Broad City was Comedy Central’s 2014 breakout comedy starring Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer as two twenty-something stoners living in New York City. The show garnered much critical acclaim for featuring two young women who were totally comfortable in all of the things that made them good and bad. The show enters its second season this January and I can’t wait to see what unfolds for the dynamic duo.
1. The characters are based on the younger versions of Abbi and Ilana who were 22 and 19 when they first met.
2. Abbi accidentally stabbing herself with an Epipen was inspired by true events. Abbi told EW, “When I was a counselor, during this orientation, they were talking about how a couple kids were really allergic to nuts or milk. And we had to all learn how to use an EpiPen and treat them if they were to eat those things. And one of the owners at the camp was a pediatrician, and she stood on this basketball court showing us how to use an EpiPen. And as she’s doing so, she accidentally stabbed herself in the hand.”
3. During a scene, Abbi picks up a sick Ilana and carries her out of a restaurant. No one believed Abbi could do it so a stunt double was hired. During filming, Abbi managed to complete the small feat.
4. Abbi’s Missy Elliot costume for the rap video sequence is a costume from Party City.
5. The two women started the web series in part because they weren’t getting cast and in part to show their parents evidence of what they were pursuing.
6. Ilana and Abbi actually worked at a Groupon-like company called “Lifebooker” before the show took off.
7. The two co-stars met at the Upright Citizen’s Brigade improv school, co-founded by Amy Poehler. It was a long shot, but they asked Poehler to appear in their web series and she agreed because they were filming around the corner from her home. Poehler later decided to produce the series and help find a network for it.
8. The show was picked up by FX but after being stalled for a year, FX eventually released it.
9. Like Abbi’s character on the show, the real Abbi also received an $8,000 check for an illustration. However, the real Abbi quit her job instead of putting it in savings.
10. Abbi realized she was a comedian when, as student council president in eighth grade, she would make announcements in the voice of Linda Richman from SNL’s “Coffee Talk” skit.
11. When Abbi first set eyes on Ilana she thought Ilana was Alia Shawkat from Arrested Development.
12. Ilana’s hookup buddy, Lincoln played by Hannibal Burress, is a response to a woman warning Ilana, “Don’t get tainted,” when she moved to New York. Ilana interpreted that as a “warning against liberals, lesbians, and black men.”
13. While the show is often regarded as a platonic love story between two friends, upon pitching the web series as a TV show one agent commented, “I don’t get why we’d watch this. Are they going to get married?’”
14. The characters were originally going to be called “Ali and Eliza” or “Carly and Evelyn.”
15. Ironically, Ilana was a part of an anti-drug group in high school despite smoking weed every day in real life and on the show.
16. Though season 1 averaged 1.3 million viewers per episode, the web series never really took off.
17. Comedy Central renewed Broad City for a third season before the second even premiered.