Babes or Babies? (Live from SXSW with Ilana Glazer, Pamela Adlon, and Michelle Buteau)

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In celebration of Women’s History Month, Sam joins Ilana Glazer, Pamela Adlon, and Michelle Buteau live from SXSW to talk about their new film, ‘Babes.’ The movie, which debuted in Austin and hits theaters on May 17, is all about female friendship and the truly insane surprises of pregnancy and childbirth. The writer/director/actor trio get real with Sam about motherhood, orgasms, and why certain people want to keep women in the dark about their bodies.

Follow Ilana Glazer @ilana, Pamela Adlon @pamelaadlon, and Michelle Buteau @michellebuteau on Instagram.

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Pamela Adlon, Samantha Bee, Ilana Glazer, Michelle Buteau

Samantha Bee  00:00

Happy Women’s History Month dear listeners, here’s the thing. I don’t think we need a month because we should be highlighting our goodness every goddamn day but okay, until that happens. Okay, I guess I’ll take a month of extra compliments, why not?


Samantha Bee  00:28

This is Choice Words, I’m Samantha Bee. I happen to spend a particularly special day this month for a live recording at South by Southwest with three incredible women, Pamela Adlon who you know, from Better Things, Ilana Glazer from Broad City and Michelle Buteau from Survival of the Thickest, it was nourishing to be on stage with ladies as funny as compassionate as the three of them. They have joined forces to bring us a new film that comes out in May called Babes, which is all about female friendship and the truly insane surprises of pregnancy and childbirth. I cannot think of a better movie to talk about during a month that is all about women. The film is directed by the incredible Pamela Adlon and written by Ilana Glazer. She also co stars in it with Michelle Buteau. So take a listen and make good choices.


Samantha Bee  01:37

What a beautiful crowd. Thank you so much for joining us today. I’m so god damn excited. This conversation. Of course, you know, everybody who’s on the panel here Pamela Adlon, Ilana Glazer, Michelle Buteau, and thank you for joining us. This is a live taping of my podcast Choice Words. And we’re going to talk about a lot of choices here today. And we’re going to talk about the movie that you all made together called Babes, which I saw and I fucking love that. So oh my god, we got a lot to get to thank you so much for joining. Thank you for hanging in this cavernous space in this dry ice dry convention arena. We have a competing podcast occurring right next door with featuring Conan O’Brien goddamn him to hell and don’t you dare […] The doors are barred your fucking heroin. And it’s gonna be way better. Okay. So this is a little bit unusual. I don’t usually do live episodes. But we do have these three incredible guests. And we have so much to talk to them about. I generally start, like when I started the podcast, I was like to launch into it kind of that the entry point is that we talk about choices that we’ve made in our lives, like super big choices, little choices, things that impacted life in an expected or unexpected way. So you’ve all worked together on this beautiful film Babes, of course, you’ve done incredible work individually as well. Pamela, I’m going to start with you because you directed this movie. That brings us all here today. And really directing is all about it is exclusively about making big decisions, huge decisions, little decisions, all the decisions are yours to make. And it is an insane process. Do you like that? Do you love that feeling of being in charge? Do you relish it?


Pamela Adlon  03:41

Okay, so as you know, and we are all moms here on the stage. And it was really funny for me because I had three kids, when they were little when I started being a director professionally, and nobody would listen to me in my house. So I was like, oh, these people really want my opinion and they want to listen to me and one of the things that I learned from one of the first days I worked with Maria Mantia on Season One of my show Better Things. She said thank you, she said it’s your ability to make decisions that’s making everybody feel safe, it was it was you know, it’s something it’s like, you might not always make the right decision but you’ve got to make a choice, right gotta make a decision and go in a certain direction otherwise, you know, it’s all gonna go off the rails and and one of the people that I learned from who is like my mentor and hero is Tracy Ullman, and I did her show when I was like a new mom, when when my oldest was like a top a baby. And I watched her, you know, start direct, write her own show, and troubleshoot, how to get through the day, the quickest, most efficiently, and not compromise the quality. And I just watched her and took a page from that, and it’s just really served me in my career.


