The Kirkwood Call

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Where are they now: Nikki Glaser

Profession: Comedian - Location: Los Angeles, CA - Class of 2002

Photo courtesy of Google under the Creative Commons license

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Today, she performs all over the world and makes thousands laugh on stage and through TV appearances. She has seen success on a global scale. But before she was a star, Nikki Glaser was a student at KHS.

While at KHS, Glaser said she made many special bonds with her teachers, notably her French teacher, Madame Kalfus. She remembers hanging out with friends in the library and was involved in multiple KH Players productions. It was during her performances at KHS that she formed a passion for comedy, in particular a performance in the Black Box theater as a drunk woman.

“My drama teacher was very adamant about how I was good at comedy and how I was a good comedic actress,” Glaser said. “That’s when I started thinking about [a career in] comedy.”

Once she graduated KHS, she attended the University of Colorado Boulder where her comedy career began. Her friends convinced her to perform stand up comedy at an open-mic night by the university, and she went out of her comfort zone, leaving behind the quiet and shy person she said she was in high school.

“I had a really amazing experience on stage,” Glaser said. “If you talk to most comedians, their first time on stage was really great because it’s the best feeling in the world making a room of people laugh. Then you go on to have people not enjoy your set a lot, but you always have that first time to remember and that’s what keeps you going.”

Glaser went to comedy classes and transferred to the University of Kansas. She pursued her degree while also performing in Kansas City every night. After her senior year of college she auditioned for the NBC show “Last Comic Standing,” and her natural talent propelled her to the semi-finals. Nikki has received support from her friends and family throughout her career. A major source of support is her father, E.J. Glaser.

“I was always excited about it,” E.J. said. “I thought it was a good career choice for her, and I knew that she’d stick to it if necessary and she had the perseverance to make it work.”

Another supporter of Nikki’s work is her sister Lauren Green, KHS Spanish teacher and 2004 KHS graduate. However, she said she is not as open about it to her students due to Nikki’s mature content in her comedy.

“It’s hard, especially being a teacher. [I] want to be like, ‘You guys should check out my sister,’ and [I’m] so proud of her and you want to share it with everyone but the content sometimes is a little inappropriate for high school,” Green said. “Even my parents have a hard time going to her shows, they just have to cringe sometimes at some of the things she says.”

Green receives support from her sister as well. Nikki credits her sister with helping her stay connected to KHS through her.

“I love that my sister works at KHS,” Glaser said. “I’m so proud of her for being a teacher there and I know it’s very hard, and she’s very good at it. I’m very proud.”

Green also has a hard time with the fact that her sister is now a celebrity. She said she is starstruck when she sees Glaser on TV or when she gets sent pictures from Glaser’s famous friends, such as Amy Schumer and Jennifer Lawrence.

“It’s really interesting because I don’t think of her as famous when we’re talking one on one,” Green said. “But when I see how other people perceive her, like when we’re out in public and I’ll see other people recognize her and they sometimes come up and ask for a picture, it puts it into perspective for me how well known she actually is.”

In 2016, Glaser starred in her Comedy Central TV show, “Not Safe With Nikki Glaser,” where she did activities such as hooking her parents up to a lie detector test or spending 24 hours in a strip club. Since the start of her show, she has performed on “The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon,” and has appeared on “Conan,” “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” and was a roaster on “The Roast of Rob Lowe.” But through all of the chaos of her job, she said she still remembers the fun she had at KHS, as well as her humble beginnings in the KHS drama department.

“I had a great time at KHS,” Glaser said. “It was like any high school experience where you have some of the hardest times, but you also have some of the greatest, most fun times. I have very fond memories of KHS.”

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