JFL 42 Nikki Glaser Garrison, Toronto ON, September 18

JFL 42 Nikki Glaser Garrison, Toronto ON, September 18
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.