Nikki Glaser is one of the funniest voices in comedy today. For nearly two decades at clubs across the country, stand-up comedian, actress, podcaster, and TV host. In July of 2022, she headlined her first HBO comedy special, GOOD CLEAN FILTH, which has been nominated for a Critics Choice Award for Best Comedy Special. Nikki was a standout at the Comedy Central Roasts of Alec Baldwin, Bruce Willis, and Rob Lowe, which led to her guest-hosting JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE! Nikki is currently on her nationwide and international comedy tour, THE GOOD GIRL TOUR, which kicked off in January 2023. Before coming on The Learning Leader Show, Nikki has done in-depth interviews with Howard Stern, Marc Maron, Conan O’Brien, and Joe Rogan.

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The Learning Leader Show

  • When Nikki is bombing on stage, she has a great method to reset. “Just say what’s true.” “Everyone is putting on a mask. Everyone is trying to present in a different way. If you just say what’s true, it’s the funniest.”
  • Nikki is a professional “noticer of things.” This is why I think great stand-ups are modern-day philosophers. They notice things and then have a way to share them in a unique and funny way with all of us. We laugh because they’ve said what’s true, but have done it in a way that we haven’t thought of before. As leaders, we should be more aware and notice things more often.
  • The writing process:
    • “You need to pay attention constantly to everything to see what could potentially be a joke. Sometimes, in the middle of a conversation with a friend, I’ll tell them to hold on because I need to take out my phone and type something funny that I just saw. If you don’t write it down, you won’t remember it.”
  • Just get started. What advice for someone who wants to do something? You have to do it. The way to get good is to get going. Nikki has become one of the premier comedians in the world because she’s pushed past her fear and signed up for the things that she’s not sure she can do. Last comic standing at age 20, celebrity roasts, hosting TV shows. She wasn’t necessarily ready for any of the work she agreed to do, but she did it anyway and then figured it out. We all can learn from that.
  • Nikki is the voice of Dave Matthews Band radio on Sirius/XM Radio.
  • She had terrible stage fright when she was younger. Nikki would have insomnia for weeks before a classroom presentation and shake the entire time.
  • Her first TV appearance was on Last Comic Standing when she was 20. Nikki waited in line at open auditions in Chicago in the snow.
  • “I always wanted to be a singer. But I think that I’m also someone who’s not very comfortable with sincerity and emotions.” (She placed third on her season of The Masked Singer)
    • Nikki is starting her own Taylor Swift cover band.
  • Meeting Jerry Seinfeld – “We’re walking through the bowels of the casino, and I get over to his greenroom and he greets me,” Glaser said. “And he was like, ‘I’m such a fan, I’ve watched everything you do. I pull up your YouTube clips all the time whenever I want a laugh. And you’ve got it, girl, you have the voice…’
    • Jerry Seinfeld identifies “taste and discernment” as the ultimate skill of great artists. In every creative field, Seinfeld says, the dividing line between those who succeed and those who fail is the ability to discern good and bad: “It’s one thing to create,” Seinfeld says. “The other is you have to choose. What are we going to do, and what are we not going to do?’ This is a gigantic aspect of artistic survival. It’s kind of unseen, what’s picked and what is discarded, but mastering that is how you stay alive.”
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Time Stamps

01:40 – Stage Fright At a Young Age

08:17 – Coming Up With New Material

14:14 – Constantly Collect Stories to Get Great Ones

17:47 – The Roast of Robert De Niro

21:58 – It Takes a Team to be Successful

24:42 – The Writing Process for a Show

27:00 – Have the Courage to Say the Truth

43:19 – Saying Yes to Dancing With the Stars

48:42 – Career/Life Advice From Nikki Glaser

More Learning:

Episode 078: Kat Cole – From Hooters Waitress To President of Cinnabon

Episode 216: Jim Collins — How To Go From Good To Great

Episode #300: AJ & Keith Hawk – How To Instill Work Ethic & Curiosity In Your Children

Episode #303General Stanley McChrystal – The New Definition Of Leadership