Samantha Bee  05:31

Great insight, I agree, I feel like that is the key. It’s like, even though you might be making, you might not make a choice, it’s perfect in the moment. People do feel safer, if you’re just sort of decisive. They’re like, okay, yeah, someone’s in charge.


Pamela Adlon  05:46

I was them locking us […]


Samantha Bee  05:49

And I appreciate that. Thank you for that. Let me ask Alana, Michelle, do you are you look, are you love decision making? Do you love it? Are you like, I love to be in charge, I love to direct the ship. People feel safe in my presence, because I’m so aware of my decision making at all times.


Michelle Buteau  06:11

I mean, I actually do love to make decisions. I don’t think it’s all instinct. And then when I mess up, I’m like, Oh, shit. But that’s just you know, how I live what I love to do, too, is find someone that I know, know something more than I do? So I’d like to find people that I can trust to say you made that decision. My decision that I’m making now is that you made that decision. And I think that’s really helpful because I you know, so many of my friends, especially powerful women think they have to do it, by themselves all the time, you don’t.


Samantha Bee  06:51

So you’re good at delegating, when you would it’s, it’s hard to do. It’s hard to do.


Michelle Buteau  06:57

It is, it is hard tao do because if somebody messes up, you’re gonna have a conversation. But, you know, I think everybody wants to at least try to be their best. So it’s also sort of giving someone an opportunity to see something in themselves that they didn’t see before.


Samantha Bee  07:16

Right, how about you, Ilana? How do you? How does this question sit in your bones?


Ilana Glazer  07:22

I like it.


Samantha Bee  07:23

You like it?


Ilana Glazer  07:24

I like making decisions. Yeah, I do, I think, you know, it’s like, I, I trust my sense of care. And I like really what you’re saying is resonating with me so hard, where it’s like, you know, I think also moving through the world as a woman, you think you have to do more than your job. Because we usually do and we usually have to do it better and more times to be seen for the first time, you know, and I’m really enjoying as I get older, knowing my limits. And, and that’s right, you know, knowing when to hand something off. I, I love an expert. I’m thrilled to not be one. In fact, I think like as, as a leader, I’m like, I’m communicating what I’m assuming none of us know, we’re all you know, you know, like, I feel like, proud to not know, actually and to.


Samantha Bee  08:23

Every person on this panel has had their own shows. That’s incredible, that’s actually nice. This is a very bossy bunch. And I am I 100% here for it. Do, we have so much to discuss. All right, your movie, okay, so let’s talk about the movie. Let’s kind of pivot to that, so the three of you have collaborated, as I told you about this movie called Babes, which is about getting pregnant, it’s about childbirth. I can’t think of a better time to talk about this than the beginning of Women’s History Month, yesterday, International Women’s Day, everything’s going great for us. Turned out a ton no notes, next question.


Pamela Adlon  09:14

And it’s crazy, because when we were in prep Row was repealed.


Samantha Bee  09:19

Oh my god, really?


Pamela Adlon  09:21

And I was like, oh, fuck, this is like, you know, because you want to be careful with every story because everybody reads into the slightest thing now. And so it was just like, wow, we’re really making this movie about making a choice, right, right now.


Samantha Bee  09:41

Yes, in this moment, and it really, it also really deeply highlights the parts of pregnancy, the parts of birth, the parts of having babies that no one tells you about before you do any of these things. Like I know that, you know, none of you we were expecting that the whole conversation was going to go down the route of placentas, but it is.


Pamela Adlon  10:08

We don’t just sweep that under the.


Samantha Bee  10:10

No, it highlight, we highlight it, and we need it because we are all we’re all mothers are at different stages at different phases of motherhood. Michelle, you have twins. You have five year old twins. Alana, you have little you have little little tiny juicy […] She’s not yet three. You have kids in there are older than three girls in there. I love that you’re reversing the.


Pamela Adlon  10:39

Lie about my kids age.


Samantha Bee  10:45

I tell everybody, I’m 66 so they tell me I look great so good. Yeah, they’re like, holy shit, you look amazing. Like I do, thank you. I think it’s our responsibility to demystify the whole process like we’re all. There’s no, we love our guy, I have three kids also all varying ages, like 18, 15, 13. I know there’s a lot of.


