PASADENA — The stars of the new Comedy Central series "Broad City" — Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer — have been described as a female version of "The Odd Couple."
They are certainly different, but they really are more like a 21st century version of Mary Richards and Rhoda Morgenstern, if the characters from of "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" lived in a 12-story walk-up in New York and lived on $1.27 a week.
It's from that desperate situation that the two former participants of the Upright Citizen's Brigade launched the Web series "Broad City" that has been expanded to the new 30-minute TV comedy.
The offbeat and contemporary look at what it means to be twenty-somethings living in the Big Apple launches Wednesday night.
Jacobson and Glazer found each other while taking classes at UCB and ending up on the same practice improv team. They were the only women on the team and immediately became friends.
"In our friendship, we would hit a note that would make us laugh over and over again," Glazer says. "After a point, it felt like this dynamic. We recognized we could make something about the dynamic."
Two years later they launched "Broad City," the Internet outlet for their comedy. It was there that these femme fatales of funny found their first fans with humor that ranges from weird to wild to whimsical to what-the-heck. Everything in the world is fair game — from free pizza to being paid to clean for an hour in their underwear — plays out on the streets of New York.
In getting to this comedic level, both agree their comedy is better because of the other one.
"I know that if my part of a joke isn't working too well, Ilana will pick it up," Jacobson says. "It's all a matter of working toward one focus — making the show as funny as possible."
Glazer adds that working with a comedy partner means that there's always someone there to lend a comical hand.
Even with the series, if one of the stars isn't in a scene, she will be on set in case the other one needs help.
The fact they are such close friends means they can make a suggestion — or even offer criticism — without the other getting upset. All that matters to them is making the show better.
"Saturday Night Live" and "Parks and Recreation" star Amy Poehler is the executive producer of "Broad City." She saw the women's comedy strengths when she worked with them at UCB and later appeared on one of their Webisodes.
Poehler says they're part of the next generation of performers people will be talking about.
"Broad City," 10:30 p.m. Wednesday, Comedy Central
TV and movie critic Rick Bentley can be reached at (559) 441-6355, firstname.lastname@example.org or @RickBentley1 on Twitter. Read his blog at fresnobeehive.com.