Tuesday marked the series premiere of Nikki and Sara LIVE, MTV’s late night show helmed by hilarious New York based comedians Nikki Glaser and Sara Schaefer. Both have made a name for themselves in the New York stand-up scene, as well as host the popular podcast You Had to Be There.” Glaser was also a contestant on NBC’s Last Comic Standing and Schaefer is the proud owner of two Emmys. Now they’ve got their own TV show, a hybrid program mixing talk show, sketch, and man on the street style humor segments into a 30 minute broadcast. Both Glaser and Schaefer are great comedians, and I hope this show is a success, which shouldn’t be hard with a writing staff that includes veteran Brian McCann and newbie/Twitter great Chase Mitchell. Expectations are high.
Oh… and this show is live. Like “live-live,” no editing, SNL live unlike most of your favorite “live” talk shows (spoiler alert!) that are actually filmed earlier in the day, then edited for language, etc. before airtime. Bold move? Good move? Will Bullwinkle save Rocky in time? We’ll have to tune in to see.
Last night’s premiere opened on a set that looked like the ancient ruins of TRL. I kept waiting for Carson Daly to pop around the corner. There was also an odd scrolling text bar at the bottom of the screen. Very MTV, and unfortunately, very distracting. But then we get introduced to our lovely hosts. Nikki, “the blonde,” and Sara “the one with glasses,” who opened the show with a funny monologue taking on recent pop culture topics such as Bieber’s weed and Michelle Obama’s bangs. There were some hit and misses, and Schafer gave us our first bit of “yes, this is live” evidence by stuttering a line in her first joke. Reading a prompter live will take some getting used to, but for two professional comedians who are no stranger to performing in front of an audience, it should be a quick adjustment.
Our first highlight of the night came in the form of our first mini-skit. While showing an article about Princess Kate Middleton looking at jeggings at the Gap (WHAT?! Yes, this happened!), the screen returned to Sara and Nikki sporting wild wigs, their hair blown back from the mindfuck that is Kate shopping. A funny gag on an always funny topic, skewering the media’s idea of “news;” which if you follow either funny lady on Twitter, you already know is a specialty of theirs.
The premiere show included our first man on the street style segment, which comedy fans got a taste of weeks earlier in a sneak peak, and as expected it was the hit of the night. Calling it “Fun, Fun, Real” Glaser and Schaefer ask pedestrians two normal questions, then they get real. Pairing questions like “sand or dirt” with dark exclamations like “I’m dying.” Nikki and Sara LIVE could be just 30 minutes of “Fun, Fun, Real” and I’d be ok with that.
Like most talk shows, the night ended with a celebrity interview, with the girls interviewing Ke$ha (because in case you forgot, this is on MTV). A bold choice to pick someone who claims to have had intercourse with a ghost as your first guest, but they pulled it off complete with a kitten in toe. Glaser and Schaefer even integrated a skit into the bit (a refreshing take on the typical interview), asking Ke$ha which famous ghosts she would bang. A yes on both Slimer and Bill Cosby.
While the night was largely hit or miss, there were enough bright spots to ensure Nikki and Sara LIVE will grow into a solid show. Both hilarious comedians in their own right, this show is a first for Glaser and Schafer. It will take a bit of time to adjust, but give the show time to find its voice and it could be the show that sets the bar for hybrid comedies.
Nikki and Sara LIVE airs Tuesdays on MTV, 11pm est. Also check out Sara on the latest episode of Scott Moran’s “Modern Comedian” on YouTube.