I’m sorry, Abbi. I’m sorry, Ilana.
I’m sorry I was so flustered when you called. I’m sorry I sounded upset and scared throughout our interview. I’m sorry I literally stammered “I just love you guys,” halfway through a question. I’m very sorry that I wrote down the time you would be calling incorrectly.
That’s the rub of it, you see. You caught me an hour before I thought you would. I had fantasized about this phone call all week: how poised I would be, sitting at my desk with a list of thoughtful and surprising questions for you. How casually I would drop in the fact that, wouldn’t you know it? I also do comedy. Big fan. Yet in many ways, a peer. Would I like to collaborate with you some time? YOU KNOW WHAT, I WOULD.
However, instead of a gentle back and forth where you were both eminently quotable and charmed by my wit while I sipped an ice water and made notes for a great article, my phone rang at the laundromat, and I screamed and then answered.
Why didn’t I tell you I was folding my underwear in a public setting and not sitting at my desk ready to interview you like a professional? Why did I just stammer “Okay great, that’s so great, I’m really excited to see you guys when you come to Toronto, very good, alright!” for, like, a while, as I tried to figure out the “record” setting on my phone? Who knows. That’s between us and the Lord (Lorde?) now.
After a long, fun silence I pushed out my first, barely-formed question, and honestly, I’m so sorry: “So, GIRLS is another fun, female-led show… um… do you guys feel like you’re similar? Completely different…? Do you… watch… it?”
And God bless you, Abbi and Ilana, you do watch it. And you answered like I didn’t sound like a serial killer, and you said, “It’s so awesome to be compared to that show, we both watch and love GIRLS. I think there’s room for both and so many more female-driven shows, but the comparison is really nothing but flattering. We’re really excited to see Lena Dunham at JFL.”
“Cool, great,” I said, feeling neither. I got it together enough to ask a question I had prepared, on my faraway laptop at home: “I love that the show is heavily centered around a friendship that is clearly based on your real life love for each other. How much of the show is based in reality?”
“Ilana here,” Ilana said. “With everything we write for the show, it’s important to us to start from a real place. So all the themes for the episodes start from something we’ve experienced or something we’ve heard about from a friend. You know a writer will say ‘My friend takes dog Xanax, cause her dad’s a vet’ and it’s like OH MY GOD, okay. We know so many smart, funny people with rich stories and experiences, there’s no reason not to start from a real place. It’s honestly a challenge to get it all in there.”
At this point I began a long and convoluted series of half-questions about your experiences with Montreal and Toronto, and I think for all our sakes we’ll just omit that portion of the interview. Fun back and forth though, I think we can all agree. Also, who knew nervous sweat had a sound, and that the sound was a human mouth going “hmmmhahahawhatelsssseee” over and over?
“What else” turned out to be “What’s it like working with Amy Poehler?” “She’s as awesome as you’d expect her to be.” “Do you have a preference between live performance and TV?” “They’re both very different, so it’s hard to compare. They both have their different vibes and excitements.” And “What are you most hoping to do while in Toronto?” “Find a really nice place to have dinner.”
Eventually I asked about your upcoming live show at Just For Laughs 42, which sounds fantastic. I also told you I was “def going” more than once, so I’m sure you’re very excited to see me there.
“In our live shows, you’re not gonna see Abbi and Ilana from TV,” Abbi said, tactfully ignoring the strong I Wish I Could Wear Your Skin vibes I was giving off, “The live stuff is more real, more us. It’s kind of like a variety show mixed with dual stand up. I think the best way I can put it is that you’re sort of coming in and hanging out with us.”
The wave of excitement-nausea I felt at the idea of actually hanging out with these two smart, hilarious, talented ladies reminded me why I had needed to prepare so much for this interview. Why I missed my notes at home so badly, and why I really needed that cool glass of water: I am simply too big a fan to keep it together faced with the force that is Broad City. And so, gals, I am sorry. They say you should never meet your heroes, but I think the real concern is letting them have your phone number.