15 Trivia Tidbits About 'Broad City'
One of modern TV’s best buddy comedies, Broad City is all about friendship, sex and getting high in New York, and it all came about because best friends Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer made a web series to impress their parents.
The show has been praised for its millennial Jewish and feminist lens, and it’s been named one of the most important LGBTQ+ shows of the 2010s — which is amazing for a sitcom where characters fall down manholes, and Kelly Ripa plays an unhinged drunk version of herself. Along the way, a lot of interesting tidbits have sprung up about the highs and the even higher highs of two best friends (who share their creators’ names and much of their lives) hustling it up in NYC...
‘Frasier’ Shout-Outs Abound
It turns out that we never get to see Bevers’ girlfriend and Abbi’s actual roommate because the creators decided to make her a homage to Frasier — the show where we never got to meet the eccentric Maris Crane.
Another connection to that show about salad-and-egg preparation is the appearance of actress Peri Gilpin (who famously played Roz) as Abbi’s mom in Season Four.
Kelly Ripa Had the Hardest Time Rolling a Joint
In regards to her guest spot in the “Coat Check” episode, the talk show host said she got to play her “alter ego’s alter ego” — a version of herself that gets drunk on moonshine and smoke joints laced with PCP. Ripa has admitted that she had no idea what she was doing with that joint, or what was going on in general. “There were drug references that I didn’t even understand! The biggest challenge was rolling the joint, which I didn’t know how to do. Truly, every crew member was like, ‘I’ll half-roll it for you, and then you just lick it and seal it.’ When did everybody get so good at rolling joints? Did I miss that whole era?”
The Inspiration Behind That Sex Therapist
In the politically motivated Season Four episode, “Witches,” Ilana seeks help and advice from a sex therapist because, as she puts it, she’s not been able to orgasm since Donald Trump became president of the United States. While talking to Conan O’Brien, Jacobson said that the sex therapist (played by Marcella Lowery) was based on the late Betty Dodson, a sex educator and fourth-wave feminist who rejected anti-sex and anti-male bias, helping many women discover and understand their sexual desires in a healthy way.
The Rules and Regulations of On-Screen Dildos
The show is known for its sex-positive themes, and many (so many) of the Broad City episodes absolutely go there. Producer Lilly Burns said they ended up learning a lot about what you can and cannot show in terms of sex toys. “There are lots of Standards and Practices notes about how to show vibrators and dildos,” Burns told Newsweek. “I can say that, thanks to Broad City, I have become well acquainted with the rules of what dicks you can show. It can’t be flesh-colored or have realistic elements, like veins. We found ourselves on the show, so many times, being like, ‘Wow, we’re having a legitimate business meeting about the nuances of the strap-on.’”
The ‘Stories’ Episode Was Directed by the Co-Writer of ‘Marcel the Shell with Shoes On’
The first episode of its final season was filmed in the style of a social media story, and Glazer and Jacobson got Nick Paley to direct it. Paley, who co-wrote the movie about the most adorable shell sporting kicks years later, shot the entire episode, “Stories,” on six iPhones.
Each Episode Only Covers About A Day
Jacobson told NPR’s Fresh Air that each episode is roughly 24 hours in the lives of Abbi and Ilana (give or take). That means the entire show (excluding the web series) was only a 50-day glimpse into the lives of these two BFFs.
The Show Is Not That Heavily Improvised
Given that the core of the cast all has some improv background (it’s how most of them met), it’s surprising to learn that only around 5 percent of every episode is off-script. Jacobson and Glazer said they use improv more as a tool during the writing process to unlock ideas, although they did occasionally shoot a “Fun Run” to see what else they could get out of a scene.
The Urban Legend Involving Blythe Danner
In Season Two’s “Coat Check,” Abbi accidentally gives Kelly Ripa’s coat to someone else while working coat check at a party. Executive producer Lucia Aniello said the episode was based on an industry urban legend about Danner, who, apparently, once took her friend’s coat as a prank.
The Show Launched Its Own Sex Toy Collection
To absolutely no one’s surprise, the series released a range of sex toys in 2017 that very much reflected the show. Of the 14 products, there was the “Pegasus Pegging Kit,” the “Yas Kween 10-Function Bullet” and the “Respect Your Dick” love ring.
’Broad City’ v. Whole Foods
The third season featured an episode where Abbi walks around high and hallucinating in a Whole Foods. The co-creators said they had to bug Whole Foods on Twitter to let them film there. One would think the supermarket chain probably had a problem with the “high on drugs” part of the shoot, but no. It turns out they didn’t want the show to include the actual price of manuka honey — the honey that Abbi buys in the scene because it’s “so reasonably priced.”
Lincoln Has His Own Website
Lincoln Rice (played by Hannibal Buress) is Ilana’s dog-loving friend (and occasional hookup), and his blog mentioned in the second season’s first episode is an actual real webpage. Sure, ”The Al Dente Dentist” hasn’t been updated in eight years, but it’s still accessible to anyone who’d like to make “Squid Ink Pasta with Walnuts” and read a story about a dog who takes itself on a daily bus ride to the park.
Please Note: Arturo Castro Doesn’t Sound Like That, Doesn’t Sell Weed
The Guatemalan actor (who plays Ilana’s weed-dealing roommate) said that people are usually disappointed when they discover that he doesn’t speak with that accent in real life. Some have also been bummed out after learning he’s not, in fact, an actual weed dealer. As Castro told The Daily Beast: “They’re surprised that I don’t have an accent, and a lot of people are surprised that I don’t sell weed. This guy came up to me in Bryant Park, and he was like, ‘Dude, you don’t have an accent?’ and then, ‘So you don’t sell weed either?’ He was really disappointed and walked away.”
Mom’s Real Artwork
In “Witches,” guest star Jane Curtin plays Margot, a woman selling her art outside the Met museum and refers to money as the “mind-control technique that quantifies the progress of the patriarchy.” Jacobson said that her own mother is an artist, and the artwork on display at Margot’s little stall belongs to her.
Jacobson’s own artwork from college can also be seen hanging in her apartment.
The Allergy Attack Episode Is Based on One of the Writers/Directors
Talking to Entertainment Weekly, it was revealed that the allergy attack in “The Last Supper” was based on Lucia Aniello, “who found out, sadly, that she was allergic to shellfish late in life,” Glazer explained. “And she’s so Italian, and her parents own many restaurants. It’s a true personal tragedy to happen to her. She’ll eat, and she’ll just get a tummy fit. But she’ll die for the night. And she’s like, ‘I don’t care.’”
The Israel Episode That Never Was
Glazer and Jacobson told Gold Derby that the original plan for the Season Three finale was to shoot an entire episode in Israel. Unfortunately, “some infantata had just happened, and it felt not cool,” Glazer said. “We honestly made the call. Lucia (Aniello) was on her way to the airport to Israel, and she got the call from us. We were like, ‘Dude, we don’t feel safe about it or right about this.’”
It’s the reason why they ended up shooting their bottleneck episode, “Jews on a Plane,” featuring Seth Green with an illegally long ponytail.