Nikki Glaser is no stranger to broadcasting. The comedian and host of The Nikki Glaser Podcast, a new show from Will Ferrell’s and iHeartMedia’s Big Money Players Network that launches on March 22, has seen podcasts from every angle, and hosted Comedy Central Radio’s morning show on Sirius XM for over two years. As she tells Paste while talking about her new show, “I’ve got to be getting close to putting in some Malcolm Gladwell numbers in terms of becoming an expert at radio. I hope to become one in doing a daily show.”
A daily radio show is definitely a quick route to 10,000 hours. Show business itself can be a grind, but that’s never truer than with radio, a format built on cranking out work every single day. And despite the distribution model and the name of the program, a daily radio show is how Glaser envisions The Nikki Glaser Podcast. Specifically, it’s her variation on the traditional morning drive show, only without music, and without a bloated three-hour runtime. Expect a daily hour-long show starring Glaser and her co-host, stand-up opener, best friend and roommate Andrew Collin, and which has regularly scheduled segments throughout the week.
The casual nature of radio is a major reason Glaser admires the format. As she tells Paste, “I just wanted to make a podcast that was daily and kind of felt like something you could just pop into any day and not feel like that you had to catch up. Like a daily radio morning show but one where I can cuss on air and say what I really want to and not have to play music.”
Expect a podcast that filters that “morning zoo” mentality through Glaser’s personal approach to comedy, along with the kind of candid discussions about her life that her stand-up is known for. “I can do it from my apartment so it’s going to feel very personal, but at the same time we’re going to cover current events, we’re going to keep people updated on what everyone’s talking about, and have celebrity guests,” Glaser says. “I can’t not talk about my personal life—it’s almost a problem, to be honest. I will definitely use the show as a daily peek into my life and to talk things out. I’ve kind of cut back on therapy so this will be that.”
As part of that casual, morning drive vibe, Glaser plans to avoid both the shaggy, rambling nature of comedy podcasts, as well as the call-back heavy insularity the medium can default to. “I’m really cognizant of not making it a comedy podcast where you’ll feel the need to listen to the whole thing,” she says. “It’ll fly by. I really want it to be fast paced, and I’m very adamant that I don’t want these podcast completionists listening to this show. You might not catch every episode, and I don’t want you feeling like you can’t catch up. People can join at any time.”
Listen to a trailer for The Nikki Glaser Podcast
The daily show will follow a schedule similar to a late night talk show. It’ll be taped every day, with Glaser and Collin based out of St. Louis, and their producer working remotely from Arizona. Glaser expects episodes to be uploaded at night, making them perfect to either fall asleep to or listen to first thing in the morning. Episodes will be topical and timely, something inherent to radio that can be rare in podcasts. And eventually, when the pandemic has receded and Glaser is able to tour again, some episodes will be taped live in front of an audience, like a traditional talk show.
An interesting fact about The Nikki Glaser Podcast is that it’s being produced by Will Ferrell’s podcast concern, Big Money Players Network, in conjunction with iHeartMedia. Glaser will join such comedians as Bowen Yang, Kate Berlant, Langston Kerman, and more in hosting a show under the Big Money Players umbrella. As part of a press release, Glaser states that “It’s cool as hell that The Nikki Glaser Podcast is a part of Will Ferrell’s and iHeartMedia’s Big Money Players Network because Will Ferrell is one of the funniest people alive, and so it makes me feel like I finally got invited to the cool kids table in the lunchroom in middle school, except this time to stay there I won’t have to smoke cigarettes and beg my mom to buy me dELiA*s clothes that our family can’t afford.”
“We are thrilled to have the wildly talented Nikki Glaser join us at Big Money Players Network,” Ferrell is quoted as saying in the same press release. “But in order to do so, she will have to smoke cigarettes and purchase her wardrobe from dELiA*s Spring collection.”
Ultimately, Glaser’s focus on radio is driven by a few factors. First off, she simply loves the format, and the connection a daily radio host can forge with their audience. She mentions Howard Stern as an inspiration on that front.
She has another, more pragmatic reason for focusing on an audio-only format, though, one that serves as a stark reminder of how the entertainment industry treats men and women very differently. As an experienced comedian and TV performer, she knows first-hand that the business can be unsparing in its treatment of women, especially as they age. “As a woman in show business, I realized a few years ago that I really wanted to focus on broadcasting,” she tells Paste. “Like on radio and podcasting. Because I was aging. I’m already feeling like aging in this business, in my 30s, and I’m like, God, if there’s a way I could entertain and not have to be on camera, so people won’t constantly be reminded that I’m ‘old,’ this would be like a great skill to have for when I don’t really want to get hair and makeup done and look fuckable anymore.
“I want to have longevity in this business,” Glaser continues. “It’s much harder for women when they reach a certain age, and I don’t plan on stopping anytime soon, so I want to be like Stern. I want to be doing a hip, cool radio show when I’m in my 60s, and have no one even think twice about it. That’s my vision.”
The Nikki Glaser Podcast premieres on Monday, March 22. New episodes air every Monday through Thursday on iHeartRadio and everywhere podcasts are heard.
Senior editor Garrett Martin writes about videogames, comedy, music, travel, theme parks, wrestling, and anything else that gets in his way. He’s on Twitter @grmartin.