Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
Support NHPR's local journalism that brings clarity, context, and community!

Jacobson And Glazer Take 'Broad City' On The Road


First there was "Sex In The City," then there was "Girls," also on HBO. Both shows are about young women trying to navigate the wilds of New York City. The latest show of same stripe is called "Broad City." Here are said broads, Abbi and Ilana, trying to find an apartment in said city.


AMY SEDARIS: (As Pam) Well, what do you think?

ABBI JACOBSON: (As Abbi) It's a hallway.

SEDARIS: (As Pam) It is a beautiful railroad-style apartment in your budget.

JACOBSON: (As Abbi) Well, where's the bathroom?

SEDARIS: (As Pam) Where isn't the bathroom? Geez, wear a catheter. Go on the corner. You can fit a king-size bed in here.

JACOBSON: (As Abbi) Yeah, if you fold it up like a taco.

SEDARIS: (As Pam) Why am I so turned on right now?

MARTIN: Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer are the real-life friends who created and star in "Broad City." It started out as a web series with a cult following. Then Comedy Central picked it up after Amy Poehler got onboard as an executive producer. Season two starts in January. I caught up with Abbi and Ilana when they were in Washington, D.C. for a live tour they've been doing between seasons. And they started by describing the TV versions of themselves.

JACOBSON: So yeah, the "Broad City" characters are heightened versions of ourselves. So the TV show is about Abbi and Ilana, but it's sort of an amplified version of us. It's about two best friends who live in different boroughs in New York. And every episode is a day-in-the-life. And they're just getting into a new sort of adventure every day.

MARTIN: Abbi, describe Ilana's character for me.

JACOBSON: I think, OK, Ilana's character on the show is really bold and, like, really outgoing and wears - you know how people are like, oh, yeah, she wears her heart on her sleeve? I think Ilana wears, like, everything...

MARTIN: Like, all her organs.

ILANA GLAZER: Every organ.

JACOBSON: Yeah, like if you meet Ilana on the show you, like, I think you know everything about her right away. It's, like, all up for grabs kind of.


JACOBSON: (As Abbi) Ilana, it's not a big deal.

GLAZER: (As Ilana) It's a huge deal. You said that if you were ever going to do same-sex experimentation it was going to be with me.

JACOBSON: (As Abbi) I have never said that to you.

GLAZER: (As Ilana) It has been implied.

JACOBSON: (As Abbi) By you.

GLAZER: (As Ilana) Well, implications get responses, and it takes two to tango.

MARTIN: Ilana, can you describe Abbi's character?

GLAZER: Something we said very early-on, like, in the pitch that Abbi, the character and person, are big dreamers. The character is such a dreamer, but the character is faking it until she makes it - you know what I mean? - whereas Abbi Jacobson is making it.


JACOBSON: (As Abbi) This is so great. Like, why are we waiting for guys to come to us Ilana? Did Amelia Ehrhardt wait to be asked to fly around the world? Definitely not. She asked. And then they said no. But she still did it. And she died, but she...

GLAZER: It's Abbi Jacobson at 23, but Abbi Abrams in the show is 26. So they're, like, a little less mature. We always say it's us before "Broad City" because "Broad City" gave us this, like, purpose and drive that before wasn't - it was all this, like, disparate energy that wasn't channeled into, like, one drive.

MARTIN: These girls are also - I don't know how to ask this question. When I watched the first episode, I thought, oh, these girls are like dudes. They say stuff that you only see, at least in popular culture, in the films that are about, you know, some kind of bromance or a bunch of funny guys together doing this stuff. When, actually, these kind of behaviors - people who are more, you know, crass or you're smoking pot a lot in the show, and you are exploring your sexuality. These are things that are often left out of a fully formed feminine character on TV.

GLAZER: A lot of people have been, like, these gals are filthy. I'm, like, filthy? This is, like, baseline. I'm, like, this is super baseline, baby.

JACOBSON: We're holding back.

GLAZER: I know. I'm, like, we're censored.

JACOBSON: We're not on HBO, you know? We're on cable.

GLAZER: Thank God, though, 'cause I don't think we want to be naked.

JACOBSON: No, but it is interesting, like, a lot of people asked about this. Or, like, it's written about, and it's, like...

MARTIN: And it - clearly, you're kind of surprised that this is people's perception.

JACOBSON: No, I get it because these characters are a little different than we are.

GLAZER: There's, like, so many shows where, like, women wear heels and dresses. I'm like, what? What are you talking about? Do you walk, though? Like, do you walk around during the day? I don't know. It's so weird.

MARTIN: Amy Poehler is one of the executive producers of the show. I imagine she's someone that you looked up to when you were coming up in this world?

GLAZER: Of course.


MARTIN: Could you be where you are without Amy Poehler, in particular, and Tina Fey but those - the women of that generation?

JACOBSON: Yeah. I feel like her - that generation of, like, SNL ladies I think really changed - I hate talking about women in comedy, but, like, did change that.

GLAZER: Because she had seen the web series - oh, I'm getting chills thinking about it. She had seen the web series, and the fact that she knew it was, like, you know, we know it's, like, on the Internet but, like, we thought it was, like, for our parents. You know what I mean? Like, the fact that she had seen it was, like, are you kidding me?

MARTIN: And now it's like no big deal, Amy Poehler on the set.

GLAZER: Since we've been doing this project, she's become a hero in a whole new way which is as a business person. She is such a bad ass. Like, creatively, she's always had this eagle-eye view of the brand. She gives us notes on our outlines, our scripts. Her joke pitches are exactly what you would hope they would be.

MARTIN: Any other hints you want to drop about the next season before we let you go?

JACOBSON: I think it's, like, a really next level, but not too far away from the first season extension.

GLAZER: And then we have surprise comedians who - I'm really thinking of one. She is so funny.

JACOBSON: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

MARTIN: Who is it?

GLAZER: We're not telling you. I'm not telling you. You have to watch. Yeah, you're going to have to watch the whole thing.

MARTIN: Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer - they are the women behind "Broad City." Thank you so much, you guys.

JACOBSON: Thank you so much.

GLAZER: This was a pleasure. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

You make NHPR possible.

NHPR is nonprofit and independent. We rely on readers like you to support the local, national, and international coverage on this website. Your support makes this news available to everyone.

Give today. A monthly donation of $5 makes a real difference.