If you liked Nikki Glaser's roast of Tom Brady, wait till she flames herself in new HBO special

Long gone are the days of Nikki Glaser’s WAP (her words, kinda) but in her new HBO special, “Someday You’ll Die,” taped at the Moore Theater in Seattle, her hilarity is on full display. Entwining topics like our ever-changing bodies, navigating friends with babies, role playing, freezing eggs, the animal kingdom and, ultimately, her own mortality, she’s empathetic and raw, brutally honest, and even more brutally dark. Glaser is as real as it gets and as funny as they come, and on May 11, there are two ways to soak her in. “Someday You’ll Die” on HBO or at the Palladium during the Netflix is a Joke Festival. We recommend both.

Glaser’s reach is worldwide because she’s so much more than just a comic and master roaster (Please see: Sunday’s roast of Tom Brady). She played host on “FBOY Island” for three seasons, is the current host of its spinoff “Lovers and Liars,” and she’s also an incredible singer, as America learned when she took her Snowstorm head off on “The Masked Singer.”

Glaser picked up guitar during the pandemic, which ultimately led to “Someday You’ll Die” having a theme song, aptly titled “Someday You’ll Die,” (available on all streaming platforms Thursday) which Glaser wrote and recorded. Is she great at everything? Well, she did exit “Dancing With the Stars” (Season 27) a tad early, but as she says, “I’m so grateful that it went the way it did because being voted off first is way funnier than any of the other numbers.”

And for someone who appears to be able to do it all pretty well, Glaser isn’t trying to be a role model. She just inadvertently might be. And for someone who claims to be aging, she looks better than ever — could she be the new George Clooney?

You seriously have never looked better while roasting your body on stage. What’s your routine like heading into a taping like this with a dress like that?

Nikki Glaser: There’s definitely this thought that this is a big deal and want to look as good as possible. I’ve been hearing about Pilates for 20 years and I finally gave in three months before the special. It was about aesthetics that I got into it, and then it was really about the strength to pull off that final gang bang act out. I couldn’t balance like that and engage my core had I not been doing Pilates. It’s so ironic that I started Pilates to look good, but I would never have been able to hold it that long during the bit had I not been doing it. I didn’t even realize I was training for that.

It’s an admirable bit. Also admirable, you being so open about your body struggles.

Yeah, I just struggle with aging and being perceived a certain way, and feeling like part of my talent is dependent on me being f—able and attractive and now I need to maintain that. I feel insecure that if I’m not funny enough, at least I can be nice to look at and if I’m not nice enough to look at, I have to be funnier. It’s always like a balancing act with those things and it’s a huge amount of pressure. Timing the spray tan right, getting your hair done in the right way, making sure you sleep well and drink enough water, then you have to have a certain facial the day before — I probably do as much stuff getting ready as Victoria’s Secret models do before a runway. It really is ridiculous too because no one is expecting that of me, and no one needs it of me. I just hold myself to a level of excellence for these things that are unachievable. I always feel like I didn’t do enough. No matter what, I’ll never feel good enough. Which is, you know, what the special is about as well.

I think a lot of people feel like that and sometimes they need to hear it from someone they look up to or are a fan of.

There’s a part of me that’s like, OK, should I move into this phase of my life where I don’t say anything negative about myself? Don’t talk about how I feel about myself most days because people don’t want to hear it? Especially if someone looks at me and goes, oh, she thinks she’s fat? I’m fatter than her, so I must be disgusting. We all have something, and I know that may not be the best example, but I’m not an example to young women. I am just telling my truth and it’s not my job as a comedian to be a role model. I’ve never wanted to be a role model because I think it’s too much pressure. I’d like to be a role model in the sense that people feel like they can be honest about how they’re feeling.

It’s interesting because some might say that admitting your flaws and self-doubt is role model behavior for them.

Yeah, that’s the one I like to hear. I like it when people say they have the same thoughts, or I have depression. What I’ve always really wanted from my celebrities was to not hear about how great their lives are, how much they love themselves, and how they have it together. I want to hear from the people that I put on a pedestal that they are hanging on by a thread. That always makes me feel way better and it literally helps heal me more than motivational things like, you gotta wake up every morning and love yourself! It helps me more to go, oh, my God, Taylor Swift feels insecure too?

That opens up my eyes to the fact that it’s not worth dwelling on when I see someone like Taylor Swift having the same thoughts as me. I think, OK, then it’s ubiquitous. I’ll never overcome it because if I were Taylor Swift, I’d overcome it. And I don’t really have solutions on how to fix it. I’m more of just complaining about the way it is. Sometimes I feel like my material doesn’t offer a solution, it’s just telling people mostly that life sucks and one day you die, but I think there’s freedom in the truth and not putting a spin on it. I don’t want to be told about what the solution is. If that works, we’d all do the solution.

You’re kind of like if T. Swift wrote lyrics we can’t publish in the L.A. Times.

Oh, my gosh, that means so much to me! Taylor Swift is who I would like to be if I could pick what I was good at. I’ve always loved singing and I’ve always loved music. I got some bad feedback when I was young about my voice and I was just discouraged until, you know, my mid 30s. I was told I wasn’t good, so I decided I had to find another industry. I tried acting but wasn’t a good actress and I was like, what the f—, man? How am I going to get in? That’s how I discovered stand-up and obviously the shoe fit perfectly. It was exactly what I like about music, but I could be more specific. And it was exactly what I like about comedy, but I could write it myself.

What came first, “Someday You’ll Die” the special or “Someday You’ll Die” the song?

We shot the special first. My boyfriend [Chris Convy] executive produced it, and we were in editing talking about what song I wanted for the credits and I was like, I like this song! And this song! And this song! He’s like, OK, well, we’re a little over budget, so this is going to have to come out of your money, which I was willing to do because ending on a really good song is important to me. I was thinking, how much could it be? He goes, it’s gonna range from 20K to 35K for each song. After hearing that I thought, I’ve been taking voice lessons, I did all right on “The Masked Singer,” and I’ve been playing guitar since COVID, so what if I wrote a song?

I pitched it and all of the pieces came together. I’ve always wanted to write a song and it’s my favorite thing I’ve ever done. It’s the proudest I’ve ever been because I never tried to write a song before; I was always scared I couldn’t do it. I think in life you’re just scared to take opportunities, so when this came about — writing a song for my HBO comedy special — I had to do it. I think it comes from a place of insecurity. I say yes to everything because I’m scared that they’ll stop asking if I don’t. There’s also this thing of I never want to get to a point in my life when I’m 60 and I look back and go, oh, you didn’t do that because you were scared.

At this point, you certainly seem fearless in more ways than one. OK, so Hollywood Palladium May 11. Have you played there before?

Yeah, we did a roast there, I think it was Bruce Willis? It might have been all of them. I really don’t know where I do these things, but there was some roast in the Palladium, so I have! I’m really excited about this year’s festival because it looks so huge. I can’t believe how many shows are going on. I hope people show up because I have new material and it’s a chance for me to use some saved stuff I’ve been working on. I also have stuff that maybe was in the special that I have worked on, just expounding my feelings about it all. It’s also just such a big fun room and with the festival, energy will be in the air. And it’s the last show I do for a heavy month of work, and I always go to see Taylor Swift on the third night she’s performing because I know as a performer, the first night you’re like, OK, I have two more and need to conserve my energy. But on that third night, you’re just free and I’m telling you, the night of my show I’m going to feel so free. It’ll just be a catharsis on stage. I cannot wait.

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