Nikki Glaser Is ‘Jealous’ of Dave Chappelle’s Risky Jokes

Jennifer Clasen/HBO
Jennifer Clasen/HBO

Nikki Glaser has been having some dark thoughts recently. For one, she’s pissed that all of her friends are pregnant. Those “bundles of joy” aren’t making her feel all that joyful.

“If you were also a single woman who didn’t have your own family and didn’t have a husband, but had the close relationships with your girlfriends that I had, you would also feel the way about your friends getting pregnant that I felt,” Glaser tells The Daily Beast’s Obsessed in a recent interview. “My friends are my family and now, they’re getting their own families. That means that I don’t have a family and that I might have to have kids.”

Glaser laughs. “And that’s how they get ya!”

In her new HBO special, Someday You’ll Die—ironically releasing this Sunday, Mother’s Day—Glaser continues to unpacks those feelings. The 39-year-old comedian wonders why she, unlike all of her child-bearing friends, has no urge to raise a family. Ultimately, she worries: Is she going to die alone?

In the special, Glaser talks so much about the loneliness of death without children that she fears she’ll frighten her crowd, so she apologizes to them in the special. “Comedians are scared of being canceled, so they have to do these caveats,” Glaser explains. “There’ll be a comedian that has a really bad take on trans people, and they’ll do all these jokes, and then go, ‘I can do all these jokes, because I have a trans sister.’”

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While Glaser says this line was actually about one specific comic she won’t name, it does seem to be referencing the uptick of comics roasting trans people—which includes Dave Chappelle, who went viral in 2021 for calling himself a “TERF.” Below, Glaser explains why she actually loves being asked whether she’ll have kids, how Taylor Swift and Olivia Rodrigo inspire her, and throwing shade at transphobic comics.

You start your set off by saying you feel like Taylor Swift, fielding all this applause. I know you’re a big Swiftie. Do you feel connected to her when you’re on stage?

I’d been to so many Eras Tours that the roar of the crowd reminded me of it. It was a special taping, so they were really juiced up, and I had not heard a crowd that hot ever in my life. Maybe when I walk off stage after a performance. But when I haven’t done anything yet? So that was me riffing, like, “Whoa, I feel like her right now, because I’ve only heard this kind of enthusiasm before when our girl is coming out on stage.”

Seeing the Eras Tour 12 times within the last year, I definitely learned a thing or two about performing and connecting with the crowd from our girl [Taylor Swift]. She’s just in a different realm. I don’t like to compare myself to her too much, because I’ll always lose, but she’s someone that you want to be friends with and someone who connects with fans on an intimate level.

Right. That’s kind of speaking to the parasocial relationship fans have with her.

People make fun of Swifties for having this parasocial relationship, but because I have it [with] her, I understand when people have it [with] me. It’s real! People who think they’re friends with me because they listen to my podcasts or my specials, you probably could be friends with me. You probably know more about me than my friends do, because a lot of my friends don’t listen to my podcast and my specials. Because I’m a Swiftie, I understand what it’s like to be a fan. It gives me a different relationship with my fans, I understand their perspective in a deeper way than most celebrities do.

Nikki Glaser during her comedy special Someday You'll Die.

Nikki Glaser during her comedy special Someday You'll Die.

Jennifer Clasen/HBO

I wanted to ask about your friends, who you mention quite a bit in this special. You’re mad at them for having babies. Did they watch the special? Are they now mad at you for voicing your anger with them?

They have seen the material. I talked to them beforehand. They all are pregnant right now and about to give birth, so when I wrote those jokes, it was all more iffy of whether or not I’d go through with them. I don’t think they saw the jokes until they were very solidly pregnant.

But it’s true! I didn’t want my friends to get pregnant. I’m happy they are now, and I want them to have what they want in life, but it doesn’t mean that I don’t have my own selfish, dark feelings about that. I kept [those thoughts] to myself for a really, really long time. I eventually maybe said it on stage on a night where I was in a small room in front of people that didn’t know me. I was probably ovulating or something—my hormones were wacky.

Nikki Glaser Wants to Rewrite Our Last Headline About Her

And as we both know: Anything’s game when you’re ovulating.

I just had that moment of anger when I said the truth. Then you go, “Wait, okay? That’s actually funny? You guys can handle that dark thought? OK, maybe I’ll say it on a bigger stage. Maybe I’ll eventually have it on an HBO special, which will haunt me for the rest of my life. Those kids who will probably be my godchildren will know that I was thinking about them even before they were born. And maybe not in the best of circumstances.” My friends understand that they’re just jokes. But I will say that, even though they’re jokes, there is some truth to it.

As we’re talking about motherhood here, your special is premiering on Mother’s Day. Do you think mothers will enjoy this?

It’s for everyone! This isn’t a special for women who don’t want kids. This is just me asking some basic questions, like, “Why did you want to do this? I just don’t get it.” There’s not something wrong with you that you want kids—truly, I know that there’s something wrong with me that I don’t. I’m the one struggling to find other people who feel the same way that I do. When you’re in your 20s and you don’t want kids, people go, “Oh, it just hasn’t hit you yet.” It never has hit me. I needed to get it out there, in case there was anyone out in the abyss that was kind of feeling the same way, like, “What’s wrong with me?”

You talk pretty bluntly about not wanting kids in this special. Does that ever get annoying—the constant voices of, “When will you have kids?” and, “Why don’t you want kids?”

I love when I get asked about it. I love to talk to people about why they want them, or why they think I should want them—and maybe be convinced. I’m open to it. I haven’t completely closed my mind to it, but I think I’m right. [Laughs] I might regret it someday. There are many decisions I’ve made in my life that I regret so much, and this one, I won’t be able to take back. Actually, no! I could take it back, because I can adopt at any time. But you know what you can’t take back? Having kids.

