The cult hit web seriesBroad City comes compliments of the collective brains of Abbi Jacobson + Ilana Glazer. Called “sneak attack feminism” by the Wall Street Journal, the series follows two friends in New York City navigating their way through the minutiae that is life. Broad City is in development with the FX network.
Find these funnyladies on the interwebzs on Facebook, Tumblr on Twitter (@BroadCity @ilazer @abbijacobson) and at ilanaglazer.com and abbij.com!
What’s your favorite cupcake flavor?
Ilana: Black cake with White icing from Sugar Sweet Sunshine Bakery. We all have favorite cupcakes now, it’s like a mandatory thing!
Abbi: I’m not a huge cupcake person, but one I do like when it’s around is the red velvet with cream cheese icing…you can’t really turn that down!
What or whom inspired you to pursue a career in comedy?
I: I was really into comedy and particularly looked up to female comedians — Gilda Radner, Ellen Degeneres, Wanda Sykes, Roseanne Barr, etc. — so I always wanted to do it. My brother, Eliot, made me feel like I could do it.
A: I was really into SNL as a kid. I remember being allowed to stay up late and watch it as a little kid, and then in middle school, I think I was known for performing popular SNL characters…oy! I was the Student council Rep. for my homeroom and I reported as Linda Richmond. I don’t think I thought it was possible to pursue it as a career until I found the UCB.
What inspired the creation of Broad City?
I: We had a funny dynamic and each wanted to start creating our own material.
A: Yeah we were both at this place where we needed to be creating and producing something, and we both realized we had a specific point of view as a duo. It just felt like our friendship and the way we are with each other was something specific and unique, but something very relatable.
Are you both friends outside of the show, and does the show reflect a kind of humor that you often share with one another in your real friendship?
I: Eh, not really… JK. We are, but most of our time is spent on work lately, and I was JUST saying to Abbi TODAY that we have to plan a time to hang out that isn’t work-related, so it’s funny you ask! A work partnership parallels a romantic relationship so often, and you hear about married couples scheduling time for sex. Well, Ab and I need to schedule time for what WOULD be sex. I know it involves eating delicious food, and then there are other parts we still have to figure out. Drinks or a movie or something involving boys, idk.
A: Ha! Yes, I agree! Right now we are in this intense work mode where all we talk about is that. But I will say, our work sessions are always delayed as there is at least an hour of us needed to discuss important things that have happened to us both in between meet-ups. I always think thats hilarious. But yes, we are trying to schedule a non-sex-sexcapade.
If Chuck Norris were to corner you in an alley and challenge you to a duel, what would be your weapon of choice?
What are some challenges you’ve faced since going down the comedy track and what,
in your experience, has made those obstacles worth overcoming?
I: It used to be time challenges, like having enough time. Now, it’s money challenges, but it’s always worth whatever the struggle is because it’s totally self-fulfilling. No one else can want this for you. I know it’s cheesy, but truly, the journey itself is the reward. The people I meet and hang out with in this community are dope. We’ve all come together for the same purpose, and I feel like we’re all together because we chose to be. And for me, there’s no other way I’d want to spend my time.
A: My biggest challenge right now in my own work is managing my time. I’m my worst enemy with deadlines and work stuff because I wish I was more naturally structured with my routine. But in the end, when/if I finish a project, it doesn’t matter how I got there so I need to be easier on myself!
What’s the funniest thing you’ve ever heard/seen?
I: At first I was like, “I can’t answer this!” But you know what? I think the hardest I’ve ever laughed, the longest and hardest where I was like blinded by my own laughter, was when I saw John Gemberling do this sketch where he was a robot from the future with “the most beautiful voice” we humans would ever hear. However, because we’re mere humans, we wouldn’t understand how beautiful it was. This man, this sweet and hilarious man-boy, with tinfoil around his forearms and on his head, was hitting his adam’s apple with every syllable. It was really grotesque but also sweet and hilarious. So this robot-alien thing is telling us how beautiful his stupid voice is and then he starts telling awful standup jokes. I lost my shit, I was doubled over, crying and screaming. It was awesome.
A: I was at the mall with my dad and my grandfather as a kid and we were sitting on these benches outside a store, waiting for my mom and grandmother. We were just people watching and talking. Across the way a little, this little chubby kid was walking around the bench of a circular table and his pants were falling off. He just kept walking around, revealing that plumbers crack. It was just hilarious. We all couldn’t stop.
Which comedienne, dead or alive, would you love to work with/meet?
I: Ohhhh geeez.
A: Hmm, yeah this is hard. So many to list. Gilda Radnor was my girl growing up. I read her book, It’s Always Something, and used to watch her Broadway show on Comedy Central all the time. For my art class in 9th grade I made a life-size wooden cut-out of her as Roseanne Roseannadanna that stood in my school’s library. The assignment was to make one of your favorite historical figure.
In what ways do you think you’ve improved or evolved since your first comedy venture?
I: This project has made me mature faster than I think I would have without it. It’s defined who I am and helped me define my voice.
A: I was so unsure of myself in the beginning. Not very confident in my own voice or comedic instincts, and I think I’ve grown a lot in figuring all that out. It’s still very much a process I am in the middle of. I don’t think it ever ends.
What long-term/short-term goals do you have for your careers?
I: Long term: Do a 1-hour standup special filmed live at the Appollo. Short-term: Smoke with Snoop Dogg.
A: Long term goals: I’m interested in directing in the future. I would also love to be in films. Short term goals: Trim my bangs, meet a few deadlines, go somewhere new.
Do you have a specific audience to whom you play/would like to play? Describe that audience, and why/how you’re playing to them.
I: Specifically, we want to play to the broadest audience possible — all genders, ages, races, upbringings, etc. Also specifically, our viewers are, no joke, always awesome people, sincere and awe-inspired. We are into positivity, and people who are also into that the ones drawn to the project.
When you’re not writing/performing comedy, you’re…
I: I’m spending time with people I love, family and friends. Nothing special, just eating and talking is my favorite combination of activities.
A: Yep, same here. Love checking out new restaurants in the city. I’m a big walker. I wander around a lot. I also draw a lot. I also collect books, and read them when I can.
What’s the difference between appealing to women and appealing to men? I: With women, it’s like, “This is my experience. Is this yours, too?” With men, it’s like, “Let me tell you how shit goes down,” like from a woman’s perspective. But when it’s NOT split like that, when you’re just trying to make everyone laugh and not aiming, that’s fun, too. I guess I like both, aiming for specific people and then aiming for everybody.
A: Yeah, I agree with that. I on’t think we are ever trying to appeal to one more than the other, but I think when we talk about a more feminine issue guys feel like their getting the inside scoop where as girls are like, “Yep.” I like stuff that appeals to the human experience as a whole, but you get it from all angles and it interesting to look at it in those ways.
What’s next in the pipeline for Broad City?
I: Slowly but surely making it our mission to get this to your television set. There are so many little steps in between, and everything takes so long, but coming out the end of the pipeline is equal to us airing on FX.
A: Yeah, it’s a really cool pipeline to be inside of. We’re learning a lot and it’s a very fun journey we’re on right now.
Are there any new projects for you ladies on the horizon?
I: My next project is called How To Follow Strangers, and it’s an indie movie I starred in written and directed by Chioke Nassor.
A: One thing I can share is that I have 2 coloring books coming out in Spring of 2013 with Chronicle Books which I could not be more excited about!
Title of your autobiography:
I: Silli Bitch