It’s been a very Abbi Jacobson couple of days: Saturday at Irving Plaza we saw her sit in with Paul Scheer and Jason Mantzoukas during a taping of their “How Did This Get Made” podcast (spoiler alert: they shredded Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Hercules in the City), and this morning she and her Broad City co-creator Ilana Glazer kicked off Internet Week with a conversation with Marie Claire editor Anne Fulenwider.
Among other things, they talked about how the Comedy Central version of the show changed from the original pilot for FX. In the earlier version, Abbi (then named Ali; Ilana was Evelyn) worked at Joe Coffee instead of Soulstice. “It was basically just me and this older lady customer,” Abbi recalled of the pilot, which is now in a “Comedy Central lockbox” somewhere. “She was my regular and we always got into it.” And Kelly Ripa’s husband, Mark Consuelos, was supposed to play Abbi’s hot neighbor, Jeremy.
Of course, Abbi and Ilana are now onto the third season of the show. “We are in the middle of writing and it hurts so much,” Ilana said.
So what can we expect from season three? “There’s a thing we talk about every season – should I say it?” Abbi teased. “We’ve been trying to write this episode — hopefully we’ll get it — on the Brooklyn Bridge.”
Queens could also get more play. “When people write about the show, they’re like two Brooklyn gals,” Abbi observed. “And my character lives in Astoria. I lived in Astoria for five and a half years and we haven’t done enough shooting in Astoria.”
“I feel like this year so far in writing,” Ilana said, “we’re talking a lot about early digital culture and writing it such that if you don’t know that we’re referencing the ‘gingers have souls too’ video then it’s still going to be funny, but if you do know that video… then you’re like, Oh ha ha ha!”
Fulenwider asked how the girls feel about being compared to Girls. “It’s great,” Ilana said. “First of all, hugely successful show, Lena’s a genius so it feels good, but it can also be reductive just because people are like women in their 20s, you’re all the same.”
“We originally pitched the show and Girls had just gotten picked up and a lot of places wouldn’t buy it because of that,” Abbi said.
“What actually really bothers me,” said Ilana, “is when people feel like they [have to] choose between – they have to hate one and love the other.”
Abbi agreed: “We often tweet and hold our thumbs on top of the ‘send’ of like, ‘You don’t need to pick‘ … people like both but they get mean about one or the other, and it’s like, why are we doing this?”
During the audience q&a, the duo touched on the degree to which “Abbi” and “Ilana” are based on Abbi and Ilana.
“We go back and forth where we’ll be like they’re not us,” said Ilana. “I’m like, they are, though. And they both are and aren’t. Yeah, it’s existentially bizarre.”
“As much as we want them to not be us, we actually use things that are us,” said Abbi.
“Which is always,” Ilana chimed in.
“I think people here can see even — I hope — from us talking and calmly sitting that –”
“Yeah,” said Ilana, “we’re not blazed or like fucking someone.”
According to Ilana, fans tend to get confused about the former: “We did a tour in November and people were like, ‘You wanna smoke before the show?’ I’m like, ‘Not at all.’
Abbi: ‘We’re like, ‘We’ll take your weed.'”
Ilana: “I’ll take weed but I’m not going to smoke with a stranger and then freak out.”