Broad City: Must Know Stories

Yassss, kween! Broad City has finally released the trailer for Season 3 and we.can’t.wait to see what our favorite stoner-go-lucky funnygirls are up to! This show not only  consistently provides big laughs, it shows two strong female leads who live their lives exactly as they damn please.

We love Abbi and Ilana for their wild hijinks, don’t-give-a-f*** attitude, and geniune portrayal of female friendship, warts and all. So grab your Bed Bath & Beyond coupons, pepper spray, and a L’il Wayne blanket and get ready for February 17!

From how they got their start to the inspiration between some of their best sketches, we’ve put together some of our favorite facts about these gals! Starting with…


They’re real life friends!

broad city best friends

The show, for all its ridiculous plotlines, always feels very relatable. This is probably because their characters are based off of younger versions of themselves, at 19 (Ilana) and 22 (Abbi.)  They met at the Upright Citiczens Brigade improv school.


What job mimics real life?

Abbi also worked at a gym in real life.

broad city gym

Before Abbi was famous, she used to hand out flyer outside Equinox, a high-end gym that inspired her on-screen job as janitor for Soulstice – especially the bathroom filled with Khiel’s products. “I didn’t even get paid, it was just a membership,” she says. “But at the time I was like ‘this is amazing!’”


Ilana doesn’t actually do drugs?

Ilana was anti-smoking?

broad city stoner

The gals are hardcore stoners, especially Ilana. In a great ironic twist, Ilana was actually on her high school’s anti-drug group. In classic Ilana fashion, she was still a stoner while in the group. We bet she’d smoke to that!


Where did the inspiration for Bevers come from?

Real Life Bevers

broad city bevers

The inspiration for Bevers comes from Abbi’s best friend! Bevers is Abbi’s on-screen roommate’s terrible boyfriend who never leaves the apartment, eats all of Abbi’s food, and throws out her Bed Bath & Beyond coupons. His name comes from Abbi’s real-life best friend, Jessica Bevers. “Yeah, we made her the least likeable character on the show,” says Abbi, laughing.


Who looks exactly like Ilana?

Seeing Double

broad city alia shawkat

When Abbi first saw Ilana, she thought she was Alia Shawkat (from Arrested Development.) A later plot line has Ilana and Alia’s character falling for each other until Abbi realizes how similar they look and gets freaked out.


Where did the inspiration for Deals Deals Deals come from?

Groupon-style Jobs

broad city deals deals deals

What did these talented leading ladies do before their show made it to the silver screen? They both worked at a Groupon-style company called “Lifebooker”, which we can only assume inspired Ilana’s job.

They also started filming the show (which was originally a YouTube series) to prove to their parents that they were pursuing their dreams.


Why do they love Bed Bath & Beyond so much?

Beyond Fans

broad city bed bath & beyond

They’re obsessed with Bed Bath & Beyond in real life! “Yeah, people think that, like, those are paid sponsorships and it’s not,” says Abbi. “Like, we pay to shoot in there.” Her mother worked there when she was in middle school, which is how she knows that coupons never expire.

The episode where Bevers throws out all of Abbi’s coupons because they were expired is based on a real-life experience Abbi had with a former roommate.


What do these ladies have to say about nudity?

No Shame Here

broad city nudity

Not surprisngly, Ilana is totally comfortable with nudity. “I find my body very funny. Floppy boobs bouncing around is funny, know what I mean?” But, she says she freaks out before every scene where she’s hooking up with someone. I feel like the make-outs are more genuine or something. I don’t even like hand-holding. My hands are super sweaty. I get very nervous about that.”

Abbi, on the other hand, has no problem with those scenes, and was pretty stoked about the make-out scene with Seth Rogen. “I was like, ‘All right, I’m going to be kissing Seth Rogen all night! This is so crazy!’”


What happens if you put something down in this show?

Theft Everywhere

broad city aircon

One of the rules of the show is that if you put something down, it’s most likely going to get stolen, such as in Season 2 when the air conditioner gets stolen. “The absurd part is that it would be very difficult to run away with an air conditioner,” says Abbi. It’s moments of believable ludicrousness that makes this show so amazing.


Where did Val come from?

Blackout Abbi

broad city val

Abbi’s alter-ego, Val, is quite the character. She only pops up when Abbi is beyond blackout drunk, and Abbi never remembers her the next day. She’s inspired by real-life drunk Abbi…kind of. “In college, I drank a lot more than I do now, and when I would get really drunk — I didn’t sing like that, I didn’t have like this performance alter ego — but I would drink and black out and become so much better.”


What has Abbi never done?

Lifelong Vegetarian

broad city hamburger

Abbi is a real-life vegetarian, and, get this, has never eaten a hamburger! She’s said she would consider it for the show, however. “I think it’s a fun thing to throw a party and do. I was thinking of doing it on the show at some point,” she said at a recent interview.


What did real-life Abbi do when she got paid for her artwork?

Not quite that responsible…

broad city abbi artist

In the show, Abbi receives $8,000 for a drawing she made. That happened in real life, too, but instead of depositing it and trying to move out of her crappy apartment, she spent the money. Whoops.


What about their living conditions?

Too Close for Comfort

broad city apartments

Their on-screen apartments are also inspired by their real-life living experiences. Ilana lived in Gowanus, where some of the show is filmed. Fittingly, she lived on 420 – 4th Avenue and 20th Street. Abbi had a roommate with a boyfriend who also kind of lived with them, providing some of the Bevers inspiration.

In order to keep the show more realistic, they originally wanted to have the girls living in tiny apartments, but quickly realized how unrealistic that was for filming. “It’s like, you don’t … you smell camerapeople’s genitals,” said Ilana.


