The idea of ending “Broad City” was something that the show’s creators and stars, Ilana Glazer and Abbi Jacobson, had had on their mind for a while. In our exclusive interview (watch the video above), Glazer reveals, “We had been talking about the end of the show for a few years. When we got the season four and five pickup, I feel like we started thinking about the rate of growth that we wanted to cover and creatively it felt right.” Jacobson adds that the show was about such a specific experience, that the show would reach a natural conclusion once their characters got beyond that point: “It’s based around our experiences living in New York in our twenties and once one of them is out of their twenties, it felt right that the show would end and leave space for whatever comes next.”
“Broad City” centered around Abbi and Ilana playing characters of the same name and their adventures in New York City. The show originally debuted as a web series on YouTube. The series gained a following and attracted the attention of Amy Poehler, who was an early member of the Upright Citizens Brigade improv group that the two were alums of. Jacobson and Glazer developed the series with Poehler serving as executive producer and the show debuted on Comedy Central in January, 2014. It received great acclaim from critics including two nominations for Best Comedy Series and another two for Glazer as Best Comedy Actress at the Critics’ Choice TV Awards in 2014 and 2015.
The duo felt very comfortable in that they got to incorporate all the ideas that they wanted to explore with the characters with the final season. Jacobson was especially proud of being able to do an extended scene on the Brooklyn Bridge, which the two had wanted to do since season two. She says, “It’s one of the most difficult places to shoot because it’s open and you can’t close it down. So, New York City is on the bridge with us and we finally managed to figure it out for the last episode.” Glazer did note that the show had wanted to do an episode with Abbi and Ilana in Israel for the end of the third season but that came up against some real-life road blocks: “Some Infitada had just happened and it just felt not cool. But we were really happy with what we ended up with, which was ‘Jews on a Plane.'”
The success of the show has lead to some extraordinary experiences for the two. Among the biggest for them was getting a chance to present a segment for Julia Louis-Dreyfus at the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor in the form of an interpretive dance in a reference to her character from “Seinfeld,” Elaine Benes. “I gotta give props to Sara Schaefer, who wrote that bit for us. But that was one of the scariest things and we were hyperventilating about that dance and were retching after it,” says Glazer. Jacobson added that getting the chance to present at the Emmys was really special for them as well. “For us to even be in that room was so huge and to be able to be funny on that stage even if it was really quick was huge.”
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