“We’ve been fartin’ in a bus all November, just waiting for this show,” declared Abbi Jacobson, one=half of the duo responsible for the Web-series-turned-huge-Comedy-Central hit Broad City. Her partner in crime, Ilana Glazer, chimed in with a shrieked mantra: “Get us to the Bell House, bitch!”
Their performance Saturday at the Brooklyn hotspot marked the final night of “Broad City Live,” a 22-date national tour that the Upright Citizens Brigade alums had embarked on this past month to bring their particular brand of observational-meets-off-color humor directly to the stage. What fans got were a combination of stunt demonstrations, parkour tricks, and soulful interpretations of classic songs constructed with a “Soundtrack of Our Lives” theme, which Glazer ultimately revealed at the very end of the show after belting the opening strains of The Lion King‘s “Circle of Life.” The hour-long set of musical inanity and comic absurdity was also punctuated by sneak peeks at their sophomore season of Comedy Central episodes, which will begin airing in January. (Ilana will ruin at least one white power suit; Abbi will shatter a full-size dance studio mirror with a hand weight.)
After opener Dame Naomi Ekperigin expounded on the best strategies for costuming cookies weighing over half a pound and the bad decisions that accompany cold weather in New York (one word: “wintercourse”), the lights were abruptly shut off, trap music began blasting and the ladies of the hour strutted into the spotlight. Ilana started doing “ass claps”; Abbi repeatedly gave the DJ the universal hand gesture to keep looping the track for a satisfyingly uncomfortable three minutes of freestyle dancing. Sandwiched symmetrically between two large inflatable cakes and dual drum sets reading “Pussy M.D.” and “Razor Burnz,” respectively, the deeply winded women introduced themselves, belching into the mic before launching into hipster lamentations followed by renditions of their musical equivalents.
“Brunch is a first-world universal,” announced Ilana, who equated the favorite weekend-morning pastime with chic techno — a stark contrast from Abbi’s woeful impression of Alanis Morisette on the chorus of “Thank U,” before reminding us all to be grateful. “What’s important that happens after brunch?” she asked. “Kissing.” This segued into a comprehensive list of “FUCK JAMZ,” ranging from “William” Joel’s “River of Dreams” and the nonsensical chorus of “Crocodile Rock” to a solemn but lyrically misremembered “O Holy Night.” The Forrest Gump instrumental suite was tenderly whistled by Abbi and described as “a fuckin’ sex-zee song,” before Ilana quipped, “I remember when my mom walked in on me watching Forrest Gump on TNT and I was like, “GET OUTTTT!!!!”
This was the format for most of the night — dramatic reenactments of life memories inappropriately translated through song— and the musical component highlighted the repartee between Glazer and Jacobson in a surprisingly different way than the show. Things felt a little more familiar when they outlined some of the stunts they’d be performing for the upcoming second season, however, including an attempt to roller blade onto the stage for a choreographed routine that ended with a total wipeout from Abbi. She courageously dragged herself back up to remark, “When you are a stunt woman like myself, you need to make sure your body doesn’t go into shock.” A similarly hilarious effect was created when Ilana did her lusty take on Bonnie Raitt’s “Something to Talk About,” abruptly interrupting the proceedings to declare, “I stopped singing because I wanted you to have something to talk about. Bonnie said she was actually gonna come tonight but…” while repeatedly trying to catch her breath.
The show occasionally seemed to run out of steam as well, especially during Glazer and Jacobson’s brief solo sets. And while featuring so Season Two clips gave audience members yet another opportunity to see Abbi fall in her roller blades (this time while cat-calling some soccer players in Prospect Park), the gap created a loss of momentum that could’ve been avoided. Like a pair of dope sneaker wedges, things were slightly awkward — and then the pair reunited onstage for their epic drum-dueling finale. Add in a redeeming impression of an old-school dial-up modem, delivered by Ilana as a donkey’s “eeeeeYAWWWW,” and an endorsement of Bose sound systems by Abbi (pronounced with an exaggerated “s” instead of a “z”), and it was clear little else mattered. The Broad City ladies proved that their chemistry is what makes the show and their stage act work; the good times will keep on rolling wherever they are and whenever they’re together. As their characters might say, “See you on television, bitches!”