Comedy Central’s “Broad City” ended its five-season run in March, but its creators still feel a bit verklempt about it, judging from their appearance at a Los Angeles Times Envelope Live event this month.
Flanked by two of the show’s executive producers, Lucia Aniello and Paul W. Downs, creators/stars/real-life BFFs Ilana Glazer and Abbi Jacobson talked with The Times’ Yvonne Villarreal before an audience at the Montalban Theater in Hollywood about the show’s end and its beginnings. Jacobson and Glazer actually held hands for support for much of the chat.
The central pair spoke disarmingly of how afraid they were to contemplate a life for their characters in different cities from each other — as if it were the real-life Abbi and Ilana separating geographically.
It was so nerve-wracking that they had conceived an ending in which the separation was made all the briefer because of an Ilana surprise.
Amy, what you wanna do: Glazer said comedy heroine Amy Poehler not only lent her clout to the show, but provided mature insight, some of which made them squirm: “‘This is a love story between you two!’”
Aniello credited the people at Comedy Central who “protected the show.”
First of the last: Jacobson spoke of the importance of the first episode of the final season and the anxiety they experienced creating something totally different from what they had done before.
Humble beginnings: Glazer, Jacobson and Aniello reminisced about how they all met and eventually came together to create the series.
When Villarreal pointed out it was their first time writing long-form narrative television, Glazer said, “It was our first time doing anything. … We learned everything. … I think it was an asset not to have done it before. I think we learned and grew in real time, and I feel the audience felt that with us.”
Laughter, crying, laughter, crying: Glazer and Jacobson discussed their very modern, collaborative writing process, comparing themselves to “coders” and “hackers.”
Glazer said they were “vacillating between laughing and crying” as they wrote the end of their show.