Pamela Adlon  11:17

What 13? Thats a lot.


Michelle Buteau  11:19

There’s a lot of milk.


Samantha Bee  11:21

There’s a lot of mother’s milk flowing on this stage. secrets about our bodies secrets about motherhood, to not help us does it not feel like we are kept in the dark? On purpose about what happens to our bodies like some dude, like high up decided that we all knew that our hair was all gonna fall out after or that you would never go swimming again and not pee in the pool. Do they think that we would never have kids?


Pamela Adlon  11:56

You know, it’s really interesting because you go from, you know, snorting rails off each other’s tits and your, your teens to like snorting Boniva and say like, it’s it’s a it’s a weird thing, because nobody ever told us about menopause because, you know, my mother’s generation, you just don’t speak of such things. And you know, when I got my period, my mother was like, you can use these and she takes out like, a mini cot or mattress. And I got confused because I saw a Tampax commercial. And the lady’s like, you can play tennis and go swimming and go to the beach. And I did it with one of those things, and I was like, how are those women really doing? And then finally, I got my period when I was 12, and 16 my friend Sherry Olevski goes, we’re going swimming, you’re not coming here. And she introduced me to a tampon. So it’s, it’s literally about women showing you and guiding you because you don’t get that.


Samantha Bee  13:08

That’s right.


Ilana Glazer  13:09

Yes, because it’s for us to know our bodies and know what we need want. And what will happen gives us power. And by it’s not even like, I don’t think it’s a campaign for us not to have babies. It’s a campaign to keep us like cows having babies, you know.


Samantha Bee  13:25

Stuff and separated from each other, right? A state of not knowing because if you can keep us all confused, we’ll just do what you say.


Michelle Buteau  13:34

Yeah, and for me, this was a very interesting, special, a dollop of traumatic experience, because my body was never able to carry my children so I had a surrogate. And so here I am reading this grip, the top. I’m giving birth, my waters broken in public, like and I’m like, what, and I’m trying to breastfeed a baby and so I’m looking to these women who have been through this, like, is this how it goes? I don’t know, because I always dreamed of it. But it didn’t happen. But now I’m like, in the throes of motherhood, which is its own special mind fuckery. And so what was so what’s so beautiful about working with these two? Is that I can say is this how it goes, and they have like three stories in their back pocket, to make it look good, funny, relatable and real. And I just have as a mom, a new just a crazy appreciation for what women’s bodies can do.


Samantha Bee  14:38



Michelle Buteau  14:39

You know, and it’s so it’s so insane and special, I’m like, no wonder the government wants to control it. We will break these we will break your dicks off do you know what I mean? What do you mean? No hands with no.


Samantha Bee  15:01

I love like the friendship that you demonstrate. I mean, it’s that it is, you know, friendship that is family is such an well I read as the the theme of the whole image. It’s just the undercurrent that runs through the entire film, I mean, it is it’s beautiful.


Pamela Adlon  15:18

Yeah, friendship is, you know, I recently you know, and my core group of girlfriends actually came here to support me and see the movie tonight, they’re here. And we, and we have maintained this group. And it’s not just like, hi, hello casual. Like, I remember I was feeling something that was I knew was a scary thing that was coming up. And I didn’t want to just write to everybody and say, this thing is happening and have everybody go, Oh, my God, you got this, we love you, babe. I hate that shit. But it was more like received copy, we are taking this in. And the next time we see each other, we’re going to talk so it’s like what you were saying mushy? That it’s like, you want somebody else to make a decision for you sometimes you got a war room with each other. And women doing that together is the most powerful place you can be really.


Samantha Bee  16:30

It really is, like I definitely did not have any of my friends check me for dilation when I was about to give birth. But with the iPhone with an iPhone, but that you were able this movie twice was so beautiful to me. We’ll be right back with Ilana Glazer, Pamela Adlon and Michelle Buteau Live from South by Southwest after this.


