been anywhere else.”

When asked about performing explicit material in front of her own parents, she replied that the shock had long since passed.

“Oh my God, they already have blisters on their ears because of everything I said,” she jokes. “They are used to it. And my boyfriend’s dad heard everything I could say about what his son and I supposedly did.”

Yet Glaser admits she’s worried about playing in St. Louis – especially the possibility of running into someone afterward and feeling like they don’t like the show, anxieties she traces back to feelings she’s had for 20 years. back in high school.

“My biggest fear is that some pretty MICDS girl will say, ‘That was disgusting. You made us angry,” she says. “It’s like being in St. Louis makes me feel like I’m back in high school. Like, am I cool? Do people like me? I want to be accepted.”

Despite her love of high school in general, Glaser recalls the years she failed to fulfill her desire to be exceptional. She tried swimming and field hockey (“I quit because I had bad shin splints. Also, I sucked,” she recalls), did not succeed with the boys, and failed to land leading roles in school plays.

“I would audition Diary of Anne Frank, and I’ll get Jewish Citizen B,” she says. “I wanted to be a leader, but I wasn’t even close. It was pretty demoralizing.”

Then, in her senior year, Glazer landed the role. Musical comedy “The Murders of 1940” like Bernice, a noisy, perpetually drunk character. “I kind of played her as Karen in Will and Grace or like my mom on New Year’s Eve,” she laughs. The drama teacher praised her performance, which she describes as a turning point – the first time she felt really good at something.

Fast forward to 2022 and the girl who was too scared to dance at the Webster-Kirkwood friendship dance is about to fill the 3,100-seat Stifel Theater for an adoring crowd on New Year’s Eve.

“It’s going to be a great evening!” she said. “There will definitely be some pomposity in it. It will be more than just an ordinary show. This is my dream performance and I will be happier than ever that evening.”

What if old self-doubts try to creep in?

“It’s different now,” she says. “Because I’m going to have Jerry Seinfeld in my head saying, ‘You’ve got it, Nikki. Do you have this “”.

Watch Nikki Glaser at 8:00 pm on Saturday, December 31st at Stiefel Theater (1400 Market Street, 314-499-7600, stifeltheatre.com). Tickets cost between $36.75 and $76.75..

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