Here’s one thing you probably need to know about Comedy Central’s new series “Broad City”: Its creators and stars, Ilana Glazer (on the left in the photo) and Abbi Jacobson (right), aren’t in nearly as dire straits as the versions of themselves they play on screen.
“We’re much more put together,” Jacobson said at the TCA winter press tour earlier this month. “I got my s*** together,” Glazer adds jokingly. “Don’t you worry about me when you watch these episodes.”
That’s a good thing, because “Broad City,” premiering Wednesday night (Jan. 22), shows Abbi and Ilana the characters struggling to make ends meet, get through the day — just struggling, basically. The show might draw comparisons to “Girls” in that regard, but there’s also a “Flight of the Conchords” vibe to the show. Glazer and Jacobson don’t sing, but the small-scale stories they tell feel of a piece with “FOTC.”
The two Upright Citizens Brigade performers say “Broad City,” based on their web series of the same name, is an exaggerated version of their early 20s.
“I think we were really trying to reflect how we were really living,” Jacobson says. “I lived in Astoria. Ilana lived in South Brooklyn. … It was, like, a struggle. We’re always like, how many bags can I carry every day with me?”
Adds Glazer, “That’s where the video chat” — it’s how Abbi and Ilana communicate much of the time — “comes from, because it’s hard to get from Brooklyn to Queens.”
“Broad City” is executive produced by Amy Poehler, UCB’s co-founder. She was familiar with Jacobson and Glazer’s work at UCB and guest-starred in an episode of the web series, then helped with the transition to Comedy Central.
“I feel like Abbi and Ilana are like this really specific, special voice. So if in any way I can help make that a little louder, that’s exciting for me,” Poehler says. “And my goal has always been to work do good work with good people, and this feels like an example of that.”
“Broad City” premieres at 10:30 p.m. ET Wednesday on Comedy Central. You can watch a clip below, or see the entire first episode on Hulu.