Samantha Bee  17:14

Ilana you co wrote this, you co wrote the script what was the genesis for right what was the genesis for writing the script?


Ilana Glazer  17:22

So I wrote this this movie with Josh Rabinowitz, who’s also a producer on the movie and one of our other producers Susie Fox we just kind of set out Suzy kind of had like a vision in the shower of this movie just a flash of this movie and she brought it to us like it’s me and I’m I get knocked up and I have a best friend. And she has kids already. And we we brainstormed through our all our ideas out there and the what we started organizing it through I mean there’s so much funny shit where you’re saying at birth you’re not only deliver a baby you deliver placenta yeah.


Samantha Bee  17:59

What? What the fuck?


Ilana Glazer  18:01

Yeah, the horniness of pregnancy, that’s like, like.


Samantha Bee  18:07

The diaper, I mean, listen, we can talk all we can talk all about that the diaper that they give you in the hospital after you’ve given birth, and that you have to make yourself.


Ilana Glazer  18:16

It’s Beth.


Samantha Bee  18:17

They just give you.


Pamela Adlon  18:18

The birth the first time and it was like, it was like have you guys ever seen Little Big Man with Dustin Hoffman? That’s what it was like it was like the blood. It was insane. If I got attacked in an alley with knives, I would look the same way, they would have kept me in the hospital for a good week or two.


Michelle Buteau  18:41

24 hours.


Pamela Adlon  18:43

Oh, yeah.


Michelle Buteau  18:44

Right, one of the things that got cut though was when there was a placenta that came out and.


Pamela Adlon  18:52

We had a live […]


Michelle Buteau  19:01

I can’t believe it got cut.


Samantha Bee  19:03

A show that I did with my husband called the detour which you can no longer it note because of the rules of television. Now it no longer exists anywhere on this earth. We delivered a placenta on that TV show. They let they fucking let us do it in a kiddie pool in a living room. Well, placenta came out and we’re like, I don’t know that we’ll ever see that again. But I want to see your cutscenes I want to see it.


Ilana Glazer  19:29

I was just talking about the two I want to put the cutscenes out and be like oh, because they’re so funny. To be like this isn’t even the movie before he comes to the movie.


Pamela Adlon  19:38

Well, the cutscenes and in Babes, a lot of the cuts were just these two, these two like masters, doing what they do and bouncing off each other. And just the runs like we just had this beautiful just like there was a an embarrassment of riches, with the stuff that they were doing it’s incredible to watch them do what they do innately. And we had to like pare it down, pare it down. pare it down, kill your darlings so maybe Glenn Basner he would give us those out a little extras or something.


Samantha Bee  20:17

Michelle, you’ve been so like refreshingly open, I feel about having your twins through IVF and then ultimately with a surrogate, obviously IVF has been in the news. I mean, what is you must have some pretty choice words for the people in Alabama who wanted to outlaw IVF I mean, isn’t that the saddest thing you’ve ever? I couldn’t believe that what’s happening now?


Michelle Buteau  20:43

Yeah, it’s criminal, it’s criminal. The biggest the biggest thing is, every turn. You feel like you’ve done something wrong. And, you know, I surrogacy was illegal in New York, gestational surrogacy, surrogacy. So I stopped with Andy Cohen and a bunch of other beautiful people who have built their families through surrogacy and I keep coming across this theme. Queer families saying, wow, I didn’t even know that I would be able to get married and be able to have children like, you know, like, again, born a crime, right and rent, you know, cancer patients who have survived who are able to collect eggs before, you know, they did chemo so they can, and everybody feels like they’ve done something wrong. And that’s just criminal, and so anyone going through, because it’s such a it’s such a, it’s such a mindfuck like, do I even want to be a parent? Can I, and then if you can’t do it naturally, and then you have options, because that’s what technology is for hello. And then all of a sudden, people come and say that there’s something wrong with you. And you shouldn’t be doing that. That’s what I really love about this movie, too. Because you guys the way you and Josh wrote it, it’s like you’re saying the thing without saying it, you know? It’s like, should I be a single mom? Should I take control of my body while I still can? You know, like, it’s, to me, the only word that comes to mind is criminal, like how dare you?


