JFL 42 Nikki Glaser Garrison, Toronto ON, September 18

JFL 42 Nikki Glaser Garrison, Toronto ON, September 18
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It's the opening night of the third annual JFL42 comedy festival in Toronto, it's still light out, and Nikki Glaser is talking about anal sex — so it's obviously off to a fabulous start. Glaser, whom we know from recent, regular appearances on comedy game show @Midnight and, as she noted immediately, not from her cancelled MTV show, isn't shy. Hers is a brand of self-centred comedy — a cute blonde package of dim selfishness.

I'd say don't be fooled but that's exactly the point — Glaser's blonde hottie exterior is a Trojan horse for insightful, raunchy comedy. Although she seemed a little nervous and tentative — perhaps because some edgy material on the best fingering technique to use on an adult woman works better with a later, more lubricated crowd than the packed room of polite, sober Canadians.

Dating material is commonplace for stand-up comedy, partly because it almost always lands in a sweet spot — comedians need years of experience to get great and dating gets more complicated with age — so material about using Tinder in your 30s can be a comic goldmine between adolescent desire and adult realities.

Glaser transitioned from substantial "I've been doing a lot of online dating lately" material into a "I've been in a long-term relationship for a while now" chunk, a pitfall that often trips up comics who draw more on their personal lives for material. And obviously "I was in Starbucks a few days ago" didn't literally happen a few days ago, so nor should the single life/relationship material necessarily be a one-or-other proposition, but the presentation of both being current is a personal pet peeve.

That said, Nikki Glaser is proving herself to be one of a talented current crop of stand-ups working in the same lane that Amy Schumer has made her own, and the contrast between her barrier-free personal revelations and the relatively staid Canadian festival audiences will make for some great culture clash in the next few days of Glaser's time at JFL42.