NPR 4 THE DEAF: We Hear It Even When You Can’t

Broad City




Comedy Central’s television show Broad City has been compared to Girls and Sex and the City, but when co-creators, co-writers and co-stars Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer were creating the web series that ended up being a prototype of their TV show, they were actually channeling Seinfeld and Curb Your Enthusiasm. “We didn’t realize it was going to be character development for a TV show later,” Glazer tells Fresh Air‘s Terry Gross. “I think we looked to Larry David more than anybody else.” Broad City is about two single 20-somethings, also named Abbi and Ilana, who live in New York City, have dead-end jobs and spend a lot of time hanging out, smoking weed and making each other laugh. “[She’s] cleaning all sorts of disgusting things up, mostly bodily fluids and remnants,” Jacobson says. “But [she] dreams of bigger things and her social life mostly consists of hanging out with her best friend, Ilana, who pulls her out of her comfort zone into these crazy adventures.” Glazer’s character, Ilana Wexler, is a free-spirited, loyal “hedonist,” according to Glazer. “She likes to feel good; she likes pleasure,” she says. “I feel like at this point in her life the most important thing is her friendship with Abbi — that’s the grounding through-line for my character.” The web series was produced between 2009 and 2011. “It was like Curb … because they were these short slices that didn’t wrap up usually, or they were just little segments of these characters’ lives,” Jacobson says. Glazer and Jacobson met at the improv comedy group the Upright Citizens Brigade, which was co-founded by Amy Poehler. The two used their improv community in their web series, often featuring guest stars, including Poehler. Later, when the Broad City duo pitched their show as a TV series, Poehler came on board as an executive producer. The Comedy Central series begins its second season on Wednesday. MORE