Samantha Bee  22:34

Right, I mean, the film does, it revolves around this central choice to keep surprise, pregnancy? I think a lot of people on the right forget that, you know, a part of being pro choice, like having a baby can be a choice they make the option goes both ways. You know, when I started the podcast Choice Words, the name of the podcast felt like a nod to being you know, pro choice, but No, we’ve never really talked, we don’t talk about that often. Would any of you have made different choices about like pregnancy or motherhood? If you’d had more information? Or would it just have been a better experience overall, because you were more informed?


Ilana Glazer  23:20

I mean, I was, I was like, 34 when I had my kid, and I guess 33 when I decided to get pregnant and thought about it for years, like and I find that the knowledge and the the choicefulness is what’s made it so joyful. So I mean, I can’t even get it. I can barely get into it is so psychotic and sadistic, to it’s just, it’s just nuts. And there’s not even really like a narrative on the right anymore. I’m like, what are you guys even fighting? It’s just absolute bonkers. Eggs? You know, like, it’s, you want people’s eggs? I mean, it’s just so whacked out and it’s been normalized, because every day they’re like, well, this horror. And now this terror and it’s none of it makes sense, we’re pretending like there’s like.


Pamela Adlon  24:12

Hard enough to be in a relationship and […] relationship. If you get I never imagined like I never thought one oh, I want to get I want to get married and have kids like I never like, it’s impossible to me that I have kids. It was never something you know, I had the happy accident. The on purpose sibling the bandaid didn’t work. I love them all. But it’s like, you know, every like fucking schmuck who wants to not into anybody, and they’ve got kids walking around. And the women are told that he has rights, over their kids.


Ilana Glazer  25:03

Like, it just doesn’t. It’s just kind of chaos to like, none of it is even lining up anymore with a story. Like, just what I love about Babes that I don’t think we even intended. We were just telling this one story of these two best friends. But is the celebration of different kinds of families?


Samantha Bee  25:21

Yes, yeah and you feel that too. I mean, and also, just like, I love that you plan your birth around on the theme of having a prom? Like, you are like, let’s celebrate those like the prom I never had or the prom that went horribly awry.


Pamela Adlon  25:38

Celebration of Life.


Samantha Bee  25:40

Celebration of love. It’s meaningful, it’s beautiful. It’s really beautiful. Is there anything like what do you wish that you had known about? parenthood before you embarked upon it? I, I’ll tell you what I wish I wish someone would have told me it was that I was gonna have a lot of fun. Like, I mean.


Pamela Adlon  26:02

Totally agree with that.


Samantha Bee  26:03

We do talk an awful lot about all the, how tiring it and that’s valid, and you definitely have to talk about that. But I wish someone had just said, like, you don’t be so fearful. You’re gonna have, you’re gonna fucking love these people.


Ilana Glazer  26:19

I’ve been touring my latest hour of standup and that’s the entire framework I opened by saying, I am shocked by the joy. I’m shocked, and that’s another thing. So they won’t tell us that, you know, we’re horning, our hair falls out. But they will tell us that sucks. And you suck now and you’re gonna suck harder later. It’s it’s a crazy upside down and backwards. It’s so fucking fun. I feel so powerful and hot. Why is that a dangerous because you are a bitch. I love it, I it’s why what I don’t get the purpose of the storyline.


Pamela Adlon  26:56

The other part of it is, you know, so like, you’re so exhausted. And you’re so how really smell it like out of your mind. But like, I remember like standing in a Target with my friend Susie, like few months ago, and I’m seeing these parents and it’s like deja vu. And they’ve got their kids and then, you know, you see them going through the cycle of like, oh, they’re just start. Oh, it’s back to school, the fucking shopping list, like all of this stuff. And I’m like, I wish I could have just separated myself. And like time traveled into the future. And me now saying, enjoy it, enjoy it. I know you’re tired but it’s so good right now. And don’t let them get phones. No phones.


Samantha Bee  27:52

I’m taking notes. I take notes.


