‘Broad City’ Star Ilana Glazer Talks About Her Success With Enthusiastic NYU Students

Diamond Naga Siu
NYU Alumna and Broad City actress, Ilana Glazer, participated in a Q&A open to the public on April 21.

NYU students laughed and cheered on Thursday night during a candid discussion with Ilana Glazer of the hit Comedy Central show, “Broad City.” Glazer’s former Children and Adolescent Mental Health Studies professor Jess Shatkin facilitated the discussion, and throughout the night, Glazer discussed topics ranging from script-writing to weed.

While she started the night with a couple jokes and a disclaimer to let loose on profanity, she began the discussion by lauding her time at NYU within the CAMS department.

“When I found CAMS, it was like I get why I’m here,” Glazer said. “I get why I came to NYU. As a comedian, it was invaluable. It was truly a concurrent education with my comedy, since it was this way of thinking.”

She described her struggle of finding a community within 22,000 students — something to which many at NYU can probably relate — but said that CAMS provided her an intimate setting within the fast-paced city. People snapped, clapped and applauded from the full 256-seat lecture hall with every answer she provided and the pointers she gave on how to succeed within the competitive, subjective industry.

“Deadlines really help,” Glazer said. “You don’t have to lash yourself if you don’t make it, but there’s some idea of divinity. Just go with whatever works right now and just keep making stuff.  Make deadlines, keep them, but don’t be pressured.”

After 45 minutes of discussion, Shatkin opened the floor to a Q&A, and almost a quarter of the attendees lined up at the microphones to pose questions and ask for advice. Stern freshman Sarah Ehrman asked Glazer a few questions regarding not only religion, but also what next steps to take with her creative career.

I was shaking the whole time I was talking to her because I was so excited and nervous,” Ehrman said. “I didn’t really know what to expect, but she’s just as fun and real as Ilana Wexler. Like no one else could think of the jokes Abbi [Jacobson] and Ilana were making and it was just so amazing to me that people could create something so uniquely funny.”

Glazer discussed Judaism and how it plays a large role in her identity, and she not only agreed to take a picture with Ehrman, but she also offered to take a group picture with all the attendees. Glazer also offered to exchange contact information with an NYU journalism professor for collaboration. In addition, she highlighted the juxtaposition of her personality with her profession.

“It’s all fake,” Glazer said. “But TV is so incredibly fake that it feels so real. I barely watch TV — I can barely watch it. It’s such a sham, where everyone’s hair is so perfect. It’s so bizarre but it’s all fake.”

Steinhardt sophomore Ruby Muller said that she has been watching “Broad City” for two years and loves it due to how relatable it is, so she was delighted to hear about the Glazer’s visit through her two CAMS courses.

“I’m a huge fan, and it was such an exciting opportunity to come see her,” Muller said. “I didn’t really know what to expect coming into it, but this was really great and constructive to hear what she had to say.”

Glazer thinks “Broad City” has a cohesiveness that other shows cannot capture, since all team members involved in production play a role in the show’s content. Glazer and her co-star Jacobson have full authority of the show and decide what goes in and what doesn’t.

Glazer and her team will begin writing season four in a few weeks, but producing the final show takes around 9-10 months.

She attributes much of her success to a supportive community through interpersonal relationships with not only her family, but also with her friends and significant other.

“I have these partners in my life, and it’s unreal,” Glazer said. “It’s about sticking with a person, talking through shit and just working things out. You can’t be prepared for the weird, specific lives we each lead.”

Email Diamond Naga Siu at [email protected]

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