If I really examine my life and what I’ve been talking about in this special, I am scared to commit to anything. Commitment reminds you that you’re going to die. With commitment, it’s like, “Wait, till I die?” And then you’re thinking about death.

Nikki Glaser during her comedy special Someday You'll Die.

Nikki Glaser during her comedy special Someday You'll Die.

Jennifer Clasen/HBO

Talking about death: You mention how female celebrities are often not taken care of by their kids, but, rather, by gay men. Which gay man do you want to watch over you in your old age?

Probably Bobby Berk from Queer Eye. I always see him at events, and we just have a nice time talking. He runs such a clean, peaceful home and space, and that’s really what I’m lacking in my life, someone who’s organized. And he’s just funny and does not get offended by anything. But I would never put that on him! I’d take care of Bobby.

You’d take care of each other.

I didn’t put it in the special, but when you age as a woman, you get kicked out of the business. You get canceled, in a way. There’s something about aging that’s like, “You’ve failed. You really, really hurt all of our feelings. How could you do this to us?” Aging as a woman in Hollywood gets you canceled. It’s the same as a man who’s done decades of raping. You get the same punishment. There’s something about aging with women, like, if you age, you’ve done something wrong.

Do you feel yourself trying to combat aging, then?

Yes. I think about all the things I have to do to my face and my body to maintain the illusion that I’m still worthy of love, or that I’m still fertile looking. Whatever it is that they want from me! I can’t really figure it out, it changes all the time. It’s hip one day to seem really comfortable in your skin, and then it’s cool to be doing every procedure under the sun while staying out of the sun. You get mixed messaging all the time.

Of all people, Olivia Rodrigo—her song “pretty isn’t pretty,” I love it, because it’s about when you fix yourself, it’s not going to be good enough. She doesn’t offer some kind of hope at the end of, like, “But it’s about what’s inside! Just be you!” It’s like, “No, this sucks, and it’s just the way it is. So buckle up.” I really like that, because that’s what I’m struggling with.

Nikki Glaser during her comedy special Someday You'll Die.

Nikki Glaser during her comedy special Someday You'll Die.

Jennifer Clasen/HBO

It’s better to hear that than a bunch of positivity, like, “Be yourself!”

[That’s] not working. How can I possibly feel good about being myself? I’m not being rewarded to be myself physically. I continue to be rewarded when I look hot. It’s not that I’m penalized when I don’t look hot, but, man, life is better for me in this business when I dress a certain way and when I have a spray tan and when I look pretty. Women don’t go to the grocery store without makeup. Men can go to their weddings without makeup.

To tell us to go without makeup and love ourselves is so insulting. It’s not true—we will not be loved in the same way. Anyone who tells you that you will be is probably your mom. And she’s probably lying too! Because my mom likes me more with makeup. When I look pretty and thin, my mom is more jazzed about my life and seems to be more enthusiastic about me. It’s not because she’s a shallow person. She’s just like, “That’s probably going to get my daughter a better life.” I have no solution for the system. I’m just complaining about it. That’s why I like the Olivia Rodrigo song—there’s no solution. There really isn’t one.

Shifting gears a bit here, you roast transphobic comedians in this special. I was feeling like it was aimed a bit at Dave Chappelle there. Am I off-base?

I wasn’t even thinking about Dave Chappelle with the trans stuff. I was thinking about another comedian, to be honest with you, and I don’t even want to say who it is, because I don’t like callout culture. I don’t really like to roast people, because it’s my knee-jerk [reaction] when I’m feeling insecure. But when I lash out on anyone in particular, it’s usually because there’s some sort of insecurity in me. I try to get that out of my act as soon as possible, because it always comes back to bite you.

I had a whole bit about a certain celebrity that I won’t name—and I’m like, you know what? I might host SNL some day and she’ll be the music guest, and I’ll have to eat crow—like someone else who just had to do that. So why not take that bit out now before that happens? I’m probably just jealous of her.

Interesting. So when you roast people in this special, do you think those sentiments apply?

I guess my point is that when I make fun of anyone, and I say I don’t like something or someone, I’m really just threatened by their confidence. Let’s say they are shitty and they’re famous and I don’t think that they deserve all that they have because they’re not that talented. I’m probably ultimately jealous that they believe in themselves with their shitty talent, and I wish that I had that much belief in myself.

Dave Chappelle’s trans jokes—do I think trans people need to be made fun of? No. Do I think anything’s on-limits? Yes. He can talk about anything he wants, clearly. Am I a little annoyed at trans jokes? I am, because I love trans people and would like them to stop killing themselves. I don’t think making fun of them is going to help with that. But I’m also probably just jealous that [Chappelle is] willing to take that risk in that way!

The CW’s Male-Led ‘FBoy Island’ Spinoff Proves Dudes Are Clueless

This isn’t about your special, but your new reality show Lovers and Liars—a spinoff of FBoy Island—is currently airing on The CW. Why is it no longer called FGirl Island?

The reason is that there’s a double standard when it comes to men and women. It’s cool to call out men for misbehaving, but for some reason, it’s just not as cool to call out women. It doesn’t look nice. I disagree with that. If you’re a liar and a cheat, you should be able to be called out for it. There definitely are FGirls, as you will see on Lovers and Liars. But commercially and in terms of ad revenue, people did not want to be attached to a show that might be taking down women—even if they should be taken down.

That makes sense, even if FGirl Island had a nice ring to it.

It really did. We still refer to them as FGirls in the show, just not in the title. Thank god that remains.

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