“Broad City” has not been nominated for an Emmy. Let’s repeat that, simply because it bears repeating: “Broad City,” a bonafide game changer for Comedy Central as well as the comedic landscape in general, hasn’t been given so much as a polite nod from the TV Academy or HFPA (who hands out Golden Globes). Thankfully, another season is upon us, and wrongs can be righted.
The latest season of “Broad City” is one filled with as much joyful tales of friendship as before, but also finds Abbi Abrams (played by Abbi Jacobson) and Ilana Wexler (Ilana Glazer) dipping outside their comfort zones. Abbi started a relationship she wasn’t proud of, and Ilana came to terms with her true feelings about what she convinced herself was a casual fling. The duo also ventured outside their beloved city of New York, first to Philadelphia (for a trip to Abbi’s childhood home) and then on a birthright trip in the two-part season finale (which concludes Wednesday).
Indiewire spoke with Jacobson and Glazer about nabbing some talented guest stars, the development of Season 3, the challenges within the writing process as both stars and showrunners and getting such incredible guest stars. Below, we’ve outlined a few awards the TV Academy might want to consider tossing toward “Broad City” — you know, so they don’t forget again — with added commentary from the two creators for proper context.
7. Blake Griffin – Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series
While it’s hard to top landing Hillary Clinton, the “Broad City” gang wasn’t afraid to try. And boy oh boy did their bravery pay off. Los Angeles Clippers star Blake Griffin, after making it known how much he loved the show, had a part written specifically for him in “B&B-NYC,” and his character’s sexual escapades with Ilana proved to be as hysterically entertaining as they were physically impressive.
“The fact that he liked the show told us he had a certain kind of taste,” Glazer said when asked about pitching the part to Griffin. “We’re not going to do something that makes anyone uncomfortable or regretful or something. He was fully down for the scenes that he did. And [laughs] I think it’s an advertisement for him as an athlete.”
“Even on set, every bit of the way, he was so good,” Jacobson said. “He was so funny, and he was so down to improvise. He was so open to doing whatever.”
“He was one of the best — honestly — he was one of the best actors we’ve had on,” Jacobson said, followed up immediately by an excited Glazer, saying, “I know! He was so good!”
Considering our original notes on the episode read, “Blake Griffin! Incredible naked scene,” we’d have to agree.
6. “2016” – Outstanding Casting for a Comedy Series
Oh, did we kind of brush by the guest appearance of U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton? We’re sorry. There was no disrespect implied. Really, we just needed to rank her higher on the list. Casting one of only a handful of people who could become the leader of the free world in less than a year — not to mention an utter badass already after eight years in the Senate and four years in her current role — had to be quite the get. Moreover, considering her presidential campaign is in full swing, going on a show as risque as “Broad City” could prove, well, risky for the candidate.
“It was kind of like an editing on their part,” Jacobson said. “We pitched different jokes we wanted a comment on. It wasn’t really them giving us anything to say. It was sort of just them preferring us not to discuss certain things.”
“They were like, ‘Ummmm, no. Yeah, sure [for this], but no there.'” Glazer added. “I think you can imagine some of the things we might have wanted to comment on, but we’ll leave it at that.”
5. ‘”B&B-NYC” – Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series
While we’ll soon be digging into the season’s best episode — “Burning Bridges,” Episode 8 — it’s important to highlight challenges that go into writing for specific stars. While Glazer and Jacobson admitted they had a Plan B in case Clinton’s guest appearance didn’t work out, producing the best possible version of an episode isn’t easy — especially when you have to write more than one version that’s perfect.
“We kind of always had this awareness that she probably won’t do it,” Jacobson said. “Then when she did, we had the scene ready. It’s about having that plan — same with Blake. Because it was written so specifically for him, and maybe could’ve been done by someone else…actually, maybe Blake’s was a little bit more risky because we would’ve had to change the whole thing.”
“Why?” Glazer said. “I feel like any NBA player could’ve been humongous and I don’t know who he is.”
“Yeah, but Blake had been in a bunch of Funny or Die Videos…”
“Oh, yes, I don’t think anyone would’ve done it as funny as Blake.”
“That would’ve been stressful.”
It’s safe to say that even when you can’t write the element that Blake Griffin brought to the episode, you still have to know how to write to that element. Glazer and Jacobson certainly did, and they’ve proven over these past three seasons they’ll always get the best out of their scripts.
4. “Two Chainz” Bathroom Montage – Outstanding Single-Camera Picture Editing for a Comedy Series
This really doesn’t need an explanation. Watch the video above. Enjoy. Then watch it again…and again…and again. Maybe after four viewings you’ll be able to catch every little detail in this beautifully timed opening to Season 3.
3. Abbi & The Guy With One Leg – Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series
Jacobson had a number of compelling moments in Season 3, but Glazer pointed to a very specific instance of comedic supremacy when asked for a favorite scene from her co-star.
“In the eighth episode, ‘Burning Bridges,’ Abbi with the guy with one leg is so classic,” she said. “It’s so classic. It’s so funny. It could have gone on forever. It could have been anywhere, anytime.”
And that lead into a much longer discussion about “Burning Bridges,” an episode featuring a few more highlights for each actress…
2. Ilana Losing Lincoln – Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series
“But for Ilana, we’d been building up this casualness to her relationship with Lincoln, and Ilana never takes anything seriously. So we were going back and forth over whether she should get upset right away or when should this breakdown be, and I think at the end we decided it would be this buildup that was building and building and building until the end where there was just this breakdown about Lincoln but also her whole life.”
1. Season 3 – Outstanding Comedy Series
Even if “Burning Bridges” wasn’t your favorite episode from Season 3, that’s only a testament to how many great episodes there were to choose from; leaving no question the season kept the show’s hot streak alive. For three seasons running, Glazer and Jacobson have been creating smart, relevant comedy beyond compare. It’s easy to forget they started as a web series — a web series that ran for more than four years.
“It’s just gotten so big, “Like when Hillary was on, when that episode came on TV and she was on TV, it was like, ‘Oh, my God. We have Hillary Clinton!’ The Blake thing, too, it was like, ‘Ha ha ha. This is funny.’ And then it came on and I was like, “Oh, my God! This is on TV!'”
It certainly is, and it’s deserving of all the awards it can get.