'Broad City’s' ‘Philadelphia’ director talks local roots & Hillary Clinton

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Ilana Glazer, Hillary Clinton, Abbi Jacobson in 'Broad City's '2016'

Look, we made a mistake. When we told you "6 things to know about 'Broad City's' upcoming 'Philadelphia' episode," we neglected to mention one important fact: the director Todd Biermann also hails from Philadelphia.

The Somerton native went to St. Joe's Prep and earned a Temple film degree before heading out to Los Angeles, where's he's also done stints on the show of his high school buddy Rob McElhenney's It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia.

(Fun fact: He also happens to be the former roommate of Inquirer columnist Mike Newall. They lived together after they were bartenders at Old City's Plough and the Stars.)

He was not chosen to direct "Philadelphia," in which Abbi (played by costar and co-creator Abbi Jacobson, who hails from Wayne) goes home and tries to make amends after a high school slight caused by taking too many 'shrooms, because of his Philly roots. It was really just coincidence, Biermann said, but he was able to bring his eye for the area to the episode, especially because they couldn't shoot on location in Wayne.

Not shooting on location isn't out of the ordinary. A recent Philadelphia-set X-Files episode looked nothing like Philly. It's Always Sunny hasn't shot on location in Philadelphia for several seasons, although that might change. Biermann says the It's Always Sunny Gang is coming back to shoot in Philadelphia for the next season.

"We couldn't afford to send the whole [Broad City] crew down to Philly for four days. we had to make the compromises where we can but keep it true to the story," Biermann said. "We talked about aspirations of where to revisit it. [Jacobson] joked about shooting down on South Street but that's casual conversation, nothing serious. They've had two very successful seasons and they've earned spreading their wings a little more."

"Philadelphia" is one of three episodes of Broad City Biermann directed, including "2016," the episode featuring Hillary Clinton.

Biermann and the cast and crew only had Clinton for an hour. "Our plan was to walk her through rehearsal and have her watch the monitors with me. Amy Poehler, a producer on the show, and was there that day, and she played Hillary for so many years. Instead of a stand-in, Amy jumped in and played the rehearsal scene with Hillary watching. She started to laugh hysterically and that's when I knew it was going to be fun," Biermann said. "She was slightly nervous in a normal person sort of way. She had fun with it."

Sitting next to Hillary Clinton while Amy Poehler plays her stand in was "surreal." "It certainly was amazing. I've got a six year old daughter, who we intend grow into a smart independent intelligent woman and my wife [actress Andrea Roth] is smart independent intelligent woman," Biermann said. "To be surrounded by all these smart independent intelligent women was inspiring. Abbi and Ilana and Amy and Hillary all playing in that sandbox was quite an experience."

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