Ciao, Broad City. After a brilliant and gut-busting run, Ilana Glazer and Abbi Jacobson are heading into the final season of their groundbreaking Comedy Central show about two twentysomething BFFs living large in NYC, helping each other explore the worlds of pegging, FOMO and going to Whole Foods on drugs. Before it kicks off on January 24, the co-creators and stars singled out a few of their personal favorite episodes for Rolling Stone. Asked for five of their greatest hits, the broads chose eight. As Glazer explains, “I hope I lot of bands feel this way about their albums, but we couldn’t just pick five. They are all our fucking babies.” Yas, queens.
“Last Supper,” Season One
Abbi and Ilana go out for a fancy birthday dinner that turns nasty when Ilana’s shellfish allergy sends her to the ER.
Jacobson: “Birthdays are very big on our show. When I carry Ilana out of the restaurant, that will forever be one of my favorite moments. We had a stunt double ready to carry her, but I could actually do it and I was so proud.”
Glazer: “Abbi’s storyline about the condom coming out of her in the bathroom — such a disgusting truth. I know a ton of fucking people who’ve gone through that and it’s gross and real and scary.”
Jacobson: “Ilana is like, ‘Don’t worry about it, bitch.’ But on the other hand, for me as a viewer, it’s comforting to see this really does happen to people — just one of those things. It’s not too too bad. It’s pretty bad, though.”
“Knockoffs,” Season Two
Susie Essman debuts as Ilana’s mom — they go shopping in Chinatown for counterfeit designer handbags while Abbi looks for the right strap-on dildo to use on the boy next door.
Glazer: “Adding Susie Essman to the Broad City world was so seamless and perfect. We had been thinking about Susie playing my mom since we were on fucking YouTube, for motherfucking sake! She’s so wonderful and she’s so strongly herself. She’s kind, warm, motherly — we want to fall into her bosom and just be comforted. Also Eliot Glazer — my brother plays my brother.”
Jacobson: “It was a new level of cultural relevance in talking about things like pegging [when a woman uses a strap-on with a guy]. We were like, ‘Oh my God, we got to a thing first!’”
Glazer: “The crux of that episode is the phone call between the girls, when Abbi asks Ilana about pegging. It’s so important to celebrate when your best friend gets a sexual opportunity or something they deserve. We need that, right? You need to see someone celebrate you who’s chosen family, born out of real chemistry and not necessarily family obligations.”
“The Matrix,” Season Two
Abbi and Ilana become worried about their dependence on technology, so they decide to kick the habit. They turn off their phones to spend a sunny day in the park.
Jacobson: “We had been talking so much about the addiction to the internet, our computers and screens, so finally we put it into an episode. The whole adventure on the rollerblades in Prospect Pack was such a shitshow — when I kicked that soccer ball, I really fell over in real life.”
Glazer: “I was in Prospect Park recently and I remembered how this episode was born — I went rollerblading alone and was gonna have a major crash, so I threw myself onto a field. This park ranger picked me up in a van full of teenagers, and I was like, ‘I’m a fucking idiot.’ I just love real life.”
“St. Mark’s,” Season Two
The ladies celebrate Ilana’s 23rd birthday with a rambunctious night on NYC’s legendary St. Mark’s Place.
Glazer: “That block, St. Mark’s between Second and Third Ave, it’s an entire world unto its own. It’s one thing to shoot in some weird random neighborhood. But that is the craziest block.”
Jacobson: “This was our first shoot where we did four overnights in a row. We were trying to get as close as we could to watching something in real time. So there are a lot of one-er’s in this episode — very long takes, no cutting.”
Glazer: “There’s this elaborate chase scene where we’re chasing this kid, Leo Fitzpatrick, through kitchens and supermarkets, really exploring the underbelly of this one block of St. Mark’s, ending up in a townhouse where Patty Clarkson is yelling at him. It’s really beautiful and gritty and fucked up. And to shoot four nights in a row there — our whole crew bonded harder from that experience.”
“Burning Bridges,” Season Three
Ilana melts down after her split with Lincoln (Hannibal Buress) while Abbi tries to hide her hot new romance from her bestie.
