Ilana Glazer would like you to know she is not Ilana Wexler, the character she played on “Broad City.” Although they do share some DNA.
At the beginning of her Amazon stand-up special, “The Planet Is Burning,” she articulates the difference. Wexler would wake up and get high immediately. Glazer takes her vitamins first. “So Ilana Wexler — wake and bake,” she says, “Ilana Glazer — wake, take, and bake.”
Stand-up is still somewhat of a new horizon for Glazer, who brings her “Horny 4 Tha Polls” tour to the Chevalier Theatre in Medford March 19. She had been doing comedy for roughly four years in New York, taking improv and sketch classes at the Upright Citizens Brigade, before “Broad City” took over for the next decade, starting with the Web series before its 2014-19 run on Comedy Central.
“It was so consuming,” says Glazer. “Abbi [Jacobson] and I had a lot of pressure on us at a very young age. We were the showrunners for five seasons, 50 episodes. It felt so grown-up, the behind-the-scenes of it, while the content was so funny and stupid and silly, and amazing and deep and groundbreaking.”
Now that she is stepping out of the shadow of “Broad City,” Glazer is moving from comedy adolescence to comedy adulthood, experimenting with who she is as a solo performer. In “The Planet is Burning,” she is all over the stage, dancing a jig as Mr. Peanut or goose-stepping uncomfortably to show the impracticality of Nazis wearing tall boots. She moves through a stand-up routine like a character in a sketch. In a bit about how she was tentative about domestic life after marriage, she acts out crying in the bathroom and moves on to pantomiming her house-cleaning routine. She brings the hyperactive lightness of Ilana Wexler to stories from her own life.
“I’m really polyamorous in my creativity, trying everything and letting it all be synergistic,” she says. “I kind of feel like I am incorporating sketch and improv into my stand-up all at once. I can’t really undo, I guess, the foundations of my comedy career."
In the special, Glazer bounces between political and personal subjects, covering gender fluidity, classic movies, marriage, the environment, those Nazi uniforms. She laughs at the list of topics. “It’s so funny to hear it back,” she says. “This is such a new context for me, still. So it just makes me giggle.”
The new hour of material Glazer is performing on tour covers how hard it is to be an adult participating in society. “I think the umbrella there might be depression and anxiety,” she notes. But there will be similar whiplash turns from topic to topic. “Talking about politics and the upcoming election, talking about Instagram and cultural appropriation and Jews and ‘The Great British Baking Show,’” she says.
There is some anger brewing underneath her naturally bubbly persona, something she notices as she examines herself through comedy. She sees a harshness in the world that she can only address through lightness (she has described herself as an “optimistic nihilist”).
The desire to address more weighty subjects led her to found the Generator Collective, the mission statement of which is to “humanize policy through storytelling by helping organize the noise of these policies into digestible, human stories, and overall lower the political barrier of entry.” In almost every city on the tour, Glazer will be throwing “Genny Socials,” which she describes as “a voter-empowerment dance party.” The crowd mingles with local politicians while a DJ plays dance music, with the hope that everyone has fun and learns something. The Boston edition, which is sold out, will be held at ONCE Somerville on March 18.
Glazer says the socials have made her feel more excited to vote. She wants to combat the idea that participation is a burden, an idea she suspects many politicians promote. “It seems like they’re trying to be as ugly as possible right now so we just look away and they can do whatever they want while we’re not watching,” she says. “I’ve found that with these Genny Socials, it makes it easier to look at politics and government. We pair the joy of dancing with information about upcoming elections, local upcoming elections, specific to the cities that we go to.”
Glazer is exploring who she is professionally as well. In addition to stand-up, she has a full plate of projects. She co-wrote and stars in an upcoming thriller called “False Positive” and has formed her own production company called Starpix. She did voice-over work on Netflix’s “Green Eggs and Ham” and has an animated pilot with Jacobson in the works with Comedy Central.
“I have a lot of different parts inside of one person,” she says. “I guess I feel weird about it sometimes. But I have a lot of different kinds of [stuff] going on.”
At the Chevalier Theater, Medford, March 19 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets $37-$51.75, 781-391-7469, www.chevaliertheatre.com
Nick A. Zaino III can be reached at email@example.com.