Broad City‘s Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer are featured in the August 2017 issue of NYLON.
“Maybe it’s the right time to throw in an overtly political thing?”
Seated in a sunny edit bay in Midtown Manhattan, Abbi Jacobson poses this declarative question to her Broad City cohort Ilana Glazer, and the two ponder for a beat whether the scene they’re working on should end with an anti-Trump sight gag.
In the episode, the girls travel to Florida and adopt the state’s local customs and costumes: perms, neon tracksuits, driving a Cadillac the size of a New York studio apartment. As the show ends, and the camera pulls away from the pastel sprawl of retirement homes below, they could insert a skywriter, or maybe an airplane trailing a fluttering banner that says #resist. It would be the final touch on an episode filled with Broad City standards: bong hits, irreverent Judaism, body-cavity jokes. Maybe it’s just the right flourish for 2017?
“We could put that in there,” says Jacobson. “But it’s also, like, just being ourselves is resistance.”
Side by side on a couch, in sweatshirts and ponytails, feet pulled up under them and computers balanced on their laps, Jacobson and Glazer don’t look different from their stoner alter egos. But after three seasons of Broad City, fictional Abbi and Ilana are still broke and struggling to get in the game, while the real Jacobson and Glazer have become one of comedy’s most powerful duos.
“[Over time] I’ve watched the machine of Abbi and Ilana just get faster and sleeker,” says Glazer of their IRL partnership. “And it’s just so delicious to press the button, or pull the lever. I’m like, ‘Just go bitch.’” She pauses. “I don’t want to speak for Abbi, but I’m pretty proud of us. We’re sick.”
As their show enters its fourth season, the actresses are living a Hollywood dream that is almost unheard of: rising from obscurity to fame while maintaining creative control and keeping your best friend at your side. And after writing, producing, starring in, and directing over 50 episodes, they say their collaboration is stronger, and more seamless, than ever.
As of this writing, they were still making final edits in preparation for the September 13 premiere, but Glazer says even these last-minute editing sessions have become more like “Zen exercises,” with hardly any disagreements and sometimes no need for discussion at all. “Over time, we’ve just gotten more on our game and need to say less,” she explains. Jacobson agrees: “In the beginning we were learning on the job, so we had to spend more time verbalizing what we wanted.” Now, she says, “when we’re looking at something like the timing of a scene, or what should have a longer beat, it’s more like a feeling.”
The moment was silly and joyful. But it was also a catharsis. “It’s a release to come out with Season 4 and say, ‘I love this product we’ve made and I’m so happy to put it out in the world,’” says Jacobson. Glazer feels the same: “Who knows how much we’ll give a shit later about the other things we do. Down the line, maybe we’ll just be making garbage for as much money as possible. But the fact that we have this level of precise passion right now, this time of giving this much of a shit, is very much its own high.”
The fourth season of Broad City premieres September 13th on Comedy Central.
Photography: Charlotte Rutherford
Hair: Peter Butler at Tracey Mattingly using Leonor Greyl. Makeup: Rebecca Restrepo, Elizabeth Arden Global Makeup Artist. Manicurist: Geraldine Holford at LMC Worldwide using Chanel Le Vernis. Photo Assistant: Jada-Renee Bland. Stylist’s Assistant: Meaghan Hartland.