A native of the Philadelphia suburbs is the co-creator and co-star of a sit-com on Comedy Central with a familiar theme: two young women, who are broke most of the time, are trying to make it in New York.
“Broad City,” airing on Wednesday nights on the cable channel, began as a series of web videos created by Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer, two young women trying to make it in New York’s improv comedy world.
Jacobson, from Wayne, Pa, did not express great comedy ambitions as a child. She says her first break came at Valley Forge Middle School, doing impersonations of “Saturday Night Live” characters.
“I was a student council representative for my homeroom. You would go to a student council meeting and come back to your homeroom and report what was going on in school,” Jacobson said during a phone interview. “I would do these reports as Linda Richmond (Coffee Talk), who was Mike Myers’ character on ‘SNL.'”
Jacobson took some acting classes at the Walnut Street Theater while in high school, then went to Baltimore to study art (MICA, 2006). She did not start thinking seriously about comedy until she moved to New York.
A friend suggested she go to a show by the Upright Citizens Brigade, an improv comedy company that has produced such comedy icons as Amy Poehler (“SNL,” “Parks and Rec,” and now producer of “Broad City“).
“I knew it would be a life-changing thing I needed to do by myself,” Jacobson said of her first UCB show.
Each episode of “Broad City” is a day in the life of two hapless friends. Jacobson and her comedy partner Glazer often mine their own lives for material.
“I had so many terrible day jobs,” Jacobson said. “It was just like this not feeling stable in any way, but knowing you had these big dreams. Maybe you didn’t know what those big dreams are. But you have a friend that is going through the same thing and you’re trying to piece it together, day by day.”