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Thursday, May 26, 2022

‘Broad City’ stars fail to translate comedy to stage

Ilana Glazer and Abbi Jacobson, two Upright Citizens Brigade alumna and downright unapologetically funny women are owning comedy right now and for good reason. They’re absurd, casually uncut, relatable, confident and auspiciously intriguing.

It is not an overstatement to say I was hooked within 20 minutes, nay, 20 seconds of the pilot episode of Broad City, the Comedy Central feat Glazer and Jacobson co-created, co-star in, and co-produce with Amy Poehler. Yeah.

Their appeal lies in how they balance coping with rejection and assholes while telling the world to fuck off for fun, maintaining hope but refusing to waste time doing so.

The best thing about Broad City is how they react to each other, their banter and their obviously exaggerated idiosyncrasies in concert with one another.

Only when these two are fiercely discussing sex, missing condoms and birthday shellfish does “Hey, it’s 2014, anal’s on the menu,” become a fitting response.

The brilliance of comedy lies in its endurance, and not one episode in Broad City’s entire first season ended without providing at least three memorable lines.

I’m sad I can’t say the same about their live show Thursday Nov. 13 at the Majestic Theater, which lacked luster—luster I’m well aware both of these talented comedians posses in droves.

They seemed to rely too much on their naturally humorous presence rather than actually delivering the quips on which they’ve built their brand.

For instance, one segment in the middle included ribbon wielding and roller skating that came across more like a gimmicky segue than an actual bit.

In an effort to bring the audience into their fantasy land of pseudo-drama and never-ending gross sex lists rather than offering a peek into it (an admittedly sweet gesture), Glazer and Jacobson lost the exclusivity of their comedic relationship and with it some of the power of their magnetism.

There’s a comment Lincoln (aka Hannibal Buress) makes in episode one of Broad City to an uninterested elderly woman in a park. “They just need to find their audience,” he says about Glazer and Jacobson’s bucket-drum performing.

From the sounds of the crowd Thursday, they have, only I wasn’t as impressed.

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It does not mean I won’t still count down the hours until season two premiers.

I just wish the Abbi and Ilana, who make legitimately funny observations about the world, and who don’t even know how to worry about their palatability, had shown up in Madison.

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