How did they get to film at Whole Foods?

Whole Tweets

broad city whole foods

As executive producers of the show, they occasionally had to step in and fix problems that popped up, such as finding locations for shooting. When they were having a hard time getting permission to shoot at Whole Foods in Gowanus, they got through to the store by tweeting “Let us shoot there” over and over until the store gave in.


Did anyone think Abbi could carry Ilana?

No stunt doubles needed!

broad city abbi carries ilana

In the first season finale, Abbi carries Ilana – who is having a severe allergic reaction – out of the restaurant they are dining at. There was a stunt double on-set just in case Abbi couldn’t make the long shot, but she did a great job. Everyone erupted in cheers when the director called “Cut!”


Is the speakeasy a real place?

Drink where Val drinks

broad city speakeasy

The speakeasy is a real place. Well, maybe it’s not populated with blackout drunk Abbi/Val and a cast of characters that looks like they’re from the 40’s, but it was filmed at a real speakeasy-type bar. It was a real speakeasy back in the 20s, and is now just a cool place to have a drink from a teacup (the way they used to during Prohibition) and you can sometimes catch celebrities such as Martha Stewart, Paul McCartney, Robert Plant, or Pearl Jam.


Why did Hannibal Buress agree to the show?

He Was Kinda Broke

broad city hannibal buress

Hannibal Buress plays Ilana’s booty call/boyfriend on the show and is an indispensable part of it. He originally joined because he was broke. “First of all, I was very poor before the show started, so the opportunity to not be poor was the initial draw for me,” he reportedly said. But, as soon as he got wind of what an amazing show it was going to be, he was more than in. Plus, he also gets to play a version of himself on the show.


Heard of the Al Dente Dentist?

Passion for Pasta

broad city al dente dentist

On the show, it’s mentioned that Lincoln has a blog about pasta called The Al Dente Dentist. It’s a real website! Sort of. It hasn’t been updated in about a year, but it feels like something Lincoln would actually write. Check it out for pasta recipes, and lots of animal videos, for some reason. And reminders to brush twice daily and floss!


How did Amy Poehler end up on the show?

Lucky Break


The girls got lucky. They were preforming with The Upright Citiczen’s Brigade, an improv group co-founded by Amy Poehler. While filming their web series, they approached her and asked her to appear in one episode. She agreed because they were filming around the corner from her house. She ended up producing the show and finding a network for it to appear on, and has made a glorious guest appearance as a furious chef.


Is Abbi a real artist?

Real Life

broad city abbi artist2

Abbi’s character is a struggling artist/personal trainer. In real life, Abbi went to art school and assumed she’d go down that route. “My whole family are all visual artists, and I was like ‘I can do this, I did that in high school, you just do it by yourself and it’s just done,’” she says. “So it just felt like an easier thing to do, which is crazy because being a visual artist is so hard.”


So what’s next for these girls?

Making Moves

broad city what's next

There’s a lot coming up for these talented women! They’ve both turned in first drafts of their own movie scripts – written separately. Also, as they get a bit older and wiser, they’re starting to shift away from their on-screen counterparts hijinks. Looks like the next few seasons will also explore the possibility of – gasp – their zany charcters doing some emotional development.


What’s unique about their friendship?

Changing Roles

broad city friendship

They also have created a new reality for women on television. It used to be nearly impossible to find shows or movies that passed the Bechdel test, or didn’t feature girl fights. Neither of the creators care for on-screen fights, which is why they rarely do. “We back our episodes so heavily with comedy, it would be such a waste of time and boring if they fought, or if it was about fighting,” Ilana says. “It’s so not fun. The whole show, we love it being a fun ride, a Broad City ride.”


What does John Gemberling have to say about the fart?

He saved one just for filming!

broad city john gemberlin

John Gemberling plays Bevers, the obnoxious, childish, farty boyfriend of Abbi’s constantly absent roommate. In real life, he calls himself a big baby, and that fart when he’s at the gym? All real. “They kept the natural sound of what I really did in that moment. It was not an improvised fart…I did have one chambered, and I did use it in that moment. ”


Where was the show originally slated to run?

FX or Comedy Central

broad city comedy central

The show is on Comedy Central, but was originally going to run on FX. According to The New Yorker, “…Poehler’s name and support changed everything. There are hundreds of Web series, but here was a foundling with a fairy god-mother. FX, the home of Louie, commissioned a pilot. They flirted with naming their characters Ali and Eliza, or Carly and Evelyn. Abbi/Ali/Carly worked in a coffee shop and had a neighbor named Miss Kragg, who maintained a tenants’ bulletin board called Kragg’s List. But after six months, FX passed.”


Where did the great EpiPen story inspiration come from?

Counselor Snafu

broad city epipen

The scene where Abbi stabs herself with an EpiPen is based off something she saw once. Abbi told EW, “When I was a counselor, during this orientation, they were talking about how a couple kids were really allergic to nuts or milk. And we had to all learn how to use an EpiPen and treat them if they were to eat those things. And one of the owners at the camp was a pediatrician, and she stood on this basketball court showing us how to use an EpiPen. And as she’s doing so, she accidentally stabbed herself in the hand.”


Ever wanted to see more of Trey?

Trey, Abbi’s earnest, gym-bro boss, has his own website, too! It’s called and it is glorious. A shrine to Trey’s “ab​abdomen(s)​, obliques, biceps, triceps and qua​ds”, it features videos, and an inspirational quote from Miley Cyrus’s “The Climb.” Check out his motivational video here!


Finally, catch the trailer, next!

Finally, get stoked for February 17 with this trailer for season 3!

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