Long Live the Queens: The End of “Broad City”

SXSW Q&A with "Broad City"'s creators and co-stars Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer.

With the funny, callback-rich, and surprisingly moving series finale of “Broad City” behind us and no future episodes to look forward to, Culture Vulture would like to offer a final glance back at Comedy Central’s dearly departed tribute to life-long friendships and bittersweet transitions…

…a dynamic which likewise played out behind the scenes at the network and during last month’s emotional SXSW tribute to the show as “Broad City”‘s creators and co-stars Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer discussed the decision to end their buzzy, critically-acclaimed show, especially given the fact that doing so means the two real-life friends will no longer collaborate as closely or see one another as regularly as they have since they originally met, failed to make the mainstage company of the Upright Citizens Brigade improv troupe in New York City and instead collaborated on a DIY web series about struggling twentysomethings in Manhattan that would ultimately launch their careers.

  Yet over the past decade, as the two women inevitably left their younger selves behind in real life, they slowly came to realize they’d have to say goodbye to their fictional counterparts, as well, since (according to Glazer) it would be unnatural for the fictional Abbi and Ilana to never change or mature:  “It would be strangling to hold on to this beautiful, spontaneous world. To go beyond that would be perverting it.”  

Not that letting go was easy, with Jacobson acknowledging how lucky they both were for the chance to develop their creative voices and professional confidence in terms of their vision of the show — even when, at first, “it was scary to say, ‘Hey, we want to run it.'”

  “We’re queer and Jewish…[and] we weren’t gonna get cast in anything we would be proud of until we wrote it,” Glazer added, noting how the friends eventually learned to trust one another over the more established TV veterans they encountered when they first shifted from the web to cable since, “We couldn’t be impostors in front of each other.”  

Finding the show’s humor and the right balance of autobiographical details to share with their characters led to occasional creative differences (like one of them, according to Glazer with a glance at Jacobson, putting in “a lot of fart jokes”).  

But ultimately, they realized the key to success was coming up with enough ideas so they never got “too precious” about any one thing in particular, with Glazer noting, “The more you find your voice, the more you find your tribe.”  

Yas, queens!


Andrew Osborne has written for websites including "Nerve," "Rocker," "Vanity Fair," and "Wired." He's also written film, TV, comic, theatrical, and interactive scripts for Warner Bros., MTV, HBO, Orion, MPCA, Platinum Studios, enVie Interactive, and the Discovery Channel, among others.