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Broad City interview: ‘When people use comedienne, I’m so surprised, sometimes I’ll laugh.’

Broad City’s Ilana Glazer and Abbi Jacobson chat about blowing up the boys’ club


Ask a friend about the Comedy Central series Broad City, and you’ll likely be hit with something along the lines of “so fucking good, right?” Right. The brainchild of stars Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer, the web series turned television show follows the mishaps of two broke twentysomethings in Brooklyn—and has seriously caught on here. During a break from editing the second season, the duo got (sort of) serious about ladies in comedy.

On word choice:
Ilana Glazer: We just hosted this thing in Toronto, and one comic said, “Women are so annoying.” Really, dude? What fucking year is it?
Abbi Jacobson: Oh my God, I also fucking hate the word comedienne. I don’t even like actress.
Glazer: It halves the meaning.
Jacobson: A writer-ess? Why does writer have no gender, but actor has a gender? What is that?
Glazer: I can’t even with actress. But when people use comedienne, I’m so surprised, sometimes I’ll laugh.

On boys and girls:
Jacobson: I definitely relate so much to a lot of women in comedy, but I don’t love segregating the genders. I’m just as influenced by male comedians as I am female comedians.
Glazer: I think it’s an important point to be made. There’s almost a perversion around it.
Jacobson: The biggest struggle we have with [being women in comedy] is talking about it. If we saw this magazine with all male comedians, it would be like, What?
Jacobson: I feel like comedy had a boys’-club label when we were starting.
Glazer: Mmm hmm.
Jacobson: I definitely don’t feel that right now. No way.
Glazer: In a bigger picture, all over the world is a boys’ club.
Jacobson: Yes, but in terms of people creating stuff, it’s not a boys’ club.

Broad City Live comes to Lincoln Hall Nov 12.

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