Broad City is in its third season. The show is critically acclaimed and has a fiercely loyal and devoted audience. But do you feel successful?
ILANA GLAZER: That’s an interesting question. I don’t know. It feels good. It feels like we’re doing okay. But have you “made it” if you don’t own a washer dryer?
ABBI JACOBSON: This is a topic of conversation we have all the time. Cause neither of us have a washer dryer.
You seriously discuss how neither of you are able to do laundry in your own homes?
ILANA GLAZER: All the time. We were talking about that this morning.
ABBI JACOBSON: Just a couple of hours ago, actually. Ilana said to me that she doesn’t have a washer dryer, and that seems weird.
ILANA GLAZER: It would be weirder to have one.
ABBI JACOBSON: It would. But why does having a washer dryer seem way beyond insane?
ILANA GLAZER: I think it would be life changing. It would be huge.
Your characters in Broad City are pretty poor, and yet they live in New York City. Is that still possible?
ABBI JACOBSON: I don’t know if they’re actually poor. I mean, at least compared to actual poor people.
ILANA GLAZER: Their parents help out.
ABBI JACOBSON: Yeah. They come from a middle or upper class family, and they’re living in the city right up against these uber wealthy people. So they end up with these day jobs that they might not necessarily care about.
ILANA GLAZER: You can survive in New York without much, if you’re careful. You have to make your own food at home, and don’t buy a lot of clothes.
ABBI JACOBSON: Having a bicycle helps.
ILANA GLAZER: Yeah, biking is a good alternative. Use the city as your gym.
A lot of female comedians, like Amy Schumer and the both of you, have been accused of “sneaky” feminism. The Wall Street Journal explicitly described Broad City as “sneak attack feminism.” Why are you so sneaky?
ILANA GLAZER: That’s funny. I don’t think that’s what we’re doing.
ABBI JACOBSON: We’re both totally upfront and proud feminists. We’re not being all secretive about it. I feel like we’re pretty blatant in our approach.
ILANA GLAZER: I think it’s kind of crazy that we’re still calling comedians “female comedians.” That seems more like a sneak attack.
ABBI JACOBSON: I mean sure, if you play the episodes (of Broad City) backwards, there are hidden messages.
ILANA GLAZER: “Diiiie men.” If you play any Broad City episode backwards, that’s all we’re saying.
Broad City has been compared to Lena Dunham’s HBO series Girls. Both are about white upper-middle-class privileged woman who live in New York City and have lots of sex. How are the two shows different?
ILANA GLAZER: If somebody asks, I usually just tell them to Google it.
ABBI JACOBSON: Yeah. Or watch it and see if they’re different. Do your own homework.
ILANA GLAZER: It’s so weird that that’s a thing. Like, “Yeah, you tell me why I’m going to watch these two shows about talking and walking vaginas.”
ABBI JACOBSON: Who has time for that?
ILANA GLAZER: You’ve got the one show about some vaginas.
ABBI JACOBSON: And then there’s that other show with the other talking and walking vaginas.
ILANA GLAZER: I’m not going to watch two TV shows with vaginas in them unless somebody tells me why they’re different!
This is the first issue of Playboy without boobs. Are you pretty excited to be a part of it?
ABBI JACOBSON: It seems pretty appropriate for us, because we blur ours on the show.
ILANA GLAZER: Yeah. Which I’m pretty happy about that. We’re a boob-free zone.
ABBI JACOBSON: It’s the best.
ILANA GLAZER: That’s what’s nice about being on Comedy Central. You can’t show your boobs even if you wanted to. But it’s still uncomfortable to shoot those scenes. Even though you know that all of your erogenous zones are going to be blurred, you still see our whole bodies.
But Ilana, we’ve heard that you’re more uncomfortable with the kissing scenes than the nude scenes. Please explain.
ILANA GLAZER: It just feels more intimate somehow. You meet this person, and then your mouth is on their mouth, and the whole thing is being choreographed by your friend, and there are 70 people on the set watching you do it. It feels weird. It feels abrupt. It isn’t natural. It is a contrived thing. You’re not usually making out in front of 70 people. The nude thing, I don’t know. It’s sillier somehow. It’s more like physical comedy. But kissing someone, it feels invasive to have everybody watching me.
Your characters on Broad City will do almost anything for each other, including be each other’s doo doo ninjas. Are they a lesson in what true female friendships should look like?
ILANA GLAZER: It’s not a lesson in female friendships but rather in ride-or-die friendships.
ABBI JACOBSON: Exactly what Ilana said. It’s exciting to get to write characters that love each other and fight for each other.
ILANA GLAZER: There’s this belief with no merit that media with women at the center applies only to women, but media with men at the center applies to everyone. Abbi and Ilana’s friendship represents that ride-or-die dynamic for anyone to whom it speaks, not just women.
How well do you know each other? Tell us something about the other that they don’t know you know.
