Nikki Glaser Feels Empowered By 'FBoy Island' — And Happy In St. Louis
When the pandemic struck New York City, comedian Nikki Glaser did the same thing as a lot of millennials: She left the city and moved back in with her parents. In her case, that was in Des Peres. But while that wasn’t so surprising, perhaps this is: She’s still here.
Glaser hosts the "Nikki Glaser Podcast" from her three-bedroom apartment in St. Louis’ Central West End neighborhood Monday through Thursday. She shares the space with her best friend and co-host, Andrew Collin.
“We wake up, we have breakfast, I walk the dog, and then we go into a studio together, sit on these comfortable chairs and just chat,” she explained.
Originally, iHeart Media suggested weekly drops, but Glaser pushed to go four days a week.
“I wanted it to be like a morning radio show,” she said. “I love morning radio. I love feeling like you have friends to tune into and drop in on every day.”
Glaser joined Wednesday’s St. Louis on the Air to discuss how it’s felt to reacquaint herself with her hometown over the past year and a half, as well as her hit HBO Max show, “FBoy Island,” an unscripted dating show for which Glaser serves as host and executive producer.
The show takes its name from the sobriquet given to men who have too much casual sex and not enough respect for women. Glaser said the reference in the title grabbed her right away: “That has a sense of humor about itself,” she recalled thinking.
Glaser cultivates that sense throughout the series, highlighting the absurdity of the premise with knowing winks at the audience. Yet, she said she found herself becoming invested in the cast members and their genuine growth over the series’ course.
“I actually learned a lot about myself on the show. … Watching these women get to tell these men, like, ‘I'm eliminating you this week because you're not spending any time getting to know me, you only talk about yourself’ — saying that kind of stuff to guys … it's so scary,” Glaser said. “But when I watched these girls do it, I was able to really start standing up for myself in relationships.”
She also formed sincere connections with the self-purported “FBoys” during their on-screen group talks.
Originally, the joke was to have Glaser lead faux-therapy sessions. But, she said, it quickly started to feel real: “There were moments in those sessions where the guys admitted to having sex addiction, without really knowing that they were admitting it.”
Glaser said she cherished those moments, adding that she has fostered friendships with some of the men.
“And that's what I really wanted, because I do believe that f-boys can be redeemed,” she said. “I think that what it takes is a woman with self-esteem. When [f-boys] are faced with a woman who will not put up with their antics, and doesn't let them get away with that stuff and holds them accountable, and they want to be with that woman, they will change.”
After a performance in Chesterfield this Saturday, Glaser heads to major cities including Los Angeles, Portland and Denver. The tour runs through January.
Between those stops, she can be found in St. Louis, taking her dogs for walks in the Central West End and recording podcast episodes with Collin.
“It's so nice to see him fall in love with [St. Louis],” she said of her roommate and podcast co-host, a Florida native. “He's worried that I'm going to get a job in L.A., or a boyfriend ... and have to leave him here, and I'm like, ‘No, I'm not going anywhere.’”
What: One Night With Nikki Glaser
When: 7 p.m. Saturday. (Doors open at 6 p.m.)
Where: The Factory STL, 17105 N. Outer 40 Road, Chesterfield, MO 63005)
“St. Louis on the Air” brings you the stories of St. Louis and the people who live, work and create in our region. The show is hosted by Sarah Fenske and produced by Alex Heuer, Emily Woodbury, Evie Hemphill and Lara Hamdan. Jane Mather-Glass is our production assistant. The audio engineer is Aaron Doerr.