Nikki Glaser exudes confidence. The Moontower Just for Laughs headliner earned roaring laughter for every one of her jokes at the sold-out Paramount Theatre last Thursday night, but she also earned silence, which is arguably more impressive.
Not the type of silence that’s awkward – that makes you cringe and beg someone to say, to do, anything to relieve you of that precise moment – but the type of silence that’s appreciative, contemplative, even.
Because what Glaser delivered at the 9:30pm show wasn’t her typical routine. It was a lesson, of sorts, teaching Austin’s comedy-goers about societal expectations for women in relationships and about her personal trials and tribulations in sex, love, and life. One might only imagine she’d been waiting for the right audience, venue, and timing to weave these intimate musings into a routine, and the St. Louis-based comic introduced some of her bits with the forewarning that she was, indeed, experimenting with new material.
Glaser even offered the disclaimer that although she hit fame as a “sex comic,” she winces at the stereotype that all female comics defer to raunchiness because it’s “easy to talk about.” Sure, she notes, she values looking “fuckable,” but that is a consequence of a nearly universal “turn-off” for men: the woman who talks a lot.
“Everyone thinks I get a lot of dick, being a comic,” Glaser said. “But no one wants a yappy broad.”
Rather than leave it there, soak up the laughs, and start transitioning into her next bit, Glaser created a pause. She informed the audience about some of her latest reading material, and two books in particular: The Game by Neil Strauss and Getting to “I Do” by Sandra Harmon. (Yes, Glaser made all the wisecracks about that second title.) While The Game targets both male and female audiences in its portrayal of Pickup Artists and the intricacies of successful flirting, Getting to “I Do” targets only women with tips including not giving it up after the first date.
Walking the crowd through her own experience with a man “peacocking,” wearing outrageous clothing to catch a woman’s attention, and through her decision to put sex with her ex on pause until he could prove himself as someone she wanted to be with, Glaser radiated performer’s flair and somehow a charming vulnerability, too.
Some of Glaser’s best bits proceeded from roasting her opener and frequent podcast guest: Andrew Collin. Dating a girl 16 years younger than him, Collin’s love life laid the ideal breeding ground for Glaser’s jokes about the epidemic of young girls with “old souls.” Collin himself used his girlfriend in his routine, inviting hoots of laughter with the line that instead of calling him “daddy,” she should call him “grandpa.”
When Glaser’s earrings fell out onstage, she improv'd a jingle about Target jewelry falling apart. She didn’t miss one beat, one silence or pause, for the entire two-hour duration of her show. And that, I think, is what makes audiences return.
Moontower Just For Laughs 2022, April 13-24. Tickets and info at moontowercomedyfest.com.
Find all our news, reviews, and interviews from the fest at austinchronicle.com/moontower-comedy-festival.
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