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Sex and Snapchat: A Candid Conversation with Comedy Powerhouse Nikki Glaser

Sex and Snapchat: A Candid Conversation with Comedy Powerhouse Nikki Glaser: Comedy Central

Comedy Central

Comedy Central noted in its recent announcement of plans to expand its presence on Snapchat Discover that Quickie with Nikki has been its “best performing Snapchat original series.” But that doesn’t scratch the surface of how enormous the platform has become since launching in early 2015, or how pivotal it already is to Comedy Central’s brand.

“We’ve had something like 500 million views on the Snaps that I’ve made,” comedian Nikki Glaser tells us in her first Playboy Interview. “More people are seeing me on Snapchat than on TV right now.”

The Quickie series of short videos started running in October, ahead of the February launch of Not Safe with Nikki Glaser, a panel show with taped bits that was just renewed for an additional 10 episodes. Not Safe has featured guest comics like T.J. Miller, Kristen Schaal and Bridget Everett talking about sex and relationships and has included lie-detector tests and remote-control sex with porn actors. (More on the latter in a bit.)

In our interview, Glaser talks about how her career has developed, how she’s adapting to new media and why she’s so comfortable talking about sex.


You started doing stand-up pretty young. What was your material like back then?
I was trying to be Sarah Silverman. I was in college, not having sex, pretty prudent and I didn’t have a routine yet, but I wanted to do what she was doing.

What was her material at that time—pretty bawdy?
That was around Jesus Is Magic [2005]: abortion jokes, rape jokes. I was doing jokes about inappropriate incest, which is the kind of thing I’m still doing now. She definitely colored my sense of humor.

And then you got more into your own life as you went.
Yeah. As I developed as a person and as a woman, I started talking about my own sex life. I got started having sex kind of late, so when I started it was the only thing I wanted to talk about.

Photo via [*Not Safe w/ Nikki Glaser* / Instagram](https://www.instagram.com/notsafeshow/)

Photo via Not Safe w/ Nikki Glaser / Instagram

Do you talk pretty comfortably about sex in any environment?
I love talking to people about sex. I have never felt weird about it and have always been very intrigued by it. I’ve always asked questions and wanted to talk about sex, so I don’t think I ever had a filter with it.

You’re 31. Do you feel like your audience is mostly younger than you?
When I’m on the road, I feel like the audience is a good mix of my age and older. I want to reach younger people because I feel like I’ve been through what they’re going througgh—especially girls who don’t want to get married yet, don’t want to have kids yet, don’t like their bodies, think they’re not good at sex. I’m trying to put my insecurities out there so women don’t feel so insecure.

Do you think about that like an advocate?
I don’t try to be an advocate. I think every comedian is tailoring their act to speak to the person that they were. It sounds like a selfish thing to do, but I’m trying to make whoever I was laugh and feel not so alone.

People are scared to talk about what they do and what they want with sex, and the main point of my show is to make that easier. We all get naked and grunt on top of each other.

Do you see much of a line in stand-up between story-oriented comics and bit-oriented, situation-driven comics? You do both of those things in the Perfect special.
I was torn early in my career because I love both of those styles. I love absurdist one-liner comics like Mitch Hedberg and great joke writers like Sarah Silverman, but I also love people who can deconstruct the things we do like Louis C.K. and Bill Burr and Jim Gaffigan. I don’t think you have to do one thing or the other.

The first original content I saw for Snapchat was your promos last year for Not Safe. How long have you been paying attention to Snapchat?
I’ve been aware of it for a while as something for messages and pics that disappear, but I’m fairly new to it as this huge form of social media. It’s not just a way to send tit-pics.

That should be their tag line.
I know. When I got the show, Comedy Central wanted to release it on Snapchat before they released it on television. Snapchat Discover is all this original content, and I didn’t even know that was a thing. We started writing and shooting for it before we started on the TV show.

Did you have to get over the idea that all these new platforms were a little to do-it-yourself compared to TV?
You have to embrace it. As frustrating as these platforms can be—like on Snapchat, you have to engage people enough in 10 seconds to get them to swipe up—you get all this data about how many people are seeing what you do.

Those individual snap videos run for only 24 hours. How many people will see a single snap?
It’s in the millions. It’s a lot.

The porn bit with Kyle Kinane on Not Safe was extremely funny. Tell me what you did.
We wanted to make a porn, and we thought maybe our dirty talk would be better if porn stars did it. We hooked these porn stars up with ear pieces, and we talked to them from another room and told them what to say. We wanted to do a porn without being naked in it, and that was as close as we could get. We found Luna Star and Jake Jace, and they were fantastic.

Is the point of Not Safe to figure out what’s funny about sex?
We’re trying to make sex fun and take the shame out of it. People are scared to talk about what they do and what they want with sex, and the main point of the show is to make that easier. We all get naked and grunt on top of each other. We can laugh about it.


Glaser’s first stand-up special, Nikki Glaser: Perfect, airs Saturday at 11 p.m. ET/PT on Comedy Central followed by the rollout of an extended, uncensored version to Comedy Central’s website and streaming apps on Sunday and to PPV outlets like iTunes and Amazon Video next week.

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