ABBI JACOBSON: Ay yi yi. I don’t know if I can do that.
ILANA GLAZER: Okay, here’s something. The other day, Abbi knew that I was wearing a new shirt.
ABBI JACOBSON: Yep. That’s true,
ILANA GLAZER: She just knew. I didn’t have to tell her.
ABBI JACOBSON: That was crazy.
ILANA GLAZER: That’s when you know you know somebody. When you know every piece of clothing they have in their wardrobe. That’s friendship.
There’s a distinct lack of fighting between the two lead characters on Broad City. Is that on purpose?
ABBI JACOBSON: Do you fight with your friends? Who fights with their friends? Male or female. You’re not friends with them if you do that.
ILANA GLAZER: Fighting is boring. It’s what the fucking entire world is like. I think you watch TV or film to try and escape that. Or at least I do anyway. I don’t want to watch people fighting.
ABBI JACOBSON: Seriously, why would friends fight? It doesn’t even register to me.
So what happens when the two of you—in reality, not on Broad City—don’t agree with each other? That has to happen occasionally, right? Do you never argue?
ILANA GLAZER: Oh sure, that happens. We are two different brains and people, so we don’t always agree. But you look for a middle ground. You find a way to move past it without it being traumatic.
ABBI JACOBSON: We understand that there are conflicts in any relationship, but you don’t have to be a dick about it.
Ilana, we learned on Broad City that your “sexual X-Men” persona is Vulvarine. But Abbi, what about you?
ABBI JACOBSON: Hmm. I would maybe have to know more X-Men to make that call.
ILANA GLAZER: Hold on, let me show her Storm. [fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][Uses her phone to find an image of the X-Men character Storm.] I think she would be a killer Storm.
ABBI JACOBSON: [Looks at Glazer’s phone.] I could do that. I could be Halle Berry. What are her powers?
ILANA GLAZER: It doesn’t matter. You should decide.
ABBI JACOBSON: I think it’d be pretty cool to fly. Actually, I’d like to be Language Gal. My super power is that I can speak every language.
ILANA GLAZER: That’s pretty good.
ABBI JACOBSON: I’m going to stick with that. I’m Language Gal. I can speak any language presented to me. And I look exactly like Halle Berry.
You brought pegging into the mainstream. Before you used it as a comedic device on Broad City, did you know what pegging was?
ABBI JACOBSON: Oh, sure. We do our homework.
ILANA GLAZER: We’re very knowledgeable. And in order to write the episode, we kind of required the entire production staff to experience it. The writers, actors, producers, people at the network.
ABBI JACOBSON: Right down to the lighting people. And the grip. He was essential.
ILANA GLAZER: We’re all about authenticity. I hope you didn’t get from that episode that we think pegging is weird. We think it’s the opposite.
ABBI JACOBSON: I think that it’s hot. I’m glad that I did it for the show.
Not everybody knows what we’re talking about. Could you help us explain to, let’s say, our mothers—in the most delicate, inoffensive way possible—what we mean by pegging?
ILANA GLAZER: Sure. Just tell her that pegging is when a woman wears a strap-on, with a very hard dildo, and then she puts it into a guy’s butthole, with lubricant and foreplay. Wait, why are you having to explain this?
ABBI JACOBSON: Does she not watch Broad City?
ILANA GLAZER: Something’s wrong with your mom.
Do your parents watch the show? Or just the parts of the show you’ve pre-approved for them to watch?
ABBI JACOBSON: They’ll watch everything. But we’ll just warn them in advance about some of it. “Next week is going to be a big one” or whatever. But they sit through every episode anyway. Even when it gets explicit. And they should.
ILANA GLAZER: Some things are a little more risqué than others, but I think they understand where it’s coming from.
ABBI JACOBSON: Broad City has a wild side, but it also has a very heartfelt side. It’s very human. I think that’s something both of our parents are very proud of.
ILANA GLAZER: It’s nice to have cool parents. They’re cool with everything.
Even the drugs?
ABBI JACOBSON: Sure. I vape with my parents in my house. My parents don’t really get high, which bums me out. But I vape with them around. It’s just like a glass of wine. The family of the future is parents and kids who get high together. That is crazy to me, but it’s so cool. I like the fact that my parents are fine with it, even if they won’t do it with me.
Ilana, your bras have become almost mythical. Are they from your own wardrobe, or do you have a whole design team/ think tank devoted to creating aesthetically complicated bras?
ILANA GLAZER: Our costume designer, Staci Greenbaum, really had her finger on the pulse with that bra as well as our shopper, Catharine Stuart, who’s out on the fashion ‘streets’ doing the purchasing. I call it the Goddess bra because it’s pseudo-Grecian goddess. I feel like there was a BDSM thing going on in fashion recently, with leather harnesses and bodices, and this goddess bra trend is like the sweatpants version of the harness. That style has been popping up everywhere now. I don’t totally get the ‘mythical’ part—that might just be what’s filling the bra. My boobs. And Abbi’s butt. Very powerful.
