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Q&A: ‘Broad City’s’ Abbi and Ilana on the Season Finale, Sex and ‘The Daily Show’

Broad City,” the Comedy Central sitcom-turned-pop culture phenom, closes its second season tonight. But that doesn’t mean stars and creators Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer aren’t planning for season three — even if they’re out of the writers room.

“You know with low-processing and high-processing and low-processing is like fundamental, foundational stuff and work your way up to high-process level? I feel like in the writers room is high-process level real details, and we’re doing the low-level foundational stuff,” Glazer said by phone last week before collaborator Jacobson hopped a plane for a much-needed vacation in Belgium.

Here, both women share their thoughts on the show’s fame, its guest stars and what they think about joining a certain other Comedy Central show.

Broad City’s season finale airs tonight on Comedy Central.

I like that you don’t go on vacations together.

Glazer: I’m picturing us. When I was a kid we didn’t do vacations with other families.

Jacobson: I’m not going with another family.

Glazer: I know. I don’t know. It’s, like, wild. I wouldn’t picture us doing that. Also, when we like go to L.A. it feels like a vacation, you know, because there’s so much.

How are you processing the end of season two?

Glazer: We have been, like, working on other stuff separately and together, but it’s really nice to, whatever, “work from home” even if we’re not going into an office. It’s nice to not have all the time taken up by one project. It’s hard to not work completely.

Do your friends and family get worried you’re scoping them out for ideas for the show?

Jacobson: They definitely don’t get worried. It’d be more like, “This happened. You can use it.”

Glazer: “That’s an episode!,” people say. I think people sacrifice themselves for the show.

One of the things the show is credited for is how fearless you are in regards to discussing (and sometimes showing) sex. Why did you think this is important to include?

Jacobson: I don’t think we sat down and said, “This is an important thing to get across.” I think with everything else, I think it’s a part of the reality we live in and all our friends live in and most people live in. I think we’re just observing our own lives and putting them in the show in the funniest way possible. It’s never sort of, like, a mission to get across.

You guys make it seem so easy — “observing our own lives and putting them in the show” — but there’s also so much skill involved in making it funny. Have you learned to edit yourselves for what to put in the show?

Glazer: I don’t know about edit ourselves except for, honestly, interviews like this where I think more about what I’m saying. But you can only learn by doing in this industry. That’s maybe where I’ve learned to edit myself, but creatively it’s more about doing and pushing yourself to go deeper rather than holding back.

Jacobson: We come up with so much material that has happened to us and other writers and our friends and stuff that it definitely does get all over the walls and it definitely does get narrowed down. There’s no formula for which we do that, it’s just we use certain stories and make them better … We’ve edited it down, but that doesn’t mean the stuff we’ve edited down can’t be on the show.

Have you thought about guest stars for season three yet?

Glazer: I mean, not really. We don’t usually pick the guest stars before the stories. That sort of usually comes after the writing and where people will fit. We never sort of write people in just to have them. We don’t like stunt casting.

Hannibal Buress, who appears on your show, now has his own series in the works. Will he still appear on “Broad City”?

Glazer: I would imagine so. I think he’s going to do both.

One of our other TV writers has put you both on the shortlist to replace Jon Stewart when he leaves “The Daily Show.” What do you think about that? Has anyone at the network approached either of you?

A long pause …

Jacobson: No. I think that’s so sweet and nice, but I personally don’t feel like I would be right for that at all. That’s such a specific voice commenting on … it’s such a political show, and that’s not my forte at all.

Glazer: I mean we comment on some stuff, but in a different way. I think it’s a fun idea, but it would just make no sense for the network. The show’s doing well as a sitcom. I think if that was, like, a guest episode. I like the idea just because it’s a compliment, but it just wouldn’t make sense.

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