Michelle Buteau  27:55

When I say that, like being a parent has made me a better person. It’s not because I’m taking care them like she’s still an asshole but what it has done is made me look at everybody else in a different way. Like, oh shit, that is someone’s child. And now when I do stand up comedy, and I do crowd work, it’s almost like I can see someone’s inner child. You know, like, once I see like this circle happening, I’m like, that’s who the fuck you are. My bad, I just don’t look at someone like a problem or an enemy or like this. When I’m like, Oh, okay, what was your family life like. You know what I mean? Because that will inform you about them, and then it won’t be personal anymore. So it actually is like, I don’t know, it’s made me a better person. I’m way more understanding about other people.


Samantha Bee  28:45

I like that, that’s true. That’s like a theme that’s like almost like a theatre school exercise that I did once was like looking into someone’s eyes. You just have to look into someone’s eyes and see them as a three year old and then you know you’re in theater school, so everybody’s crying, we’re all like. But it’s a great I love that you’re describing that. It is an interesting way to like just feel automatic compassion for like a dude in wraparound shades who’s driving a pickup truck and being.


Pamela Adlon  29:21

I don’t want to look into his eyes. Wraparounds that’s always a giveaway. There in Conan’s.


Samantha Bee  29:28

Yeah, they’re not here, there’s a lot. We’re all because we’re all working. We all travel as part of our career. That part is really hard, it is hard. Do you feel like you have I don’t feel like I was able to personally maintain my own personality at all. Like I’m just we were talking about it backstage. We’re like, definitely our kids are definitely texting us during the.


Pamela Adlon  29:53

Like 1000 texts from people like […] Fuck yeah. Do you love like on my phone, my daughter’s like, when are you coming home? Can I have 17 people over? No, I’m landing at four and I need you nobody there. It’s so funny how you want kids and then you want them gone. You want them a lot, just not in your house.


Ilana Glazer  30:21

But Sam, what do you mean? Your personality that they’re just filling your head? So you’re like.


Samantha Bee  30:25

Well like, we’re now coming to the stage of you know, kids are older. And we’re like, who are we? Why don’t we like we don’t remember that part. So that part is, you know, you have to think about that. How do you? How are you making decisions? Are you that ensures or does the best possible job of hopefully ensuring that you’re making good human beings? Like how do you make those choices? How are you seeing those choices unfold as you’ve got little kids, so it’s very real.


Michelle Buteau  31:05

It doesn’t feel like anything works yet? They’re five, I’m trying they talk to me at the same time. I’m like, everyone’s take a turn. I’m also the only child so I’m like, stop arguing. Why would you argue with someone you love? Get the fuck outta here, why is this big to the bishop so many feelings? Why, where’s my applesauce bitch. That’s what she said one day, where’s my applesauce bicha for? I’m not gonna lie. It was pretty spot on so I was like, coming right up, but say please, what the fuck? So like, like, I don’t know, for me, like, I just wish I can only like go like, from like, how I grew up. And I wish my mom was just more confident, you know, but her generation, I cannot believe that she still has hair on her butt. Like, on our head, you don’t I mean, like so. So I wish my mom was more confident. I wish she spoke up for herself more, so now I’m doing that. And I wish she just taught me more about history about all of it. You know, whether it’s being Caribbean, Caribbean American, being black colonialism, being light skinned and understanding what like a pay gap is, you know, like, what an orgasm gap is? Did you […] White men are still making the most work as everybody bullshit.


Samantha Bee  32:18



Michelle Buteau  32:19

Yes, teach your kid about that, especially when they’re five. Just kidding, so yeah, it’s just all the history that they’re not gonna get in class, like my husband and I, we are the walking history lesson. So I try. I don’t know if anything sticks. They can’t even wipe their butts properly.


Samantha Bee  32:40

I feel like my kids grew up and they didn’t know how to make a phone call, isn’t that terrible? They like somewhere where I was like, call your grandmother, and they were like, how we don’t? What do you mean? They were like, 10?


Michelle Buteau  32:53

Do you know what I mean?


Samantha Bee  32:54

Yeah, right, I never taught you I never showed you we don’t try.