When fans meet you, do they want your autograph, or to get stoned with you?
ABBI JACOBSON: They mostly want to smoke. That more than the autograph.
ILANA GLAZER: I never want to do it. It’s not like a fun high. I’m just nervous and hyper aware. But I like it when people just give us weed. That’s fucking awesome.
ABBI JACOBSON: Yeah. When we were on tour, a lot of people just dropped joints on the merch table for us. That was great. Every time, I was like, “Thank you so much.”
ILANA GLAZER: It’s a true donor spirit.
ABBI JACOBSON: There was this one lady in Colorado who made us something ceramic, where it could have been either a ring holder or a bowl cleaner. She was just like, “Here you go.” And we were both like, “Oh my god! Thank yoooou!”
Ilana, weren’t you in an anti-drug club in high school?
ILANA GLAZER: I was, yes! [Laughs.] You got to miss class to do it. Like, many periods of school. And then they took us to an elementary or middle school, and we told kids that they could be cool when they grew up even if they didn’t do drugs.
ABBI JACOBSON: You didn’t start smoking then?
ILANA GLAZER: No.
ABBI JACOBSON: It just seems like it would’ve been a great opportunity. You get out of school, you’re hanging out.
ILANA GLAZER: Yeah. What did I do with that extra time?
ABBI JACOBSON: Why skip school if you’re not going to smoke?
ILANA GLAZER: Exactly. But I didn’t start smoking weed till my junior year. I had a boyfriend who smoked a lot, and I was like, “Oh, I guess I’m moving on to this phase of life.” [Laughs.] I didn’t fight it at all.
You’ve done some amazing things with Twitter, from pestering Whole Foods into letting you shoot at one of their stores to almost getting Diane Keaton to be a guest star on Broad City. But does it work both ways? Could a fan Tweet-beg you into dating them, or hosting their bar mitzvah?
ILANA GLAZER: I would love to host someone’s bar mitzvah. I would love to do that.
ABBI JACOBSON: I wonder how much we could get paid for that. It’d have to be some LA Jewish dad paying for it, right?
ILANA GLAZER: But back to your Twitter question, not really. I don’t take Twitter too seriously in the physical world.
Here’s an ethical dilemma. You have $100 to spend in Bed Bath & Beyond. What do you buy, and do you use coupons?
ABBI JACOBSON: Okay. Well obviously, it’s a yes to the second part of the question.
ILANA GLAZER: But here’s the trick. You have to use the coupon on your biggest ticket item. Not on the whole purchase.
ABBI JACOBSON: We have $100 to spend? Okay, let’s think about this rationally. I need some hangers.
ILANA GLAZER: You should get the velvet ones.
ABBI JACOBSON: Yes, some velvet hangers. I need some trash bags. I need… What do I need? Ilana doesn’t have a teakettle. We would get you top of the line teakettle.
Why do we have a weird feeling that we could leave the room right now and come back in an hour and the two of you would still be talking about this?
ABBI JACOBSON: Could you stop with the questions for a minute? We’re trying to figure this out.
ILANA GLAZER: I would get a heating pad. I gave my heating pad away and I would really love one. The last time I was in Bed, Bath & Beyond, I was with you actually, and we got you a lot of candles. Was it a dozen?
ABBI JACOBSON: [Laughs.] I do need a dozen candles.
ILANA GLAZER: I don’t like their candles. I just don’t like the glass candleholders. It’s like wasting all this glass.
ABBI JACOBSON: But then you have all these candle containers. You can use them again.
ILANA GLAZER: I don’t know. I’m not convinced.
We’re in an election year. Care to make a prediction? Will the U.S. elect its first female president this year?
ABBI JACOBSON: I think we are. Hopefully with Bernie Sanders on the Cabinet.
ILANA GLAZER: Bernie as vice president?
ABBI JACOBSON: That would make for a delicious world. Right?
ILANA GLAZER: We’re big Hillary supporters. For a lot of reasons.
ABBI JACOBSON: I really like Hillary’s women’s rights agenda. I like her thoughts on the environment, and what we do with trash and how we dispose of it and what we make shit out of. And stuff relating to trees and the earth and animals and shit, like food production. And climate change. Obviously there’s a huge problem going on.
ILANA GLAZER: Yeah, climate change is huge.
ABBI JACOBSON: Shit is getting dire.
You two should be writing campaign slogans for her. “Hillary Clinton in ’16: Shit Is Getting Dire.”
ABBI JACOBSON: Right? And that’s because it’s true. Shit is getting dire, and it’s not enough to just talk about it. You’ve got to do something towards changing things.
ILANA GLAZER: Which Hillary will.
ABBI JACOBSON: We need somebody to stand up and say, “It’s all about climate issues and shit.” And then do something about that shit!
(This story originally appeared, in a slightly different form, in the March 2016 issue of Playboy.)