Show, don’t tell.
An old rule about writing that applies even more so to television. Why talk about sex when you can show it? Or, if not show it, then at least tease it, put people in varying degrees of comfortable situations regarding it, and have lots of laughs about it? That truth lies at the heart of Not Safe with Nikki Glaser, which debuts tonight on Comedy Central.
Glaser’s comedy BFF, Amy Schumer, has enjoyed finding fun in on-the-street on-camera confessionals for her award-winning Comedy Central series, Inside Amy Schumer. Here Glaser, who regularly appears in Schumer’s TV sketches, follows the “show don’t tell” concept by heightening the conversation.
Rather than merely ask some men why they have foot fetishes, Glaser puts her not-so-best-feet forward quite literally into these men’s laps at a foot-fetish party. Rather than talk with her friends about Tinder, she asks them to play a game to see how a Tinder Match conversation will play out.
And if you don’t remember that seminal moment in the 1996 movie Fear when Marky Mark fingered Reese Witherspoon on a rollercoaster, don’t worry, because Glaser will remind you — with a graphic photo revealing just how much she identified with that scene. That’s how her series opens, even.
“This is who I am!” Glaser tells us. “I’m Nikki Glaser, I’m a curious perv, and this is Not Safe.”
After the opening credits, Glaser jumps right into pillow talk with two of her comedian friends, Rachel Feinstein and Rory Scovel. They dish about the concept of “the friendzone” – personified in a photo displayed behind them of a woman on a man’s shoulders, making out with a different guy. Then Glaser puts her own friends — male and female — to the test; specifically, a polygraph test, to see if they want to have sex with her, and what other sordid thoughts they may be keeping from her.
In the following segment, Glaser introduces a new Tinder game she’s called “Tap Out” to see if her comedy pals can figure out when the guy will tap out of a Tinder Match conversation with Glaser’s fake profile and her outrageous claims. It’s a concept you may have seen previously in other web series or live shows, although Glaser’s game adds two major twists that I’ll let her reveal to you on the show.
In her premiere’s third and final major segment, Glaser and her bunion-deformed feet head to that foot fetish party. But not before she shows the live audience and us viewers a photo of her left foot blown up as tall as she is.
“Good God. I’m being brave here! I literally would rather you stare at a picture of my open vagina right now. This is so gross,” Glaser said.
And yet, in a quick button to close out her premiere, she reminds us not to have shame in our game, no matter what our game or our proclivities may be. “Because life is short and sex is fun so just get out there and take some chances!” Glaser shows us the weird, the kinky, the perverse, and has fun with it. Or as she titled her debut: Carpe Do ‘Em.
Glaser already showed us she could front a weekly talk show as co-host of Nikki & Sara Live three years ago on MTV, and she’s only grown more at ease in front of the camera now.
She’s even teased a future segment in which she undergoes lie-detector tests with her parents! That is brave. Or foolish. But definitely funny for us to watch as innocent (or naughty) bystanders.
Not Safe with Nikki Glaser already has mounted an active interactive presence on Twitter, Instagram, and Comedy Central’s Snapchat channel, and she’ll offer extended segments and more online. Here’s a digital exclusive you won’t see on TV tonight, as Glaser, Feinstein and Scovel discuss a Super Bowl ad that implied the singing children in it all were conceived on Super Bowl nights.
Not Safe with Nikki Glaser debuts tonight on Comedy Central at 10:30 p.m. Eastern/Pacific, with 10 weekly half-hour episodes leading up to Glaser’s first one-hour stand-up special, “Nikki Glaser: Perfect,” on April 9, 2016.