Pamela Adlon  32:57

I tried to be aware that, you know, like, I learned this term from one of my daughters who had some great tutors that, you know, I’m a kinesthetic learner like they are.


Samantha Bee  33:14

What is that?


Pamela Adlon  33:15

I guess it was just me with this. This one lady who taught me this term for her. She needs to touch and see and read and not be talked at, and explained. So I would just like try to teach. It’s that whole teacher man to fish thing. And then they’re just going to go, you could be as wonderful and nurturing. And the as the perfect mom. But you’re still going to fuck it all up.


Samantha Bee  33:45

Right, and you just sort of have to accept, that you’re doing the best you could in that exact moment. That’s right, I feel like as long as you’re doing the best in every moment, even though sometimes that’s not good. It’s, I’m doing a bad job. But it is the best bad job that I can possibly do.


Pamela Adlon  34:05

It’s the best bet they’ll love you when you’re dead, whole thing.


Michelle Buteau  34:08

I mean, I hope so I always say I have no idea what I’m doing. I just know that no one else could do it. Better than me, same with marriage. I know, we still like each other. That’s crazy, who is he? Why is he still here? I’m gonna write more jokes about your penis. And yet he’s still here.


Samantha Bee  34:37

How do you decide what to use from your personal life, such as your spouse’s penis.


Michelle Buteau  34:44

I have right in and then I run it by him.


Samantha Bee  34:47

Oh, you do it?


Michelle Buteau  34:48

Like yeah, and if he doesn’t like it, then I definitely use it.


Samantha Bee  34:56

Like this is gold.


Samantha Bee  35:02

Hold that thought more with Ilana Glazer, Pamela Adlon and Michelle Buteau, live from South by Southwest after one more break.


Samantha Bee  35:08

Did you think that well, how do you think that we are? gaslit? I think do you think that we are gaslit into in this country into thinking that the way that we handle childbirth and pregnancy here in the US is normal? Like I you know what I mean? Like, I think we’re, they tried to make us believe that this is just the way it is in other places, and it’s absolutely not this way. In other places, we can see this, I’m from Canada, our approach to paid leave our approach to the maternal mortality rate, our approach to the child care crisis here is not normal. In many ways, it is very unique. To the way that we live here is none of this was a question. This was just as a comment, this was just a statement.


Pamela Adlon  36:20

Things to hear about, I so, for me, I really did not know what I was going into. And I remember when I had my first daughter, I remember being in the delivery room and the nurse was like, okay, so what are you what, what do you want to do? Give me your birth plan, whatever. And I was like, I don’t fucking know what I was hoping you would guide me through, and she said, oh, that makes it so much easier. Because she was used to women coming in to the delivery room with like, a laminated birth plan. Like, like, this is how I want this to go down. And I, you know, I guess I put my trust in them. I went to Lamaze class, one class, I bought, like a coupon book of like, four. I don’t know, I did one. Because I was in that class. And I remember this one mom was like, it was a Q&A session or whatever, and she goes, what if they give me an epidural, and I get paralyzed. And then another mom said another thing, and it was like, all of this negative shit going into my head. And I’m like, I’m good, because I know this fucking thing’s coming out of me one way or another. And I didn’t want to be in that. Like, I don’t want your crazy. I got my own crazy, so I’m just going to take care of it. But I wish there was, you know, you know, it’s why I talk about menopause. In my show like, I didn’t know anything. All I knew is that I went to the OBGYN and there was this long, ugly green buck slip. And it said, the menopause years. And it was just like, the worst thing like, it was like next to the toilet in the corner, where I was, like, embarrassingly, like put it in my backpack. And people will, you know, just women don’t get any information, good or bad.


Samantha Bee  38:25

Yes, we are not taught about the spectrum of our lives. And a large part of the spectrum of our life is spent in perimenopause and menopause and post menopause. And it has been like steeped in shame.


Ilana Glazer  38:38

Yeah, I remember like hot flashes, I thought it was like, couple years, it’s like 20 years, the process of hot flashes. Because 20 years long, I just learned this, and I think women as an entity just learned this as well. You got it was like, it’s hot, no, it’s 20 years of being like, is it hot in here? Am I crazy? That’s, that’s what menopause is.


