Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer Talk Broad City and Their Creative Process

Abbi Jacobson and llana Glazer, the creators, executive producers and stars of Comedy Central’s critically-acclaimed hit show Broad City, sit down with Marie Claire’s editor-in-chief Anne Fulenwider for a broad range of discussions on the transition of their show from web series to cultural phenom.


As with all the discussions we had with filmmakers and comedians this week at SXSW it was inspiring and intriguing to get a look inside their creative process. The Broad City gals were no different. The process of creating a show is at a breakneck speed and even then it takes 10 or 11 months to create a season from start to finish. Self described as control freaks they use a collaborative effort as simple as using a Google Doc to toss ideas back and forth. That was until they lost a doc once along with several ideas. Now they go about it in a more traditional manner by blocking out episodes on note cards.


Like many new comedic TV shows Broad City has its roots planted firmly in the web and improv community. It started out as a web series and grew into the Comedy Central hit we have today. Other shows that have used the web as a proving ground include TV Land’s Teacher, TruTV’s Those Who Can’t just to name a couple. When I asked why the casts of these shows why the web is so great to develop a show all of them responded with the same general statement…it’s a great way to see what works and doesn’t work for your show and to find your voice. Networks love that. They don’t have to use the pilot or an entire season to figure that out. Many of the shows are already fully-baked when they come to a network so there is less risk and more reward. Broad City was first pitched to FX before it ultimately got picked up by Comedy Central.



With success comes great responsibility! So much so Abbi and llana are often times consumed by the process. Brainstorming, shooting, editing are all things they hold close to their chest. Which feeds into their control freak nature. However this is the first year they have experienced some flexibility with their time to devote toward other projects.

Glazer took time off to develop a new three-part mini series that will debut on Comedy Central on 4/20 titled ‘Time Traveling Bong.’ The release date and title were not by coincidence. llana admitted to smoking weed or devouring edibles each day to kickstart her creative process.

Jacobson’s side projects includes a cameo in the upcoming sequel to Seth Rogen and Zac Efron’s Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising.



Hilary Clinton will be on this Wednesday episode of Broad City when they stumble upon her campaign office and volunteer for Clinton’s campaign. It was a big get that includes cameos from Blake Griffin, Whoopi Goldberg and Vennesa Williams to just name a few. The ladies said at some point getting people to come on the show becomes easier with each season and the success but there will always be a sense of awe having people like this appear on their show.


Check out the full conversation from the panel below…


Featured image courtesy of photographer Tyler Schmitt

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