Despite each having their own romantic endeavors, the core relationship of Comedy Central’s Broad City remains the deep friendship between its titular broads, Abbi Abrams and Ilana Wexler, played by real-life besties Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer.
Jacobson and Glazer brought their friendship to the stage at World Cafe Live for a sold-out fundraiser for Golden Slipper Club and Charities on May 21.
The night included a live band in the beginning — which played the intro to the show before Jacobson and Glazer came out, and got the whole crowd scream-singing “Four and three and two and one!” — as well as a raffle and a dance party that stretched late into the evening.
“It was a great success; it more than exceeded our expectations,” said Ed Caine, president of Golden Slipper.
The goal of the evening also was to attract a younger generation to learn about Golden Slipper and the work the organization has done in the community in its 94 years of existence and continues to do, from running food banks to senior centers to providing scholarships to college-bound students in need, among other philanthropic initiatives.
This event is among a few planned for a younger audience, including one on June 16 with Stateside Urbancraft Vodka at Federal Distillery.
“This event was designed to appeal and attract younger people, and we succeeded,” said Caine, who has been involved with the organization in some capacity since the 1980s. “Part of our challenge has always been — especially in the last 20 years — how do we attract younger people to understand us, understand what we do. Our feeling has always been if we can get them to understand us they may be interested in joining, and that’s all we ask.
“It’s not just for the sake of joining,” Caine continued, “but what would you want to get involved with.”
Jacobson and Glazer sat on stage and interviewed each other with questions they thought of for each other (and still commented on what great questions they were). They also took some questions from social media, as Golden Slipper set up hashtags so people who weren’t actually there could still interact with the stars.
They were introduced by Alan Jacobson, Abbi’s dad, who was a past president of Golden Slipper Camp and remains involved with the organization.
As Abbi has been asked to speak at many events now, Jacobson, who was also celebrating his birthday that night, mentioned that because of his involvement with the organization, this was one he was hoping the Jewesses would participate in.
“I decided to put the pressure on [Abbi] for Golden Slipper because I thought the work from this organization is great, so I asked her,” he said in his introduction, while also adding with a laugh they’re only “sort of” like what you see on TV, “and of course, she agreed. And then I imagine her going back to Ilana and saying, ‘You’re never going to believe what I agreed to do for my dad,’ and I can see Ilana saying in the spirit of Broad City, ‘Don’t worry, I’m in, too.’”
Before the event began, Abbi Jacobson was hanging out in her dressing room with her family but was able to talk briefly about writing the hit show and what’s next for the characters.
As both Jacobson and Glazer are Jewish, so too are the characters who share their names.
“It wasn’t even a conversation, just because we are Jewish,” Jacobson said to the Jewish Exponent. “So it wasn’t really a conversation we had. They’re more culturally Jewish — none of them go to synagogue or participate that much except for cultural stuff. But it’s definitely a huge part of the show. They’re definitely New York Jews, whether they are from New York originally or not.”
Jacobson grew up in Wayne, attending camp at Arrowhead Day Camp and later Camp Kweebec. An episode from the third season saw the two ladies taking a trip to Abbi’s hometown — though her father in this case was Tony Danza, not Alan.
The third season ended in April, with Abbi and Ilana on a Birthmark trip, which might have reminded you of a Birthright Israel trip — though, of course, the trip doesn’t go as planned.
“It feels great,” Jacobson said about the last season ending and getting started on writing the next one. “I’m excited about this season. I think it’s gonna be a little bit different — I’m not going to reveal why. We’re two weeks into writing, so it’s feeling good.”
The last season saw growth in different relationships the characters were in and some significant guest appearances (like Hillary Clinton, Alan Alda and Whoopi Goldberg), and Jacobson is always excited to see what fans think.
While she didn’t have a specific catchphrase — “In da clurb, we all fam,” as Ilana would say — or something characteristic from the show she favors, she is glad that there are moments that resonate with fans.
“It’s interesting to see what catches on with the audience,” she added. “I like a lot of the stuff that we bring out in the characters.”
But as the show goes on and grows, she is just grateful for the opportunities it has brought.
“It’s like the ultimate dream to get to be in control of your content and be doing exactly what you want to do in terms of finding your voice and putting it out there,” she said. “And when someone like Comedy Central lets you, with your best friend, create a thing that people actually like — you can’t really ask for anything better than that.”
Jacobson and Glazer asked each other about their first times getting high — a hobby they partake in quite often on the show although, as the audience learned, the weed on the show is not real — what kind of “old person you think you’ll be,” their spirit animals, beauty tips (Ilana highly recommends oils) and their own camp experiences.
“Philly Jews love their camp,” Glazer observed.
The audience got a glimpse into the real-life friendship of the best friends they’re used to seeing on TV, as the two talked about how they first met doing improv at Upright Citizens Brigade, while also attempting to do math and figure out how many years it had been.
In all, the night brought plenty of laughs and raised plenty of awareness for Golden Slipper.
Contact: [email protected]; 215-832-0740