The use of IUDs as contraception, antidepressants and the importance of dental floss were among the many offbeat topics touched on by Ilana Glazer of Comedy Central’s “Broad City” during her show at Zoellner’s Baker Hall on Thursday, Sept. 14.
As the hall began to fill up with students, the room buzzed with curiosity: What is the next hour or so going to be like?
Some assumed Glazer would perform a stand-up routine reminiscent of her humor expressed throughout Broad City, which she co-stars and co-writes with friend Abbi Jacobsen. However, the show was far from routine.
“It was an interesting mix of stand-up and a Q&A session,” Alli Rubin, ’18, said after the show. “I had never seen anything like that before.”
Although Glazer was consulting her MacBook for discussion points — including those in the realm of college life and being a 20-something — she conducted the majority of the show off-the-cuff. Instead of a traditional stand-up act, Glazer’s performance was more like a genuine conversation between her and the audience.
University Productions member Kevyn McConlogue, ’19, who spoke to Glazer before the show, said the perception of genuineness was echoed throughout the crowd.
“She’s incredible and went out of her way to introduce herself to everyone,” McConlogue said. “It was an organic experience. Like she wasn’t putting up some front. She was just being herself, and she’s a bad-ass lady.”
At the beginning of the performance, Glazer told the audience she wanted them to participate and ask questions throughout her act. The crowd took full advantage — asking her about “Broad City,” advice on how to break into the industry and her stance on all things controversial. After all, Glazer exclusively referred to the college experience as “a sex and drugs sleep-away camp.”
Glazer performed shamelessly and in an uncensored manner. As she pointed out, she does not look or act like a traditional Hollywood actress. She even went on to say that if she didn’t also write, she probably wouldn’t have made it as an actress.
McConlogue thinks it is this “realness” and grit she exudes that makes her so accessible and allows her to act as a role model for all women, not just those involved in the arts.
“Having a woman being open about topics that women aren’t traditionally supposed to talk about, such as sex, is essential for social progress,” McConlogue said. “We need more women figures like Ilana (Glazer) who are as in touch with themselves and their bodies.”
Glazer also discussed the differences between Ilana Wexler, her character in Broad City, and who she is as a person. Glazer said the character she portrays on the show is an extension of herself and her personality but much more exaggerated and, naturally, pre-planned.
Glazer did not shy away from difficult topics and made a point to specifically discuss mental health and the stigma around it. She said having a mental health disorder does not define a person and talked about treatment, such as therapy and the use of antidepressant medications.
As the show came to an end, Glazer took as many last-minute questions as she could. Her parting advice?
“Floss,” she said. “Teeth are important and shit. Keep them looking nice.”