Nikki Glaser Says Best Way to Find the Line Is By Crossing It
It turns out that the easiest way to find out what pisses people off is to start trying to piss people off.
The endless, droning debate over “where’s the line in comedy?” is as old as the open-mic itself, and each comic will likely give their own variation of “one step behind my act” when asked the tired question. Speaking to The Jerusalem Post, Nikki Glaser gave a refreshing answer to the all-too-common query, saying that trial-and-error is the best way to find where each comic feels comfortable drawing that invisible separator between “edgy” and “asshole” comedian.
Glaser is one of the most unapologetically crass comics in stand-up, but that doesn’t preclude her from learning from her mistakes. Over her two decades in the medium, Glaser has found that “the best way to figure out where the line is, was simply by crossing it.”
“I can’t hold back from telling a joke because it might upset one person,” Glaser explained, caveating it with, “If I make a joke about something traumatic happening, and someone in my audience has a hard time with that, I can be empathetic.”
Glaser’s comedy, though delightfully vulgar and intentionally distasteful at times, doesn’t delve nearly as deep into political or taboo topics as other comics who pride themselves on pushing boundaries, but that doesn’t mean that she’s never soured an audience with a joke that went too far or came too soon. “I feel like I’ve done a decent job at figuring out where that line is,” she reflected, “Sometimes you learn the hard way, though.”
“I will always leave room to apologize when necessary,” Glaser confessed, contradicting the Chappelles and the Gervaises of the world who have made it clear that a comedian making an apology is the same as comedy itself surrendering to the enemy. “When it comes to being sensitive, if I (screw up) I will hold myself accountable,” Glaser explained. “At least I can live with my parents again if that happens!”