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In ‘A League of Their Own,’ Abbi Jacobson Makes the Team

  • August 06, 2022

On that morning, she wore a white tank top and paint-stained pants, but the stains were pre-applied and deliberate, sloppiness turned into fashion. The bag she carried was Chanel. She didn’t look a lot like a baseball player, but she did look like a woman who had become comfortable in her own skin, who had cleaned up most of her private mess and put the rest of it to professional use.

“She’s a boss,” said the writer and comedian Phoebe Robinson, a friend. “And she knows herself in her core.”

Jacobson grew up in a Philadelphia suburb, the youngest of two children in a Reform Jewish family. She played sports throughout her childhood — softball, basketball, travel soccer — until she gave them up for jam bands and weed.

“That team mentality was very much my childhood,” she said.

After art school, she moved to New York to become a dramatic actress, then veered into comedy through improv classes at the Upright Citizens Brigade. She and Glazer wanted to join a house improv team, but team after team rejected them. So they created “Broad City” instead, which ran first as a web series and then for five seasons on Comedy Central. A “Girls” without the gloss, trailing pot smoke as it went, it followed its protagonists, Abbi and Ilana, as they blazed a zigzag trail through young adulthood. The New Yorker called the show, lovingly, a “bra-mance.”

For Jacobson, the show was both a professional development seminar and a form of therapy. Through writing and playing a version of herself, she emerged more confident, less anxious.

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