JFL42 Review: 'In Conversation With Broad City,' a Charming Evening With Friends You Don't Actually Know

Meridian Hall, Toronto ON, September 20

BY Audrey CarletonPublished Sep 21, 2019

Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer are just now coming up to breathe after the whirlwind that was creating and starring in Broad City.
The pair didn't get the chance to process their fame until after the Comedy Central show ended, they told a room of excited fans at Meridian Hall for JFL42 in Toronto. Now, with the time and space to reflect, Glazer and Jacobson seemed to be glowing on stage; they're proud of what they accomplished and were ready to talk about it.
Jacobson and Glazer are perhaps the perfect duo to do a live Q&A at a comedy festival: they're incredibly smart, self-reflective, and open, willing to candidly share stories about their blunders, green enough to the entertainment industry to be not jaded, but with enough experience in the public eye to have something wise to say. On top of this, they have a dynamic that feels electric: they each listen closely to what the other has to say, they bounce off each other's sentences, and turn conversational slip-ups into bits.
Over the course of their Q&A, they discussed the trajectory of Broad City's success, the challenges of transitioning from writing for web to TV, and the experience of leading a writer's room while battling a bad case of imposter syndrome. They talked candidly about sexuality and mental health — they're both in therapy, and both love it. In fact, in the six years since Broad City premiered, Glazer has come to view her creative process as a cycle in which therapy is a key step: To write, she must first live life and garner experiences, then go to therapy to process those experiences, and finally, release them into her work, before starting the cycle over again.
It's clear that the pair, who are now keeping themselves busy pitching future projects, are still processing much of this themselves — their insights felt candid and unrehearsed, and they seemed unbothered by 3,000 people watching them admit their faults and insecurities. At the end of the conversation, they both took turns sharing what the most important thing they've learned from the other is. For Glazer, Jacobson taught her that her work for Broad City is art. And for Jacobson, Glazer taught her to be more open, more self-confident and more accepting of her quirks.
The duo are insightful, candid, and funny. And if we're lucky, this won't be the last we're seeing of them.

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