Surprises don’t alway work out so well for everyone, but “Broad City” co-creator and star Abbi Jacobson is pretty good about rolling with the punches these days. That includes both nice shockers, like her winning the Harold Ramis Film School Comedic Storytelling award at this year’s inaugural IndieWire Honors — an honor that was unannounced before the event rolled out last week in Los Angeles — and also bad ones, like the election of Donald Trump over known “Broad City” icon Hillary Clinton.
As Jacobson told IndieWire’s Michael Schneider at last week’s ceremony, the events of last November irrevocably shaped the series, including the recent episode “Witches,” which directly deals with the fallout of the election on both Abbi (Jacobson) and her best pal Ilana (co-creator Ilana Glazer). As the pair had penned their episodes in the spring before going on hiatus — a rarity for the hard-working duo — they always knew they’d have to tweak some scripts, but they couldn’t possibly know how much.
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“There were a couple episodes we would have to had rewrite regardless,” she said. “The election went a certain way, the way it did, and it was all we could talk about. It just kind of crept in.”
In “Witches,” Abbi and Ilana grapple with some unexpected consequences post-election, stuff that impacts both the professional (Abbi literally meets her match in street art) and the very personal (Ilana hasn’t been able to orgasm since the election). It’s an episode that is overtly, honestly about the election of Donald Trump. It doesn’t skimp, but even though the pair were fueled by their own emotions, Jacobson emphasized that they wanted to do it right.
“It was a really incredible process, because it was probably one of our most problematic scripts from the beginning, and then it turned into one that I think we’re both most proud of,” she said. The result is a standout of the season, but also one that speaks to what Jacobson said is always their first priority: “I think, at the end of the day, our goal is always to be funny first,” she said.
Later in the chat, Jacobson opens up about the other funny women they look up to (including guest star Jane Curtin) and what it’s look to inspire the next generation of female comedians and performers. Watch the full discussion below.
IndieWire Honors is presented by Vizio and DTS with premier support from Harold Ramis Film School at The Second City.