Jacobson: “This episode is such a huge change for both characters. This is the first episode where Abbi was keeping something from Ilana, which was something we hadn’t really explored.”
Glazer: “The breakup with Lincoln is so pathetic and sad. But even though Ilana is so devastated, the biggest heartbreak is Abbi keeping the secret from her. Lincoln isn’t her primary relationship — Abbi is. At the end, the girls are in the tub sharing their unconditional love and it’s the best.”
Jacobson: “I love the Mrs. Doubtfire homage, sneaking back and forth at the restaurant. That was one of my favorite things I’ve ever gotten to do as an actor. It was my homage to Robin Williams — we stole that scene word for word.”
“Mushrooms,” Season Four
Abbi and Ilana trip on ’shrooms in an episode full of psychedelic animation. And a non-animated dead cat.
Jacobson: “Mike Perry did the animation — he’s the artist who’s been doing our titles from day one, which is such a big part of the identity of Broad City. This was our way to incorporate Mike’s art, really immerse ourselves, and make an animated episode.”
Glazer: “Abbi gets scary in this one. I totally cringe and hide when she kills the cat. But no actual cats were harmed. Something I love about Broad City is that we honor things that are really human. Tripping is a basic human experience. We really honored it — we wrote out the phases and described what it means to take a real journey with your friend.”
“Witches,” Season Four
Abbi finds her first gray hair and Ilana struggles to beat her post-election sexual dysfunction.
Jacobson: “This was our most pointed political episode, even more than having Hillary Clinton on the show. We had a hiatus from writing Season Four, and when we came back we just couldn’t stop talking about the 2016 election and how it affected us. We ended up reworking the season around that.”
Glazer: “This is Abbi’s directorial debut, so cinematic and gorgeous. And I love this concept of not being able to orgasm after Trump was elected. A lot of people have told me, ‘Girl, it’s so real to me’ and I’m like, ‘Girl, it’s real to me.’ Boys too. It’s scary when your government is out to get you.”
“Florida,” Season Four
Ilana’s grandma Esther dies in her Florida retirement community, so Abbi joins Ilana, Bobbi and Eliot on a mission to clean out her condo.
Glazer: “I love this fucking episode. It means a lot to me personally. My grandma Harriet had passed away the summer before we shot this at the condo, in the actual community where I grew up going with my family every year. Florida as a state really encompasses the whole country — it’s bipolar, it’s wacky, it is super-progressive, it is super-racist and misogynistic.”
Jacobson: “I had never been to that kind of place. We had a whole other cast of older actors in Florida. They’re used to sweating their asses off. We’re all running under the shade and gasping for breath and water and they’re all like, ‘Oh, this is normal.’”
Glazer: “It was also very interesting — some of the transportation crew also worked at Mar-a-Lago. I remember this one Latino guy was talking about how nice Trump was. We stupidly assumed he was anti-Trump because he was not a white guy. No, no, no — wake up, girl.”
Jacobson: “I love how the girls get the apartment. The two of us becoming old people in the community cracks me up, dancing with the other old people.”
Glazer: “As the director I felt like this episode is so quintessentially of the show, but it also looks and feels like a different show because it’s so much more beautiful. The grass is green, the sun is shining. There’s…”
Glazer: “Sprinklers and wildlife. While in New York it’s disgusting filth. So those are our favorite episodes. Did we miss any that you like?”
Rolling Stone: “Some shocking omissions, actually, as a fan. ‘Jews on a Plane?’”
Jacobson: “Oh my gosh — wow. That was one of the trickiest things we’ve ever done.”
Glazer: “We were going to shoot in Jerusalem, but we ended up doing it all in a hanger in L.A. Great guest stars — Seth Green, Tracee Ellis Ross, Kimberly Hill. We also got to explore the horror of tampons. Yeah, that one is so fucking good. What else?”
Rolling Stone: “I totally thought you’d pick ‘Fattest Asses’ from Season One.”
Jacobson: “Now you’re making me cry.”
Glazer: “It’s fun to see the girls try to get laid. And even in that moment, it’s all about the two friends. That’s exactly what we are going for. We’re so excited about the 10 new episodes. You will be digging what we are going to lay down. I really fucking love all 50 out of 50 episodes.”