Nikki Glaser

Nothing’s Off Limits

The comedian sells out Eugene’s McDonald Theatre

Eugene, get ready for a night full of laughs — the good girl is on tour. Nikki Glaser takes her comedy act to McDonald Theatre for a sold-out show March 25.

“I started out playing in clubs, and no one knew who I was,” Glaser tells Eugene Weekly over the phone. She always wanted to be in show business, and she says she thought it would have been through acting. 

Growing up, she did plays, but acting didn’t pan out. “I just wasn’t very good at it,” Glaser says. Then people suggested that she should be a comedian because she was funny. During her freshman year at the University of Colorado Boulder, she performed at an open mic showcase. After that, she started going to the local comedy club in St. Louis, Missouri, where she grew up.

“I knew instantly it was the perfect match for me,” Glaser says.

Glaser has hit her 20-year mark as a comedian. “I just feel like I’ve never been funnier,” she says. Glaser is the host and executive producer of the hit HBO TV show, FBOY Island; the host of three podcasts; headliner of Good Clean Filth, a comedy special on HBO; and executive producer and star in the sitcom Welcome Home Nikki Glaser? Multiple stand-up specials and other hosting gigs have formed her career in show business.  

“So I’m still in this place of, ‘Wow, you like me? You really like me?’” Glaser says. “I try to stay present and realize how lucky I am to have reached this point.”

Glaser will take The Good Girl Tour global with shows all over the world. Every show is different, Glaser explains, because she talks about the things she’s interested in that day. She comes prepared with about two hours’ worth of material that she picks from, but bits are also created spontaneously on stage. She writes her own lines and goes off script whenever she wants to.

No topics are off limits. “When something is off limits, I think that’s a good sign that we should talk about it,” because usually, it’s someone trying to shame somebody else, she says. “I hate the feeling of shame.” Comedy is a way for her to free her embarrassing thoughts or experiences.

“I suffered a lot of depression and a lot of self-hatred,” Glaser says. But discovering comedy gave her a platform to express her “deepest and darkest thoughts” because when people laugh with her, she feels more connected with them. 

In high school and even college, she says she wished more celebrities were more open with their struggles. People have told her that she makes them feel less alone because she is open about her self-esteem and depression. “I make them feel seen,” Glaser says. “I talk about heavy subjects, but I’m always keeping it jokey and it never gets preachy.”

To prepare for a show, she goes backstage, has fun with her friends that are on tour with her and “sings a bunch of Taylor Swift songs,” Glaser says.

You can expect to laugh a lot during her show to where your face will hurt afterward. “It’s probably like having four orgasms or something equivalent. It’s really good for you,” Glaser says. “I recommend people, especially in the rainy Pacific Northwest, to make sure that they prioritize going to live stand-up shows, whether it’s mine or someone else’s.”

McDonald Theatre hosts Nikki Glaser: The Good Girl Tour March 25. The show is sold out.