Lane Savage
Lane Savage
Lane Savage
Fill 1
Fill 1
February 22, 2014
In The Mix

A Raucus Road To Broad Way

With the addition of Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer, Comedy Central launches its second female-led series.

At Comedy Central, girls keep breaking into the boys’ club.

With the addition of Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer’s half-hour scripted series Broad City, the bro-skewing network launched its 2nd female-led series within the past 12 months (Inside Amy Schumer debuted last spring, filling the void left by The Sarah Silverman Program).

Broad City morphed from web series to TV series, thanks to the backing of Amy Poehler (Jacobson, Glazer and Poehler are all alums of Upright Citizens Brigade). Each episode chronicles a day in the life of this slacker odd couple who are so tethered that they Skype each another during sex. Emmy asked Jacobson and Glazer about their leap from the web to the Comedy Central lineup.

So, who’s the Laverne and who’s the Shirley in this relationship?

Glazer: I would be Laverne, and Abbi would be Shirley. But we’re always rolling our eyes at ourselves for being Chandler and Joey. Abbi is Chandler and I’m Joey.

Jacobson: My character is much more reserved. Ilana is the crazier one. So, maybe I would be Felix and Ilana would be Oscar.

What’s the significance of the title?

Jacobson: We couldn’t resist the double meaning — broad comedy and broad being the derogatory word for a woman. It’s our opportunity to own the word. It’s a go-for-it mentality, like I’m a confident bitch.

Glazer: A broad is like a bad bitch who can handle herself.

How did you bust out of the online-only ghetto?

Jacobson: Our manager [Samantha Saifer] really believed this could be a TV show. When we asked Amy Poehler to be in the final episode of the web series, we already had the TV pilot script ready to go. We asked her if she wanted to be an executive producer. She liked the episode [that she guest-starred in] so much, she said yes. It was a combination of being prepared for the opportunity that was about to be presented to us.

What was the most challenging scene to shoot?

Jacobson: In the 3rd episode, even though it was early September, there was a crazy heat wave in New York. Sweat is just dripping down my face. But we shot through November, and there were a couple of days that were 25 degrees.

What about that scene in which you had to clean house in your underwear for a pervert played by Fred Armisen. Difficult?

Jacobson: [laughing] I try not to think about that one that much. But we did write it. So it’s not like someone else wrote it and then we had to do it. We knew what we were getting ourselves into.

You poke fun at everything from hemorrhoids to interracial dating. Any topic off limits? 

Jacobson: I don’t think any topics are off limits. But we wouldn’t tackle a totally foreign experience — like growing up impoverished or the Armenian holocaust. We only go for the real and genuine.

Glazer: [laughing] Yes, I do know hemorrhoids well. It’s part of my family history.

Who are your comedic inspirations?

Jacobson: Growing up, I was a big SNL fan. Definitely Gilda Radner, Molly Shannon and, obviously, Amy Poehler. Roseanne and The Cosby Show. Those shows had a lot of heart and were really grounded.

Glazer: I remember Gilda Radner’s Roseanne Roseannadanna.  Ellen  DeGeneres,  Whoopi Goldberg. Stand-ups like Wanda Sykes. Also  The Simpsons. I am constantly trying to emulate [that  show’s  writers].

How did your time with Upright Citizens Brigade influence you as a comedian?

Jacobson: I learned how to be confident as a performer. It’s also how Ilana and I met. Things would not be the same if that hadn’t happened.

Jerry Lewis remains steadfast that he doesn’t find “lady” comedians funny. Any plans to send him a screener of Broad City?

Jacobson: [laughing] Have you seen Jerry Lewis be hilarious lately? I haven’t. We’re just going  to let him finish out his run and take the stage ourselves.

Glazer: Actually, we would love for him to hate  it. It would be great to have his pull quote saying, “This is the worst show I’ve ever seen.”

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