Abbi Jacobson is the 32-year-old co-star and co-creator of the hit Comedy Central show Broad City. The show has already had three seasons on the cable network with a fourth in the works. In the meantime, Jacobson has just published a new book, and is on tour promoting it.
Here’s what you need to know about this fast-rising new comedy star.
2. She’s From Suburban Philadelphia
Jacobson grew up in the Main Line district of suburban Philadelphia, in a family of artists, and she graduated from the Maryland College of Art — but never intended to become a full-tim performer until she moved to New York City.
“At Valley Forge Middle School and Conestoga High School, I dabbled in acting on Saturdays at classes at the Walnut Street Theatre and the Actor’s Center in Philadelphia, but didn’t really go full force until I moved to New York after college in 2006,” she told a local newspaper.
“After attending the Atlantic Conservatory briefly, I discovered the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre and began taking classes there as much as I could. I met so many new creative people and started doing more improv and sketch, eventually forming a few improv groups. In one of those groups I met Ilana Glazer, who is my writing partner on Broad City.”
Jacobson and Glazer became fast friends at the Upright Citizen’s Brigade comedy troupe, and developed Broad City, a show about their lives as millennial women trying to get by in New York, as a web series, as well as a live stage show.
2. Amy Poehler Helped Take Broad City to Comedy Central
Amy Poehler, the former Saturday Night Live star who went on to create and star in the hit NBC sitcom Parks and Recreation, is a co-founder of Upright Citizen’s Brigade. So when they were shooting what turned out to be the final installment of their Broad City web series, they had the crazy idea to approach Poehler to make a guest appearance. As it turned out, the circumstances worked out perfectly.
“It was right around the corner from my house,” Poehler told The Huffington Post. “I thought, okay, this will just take an hour, why not? It seemed like they had worked together for really long time. They worked quickly and weren’t super precious about their stuff.”
Later, Jacobson and Glazer approached Poehler again, asking for help with taking Broad City to the next level of the entertainment business. Again, circumstances fell int place. The former SNL star said that she was at the point in her own career where she wanted more experience as a producer, and she signed on as an executive producer on the show — and mentor to Jacboson and Glazer.
3. She is a Strong Hillary Clinton Supporter
In one of Broad City’s most highly-publicized moments, in an episode which aired in March of 2016, Jacobson and Glazer managed to persuade Democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton to make an appearance on the show (see the video above). But the pair were not simply trying to capitalize on the publicity of the presidential campaign. In fact, they can up with the idea for the episode long before they even asked Clinton make her cameo appearance.
“We wrote the episode a year before it came out. Hillary was the only person running at the time — not that we would have ever had another candidate on — but we wrote it not thinking we would ever actually get her on,” Jacobson told The New York Times. “Afterward, I said in some interview that it wasn’t a political statement, which was a stupid statement to make. Of course it’s a political statement! For us, it felt like we were justifying our show in a different way — it felt historic.”
But Clinton, amazingly, agreed to make the appearance — leading to Secret Service background checks for everyone on the set, a process Jacobson called “intense.”
4. She Just Published Her First Book
Jacobson returned to her roots as an artist for her first book, titled, Carry This Book, which was published in October by Penguin Random House. The concept of the book — a quick preview of which can be seen in the above Instagram video by Jacobson and posted on her own account — is simple. Jacobson imagined what various famous people carry in their purses or luggage.
The book contains Jacobson’s drawings of what she things Beyoncé, Michelle Obama and, of course, Hillary Clinton carry with them on a daily basis.
“Basically every spread is a different famous person or famous fictional character’s contents of their bag. It’s sort of my own little fan fiction of what they might carry with them,” Jacobson told ABC News. “I went to art school and so, my character Abbi is an illustrator as well and everything that she does on the show is stuff I’ve actually done,” she added. “For the past six months I’ve been working on this and it’s been so fun.”
5. She Films Season 4 of Broad City This Winter in New York
“It’s a totally different landscape for the show,” Jacobson told the entertainment industry news site Deadline.com. Broad City has filmed its first three season in New Ork City during the summer. But for the fourth season they chose to take the show in a different, colder direction.
“It’s going to be so painful and exciting,” Jacobson’s collaborator, Glazer added.
No premiere date has yet been set for Broad City Season Four on Comedy Central — but the show has already been renewed for a Season Five.