You guys, we're so jealous of Nature right now! Sure, getting fracked is totally lame, but how awesome would it be to have Nikki Glaser as one of your besties?
"I would say I've been friends with Nature since, god, since I bought a Gap shirt that said 'Save the World,'" Glaser tells us in a phone call that you don't get to have with her but we do. "That shirt? It's most likely in a landfill now."
The comedian and co-host with Sara Schaefer of MTV's Nikki and Sara LIVE is one of the featured comedians at this weekend's Friends of Nature music and comedy festival on Virginia Key. FON Fest is billing itself as the first carbon-neutral event of its kind in Florida and, aside from bringing music to Miami from We Are Scientists and Matisyahu (and the locally-sourced Deaf Poets and Afrobeta), there will also be a comedy program headlined by The Daily Show's Wyatt Cenac.
Upon further reflection, Glaser thinks that her Save the World shirt may be "in that giant mass of plastic bags floating in the Pacific Ocean. At least I hope so. That's Trash Heaven."
Not that she advocates flinging open the gates of Trash Heaven to any old six-pack ring that hasn't garroted a dolphin.
"I definitely go with reusable bags," she says. "I opt out of plastic bags. They're like cigarettes. They make me sick and they're I thing I used to do that makes me sad when people use them. Plastic bottles, too, which like cigarettes give me cancer, which I don't like."
Of course, if everybody follows her lead and chooses reusable bags, we might wind up with a giant mass of reusable bags floating in the Pacific Ocean.
"When people talk about the bag mass, they say that it's the size of Texas," Glaser says. "The reusable bags will be Austin, the cool part of that mass. The weird part."
Glaser doesn't see herself as a perfect environmental citizen, but she's trying. She hates that she sometimes forgets her phone charger plugged into a wall socket, where it continues to draw power even when not in use.
"And I hate that I got food to go so much. It comes with a whole set of new [non-biodegradable] plates that I could use forever and ever but I don't," she says. "I'm not close to being carbon neutral but I'm getting closer. I'm conscious of it and I think that's the first step. I'm hoping that this festival helps me figure out how to do that and helps others, too."
Even when she isn't performing at festivals, Glaser loves going as a fan. She goes to Lollapalooza every year and was at Bonnaroo this past year. Music festivals, she says, "are like my Sandals resort."
As an experienced festival-goer, Glaser recommends "pacing yourself. But it's hard to do because you just drink all day. Some of the best acts are at the end of the day and I wish I would have been better about remembering some of them. So drink slowly. For every beer, drink a big thing of water."
When an expertly hydrated Glaser heads back to New York, it will be to continue work on her weekly MTV talk show on which she has hosted sometime Miami residents Austin Mahone and J. Woww. Glaser tapes her program in the same Times Square studio that used to house Total Request Live. She doesn't mention if she has Carson Daly's old desk or if the drawers are stuffed with reams of to-do lists, unchecked box after unchecked box next to "Act Like a Human."
"The thing that's funny is that it's such an iconic studio and you're used to images of those big crowds on the street, screaming and with signs. But no one looks up there anymore," Glaser says. "I'm waving constantly but no one notices."
Former VJ Jesse Camp, Glaser theorizes, moved out of the back alley around the time that the Lion King moved in. "You see Sway around sometimes, though. There's so much history in that studio. It's where N*SYNC and Britney Spears became huge. Sara and I went on Carson Daly's show and he told us all these stories of going on spring break and getting blacked out."
Now that MTV has gone back to grad school and doesn't play videos anymore, it doesn't go to spring break either. Which is fine for Glaser because "Sara sunburns easily. But times have changed. It's a different network. They have shows like Jersey Shore and Teen Mom and they haven't really done a talk show since Jon Stewart's. So we're trying to set a new tone."
There are, however, challenges that face Glaser who earned her reputation as a standup and through a podcast she still hosts with Schaefer, both of which are aimed at an audience older than her typical MTV viewer.
"We have had to cut Danny DeVito jokes because they don't know who he is," Glaser says. "Kevin Federline, teens do not know who that is. That was like eight years ago when these kids were, like, seven. It's hard sometimes but these kids are smarter than people think."
But perhaps these kids are better off not knowing who Kevin Federline was.
"Probably," she says, "but they also know who Chris Brown is."
Maybe each generation gets the shitty pop star boyfriend that it deserves, then?
"I don't think [pop stars] will ever stop dating guys like that," Glaser says. "To be in this business takes a certain bit of dysfunction. Even I've had some Kevin Federlines in my past, so I don't hate. When you get super famous, you fall for guys who don't fawn all over you like everyone else around you. Kevin Federline, he's not a bad dude and he looks like a good dad. I've never been against Kevin Federline. Britney was at her best with him, dare I say. It was after him that shit hit the fan."
Let us then redirect our efforts from unplugging our phone chargers to harnessing the sustainable power of our inner Federline. Glaser offers this advice for aspiring Kevin Federlines:
"Learn how to dance. You have to get in that backup crew. That's how J. Lo got Casper Smart."
No auditions are currently scheduled for Glaser's backup crew, however.
"I don't know how to dance," she says. "I get nervous, like when some throws a ball at me."
People of Earth: stop throwing balls at Nikki Glaser. She's trying to save your stupid planet, okay?
Nikki Glaser performs at FON Fest on Saturday, November 9 during the 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. comedy block and on Sunday, November 10 during the 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. Her show, Nikki & Sara LIVE airs on MTV, Tuesdays at 11 p.m.
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The Friends of Nature Festival takes place in Virginia Key Beach Park. Tickets cost $65 for a general admission two-day pass or $45 for one day, $170 for a two-day VIP pass or $100 for one day. Tickets, along with the full lineup and schedule, at FONFest.com.
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