Abbi Jacobson Discusses “Broad City” and Her New Memoir

Abbi Jacobson, one of Comedy Central’s biggest stars, joins the program to discuss her hit comedy “Broad City” as well as a new memoir reflecting on love, loss and work.

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JACOBSON: Well, you know, it took me so long to find this title. I think I — this book of essays is just very vulnerable. I was writing very personally. And, you know, Broad City in a way is personal but I get to kind of hide behind this character the whole time. And this just feels very much I’m putting much more of myself out there. I don’t think I regret it. But that’s the feeling I had while writing it, was a little bit like what am I doing.

AMANPOUR: Well, it’s nerve-wracking, isn’t it?


AMANPOUR: I mean vulnerability, intimacy, all of that is just plain nerve- wracking.


AMANPOUR: Why did you go there?

JACOBSON: I think I was feeling — so I went on this road trip. We had wrapped Broad City Season 4. I was feeling so overwhelmed with work and I was also really heartbroken. I had just basically been dumped a couple months so I was very heartbroken and I needed to get away from anything that I knew was like my routine life. And I needed to be in L.A. for work and so I planned this road trip by myself. And I think it’s a mix of me writing in this longer format. I’ve never really written essays or a longer format other than scripts. And it was a mix of being nervous about that and being nervous about just opening up so much.

AMANPOUR: You say about, you know, writing in the book, “I became a writer because being a working actor wasn’t really happening. I had no control of my career being just an actor. And as I’ve said before, I enjoyed being in control. So in a bizarre turn of events, I ended up in the driver’s seat of my acting experience by creating a part for myself.”

JACOBSON: Yes. I entered the world of comedy and was like trying to audition and just could not — I couldn’t get parts on the stage there and I couldn’t even get terrible commercials. Like I wrote about in the book – –

AMANPOUR: Not even terrible commercials? Forget (INAUDIBLE).

JACOBSON: This is so embarrassing. I was like so — I remember being upset that I didn’t get this commercial for foot fungus cream.

AMANPOUR: Foot fungus cream?

JACOBSON: Yes. Because it was so rare for me to even get an audition for a commercial. But I was like I can’t believe I didn’t get this commercial. It just was not working out. And then Ilana and I had been doing improv forever together for like three years and we had such a clear dynamic that felt different than anything else.

About This Episode EXPAND

Christiane Amanpour speaks with Governor of California Jerry Brown, Iranian Ambassador to the UK Hamid Baeidinejad, and actress and writer Abbi Jacobson. Walter Isaacson speaks with founder and Executive Director of Code for America Jennifer Pahlka.