Samantha Bee  39:00

It’s like the process of untethering yourself from shame is so it’s hard to do. And it is the most valuable thing you can do in your life, and to make to make it possible for other people to untether themselves from that shame. And I actually, I feel that in the movie, too, because it’s such a like, sprightly vision of a slice of the lives of a couple of people. And it’s so completely judgment free. It’s actually very refreshing to witness.


Ilana Glazer  39:33

I think that’s how people naturally are, but then there’s this like one guy who has one algorithm who’s dictating how we think we all talk to each other. I mean, it’s so crazy, there’s like a narrative we’re all living in and I it’s based around sickness. I guess that’s like the business model for America sickness. And I find especially like we’re so lucky in comedy in the New York Comedy scene, you just go and the the other comedians are different kinds of people and you talk to them in a human way, and then you talk to strangers in a human way. It’s this, like, practice that I’ll just never get over how magical it is. And I just feel like people are usually chill with each other and are, are down to be like, how was your day? And genuinely want to know, you know, women want to tell each other? What’s going on or share information. There’s this, you know, bizarre, bizarre script that I don’t find true to life.


Samantha Bee  40:32

Did you, okay, look, can we talk about the process of making this movie a little bit? So how did your this team if I can this kind of this dream team? How did you come together? How did you coalesce, didn’t you? Yeah, they were like, this box you’re in.


Ilana Glazer  40:50

So Josh and I wrote this movie, and he and Susie and I were looking for directors and Jupiter Seagull the artist formerly known as Pamela Adlon had just finished better thing. And it was just a perfect match. And then we were looking to cast the role of dawn. And when we thought of Michelle, we couldn’t get off of it. I begged her a couple times. And I was like, there, because Michelle and I have known each other for 20 years.


Samantha Bee  41:22

Okay, yeah.


Ilana Glazer  41:23

I was just like, there’s no way that we’re gonna get something as funny and as emotional with anybody else, not just for the chemistry, but for Michelle’s gifts.


Michelle Buteau  41:33

I’m so glad I did it. I’m so glad you talked me into it. I wasn’t going to at first I was like, I’m writing the show survival of the thickets. It’s my first time writing a show. I should really just, like, do everything, like be available for all the Zoom meetings and all of that. And what’s so great about working with boss women, and Alana is like, you could do both. You will be exhausted. It’ll be fun, it’ll be fucking fire I’m like what? She’s like, do both. You’re gonna have a show in a movie. That’s amazing, let’s go, and I was like, what? I was like, I have meetings she’s like, you don’t gotta go to those meetings? No, you don’t, you gotta go to those meetings, do what you can do, and come into this movie. And I was like, I guess I’m gonna go to this movie. And yeah, it was. It was really fucking magical. I will tell you that. It was magical, and it’s also like working with other people’s kids. Sometimes feels like a little while. But that was like, also great.


Ilana Glazer  42:34

Oh, yeah you know, working with children is working with children’s interesting. You’re like, so we’re co workers. Is that what this is? We work together?


Michelle Buteau  42:46

That’s strange, like the mom is right there. And you’re just like, I want to try and breastfeed your baby Barbie.


Samantha Bee  42:53

It’s a really different experience. What is what is the primary difference? Because we haven’t talked enough about better things in this panel, which we could do a whole other panel on better things. It is just, I think, a perfect video. It’s a perfect experience. And when the show ended, I was very sad. But it ended perfectly. What is the difference between filming a series, like better things and filming a feature? What is different about the process?


Pamela Adlon  43:29

Yeah, for me, it was. It’s a very humanistic experience. I see think everything is visual. And it’s a feeling right. So I’m going for a feeling I’m going for what’s going on in her head, what’s going on in her head? What’s going on in Huston’s head? That was very interesting to me so it’s all relational. And, I like the in between. I like the in between, and I love transitions. And I love letting things sit and letting us experience that. So it in, in this film, what was really interesting and powerful to me, is their relationship. And how they came up together and how important that was, and how, you know, one person’s going a different direction because they have a very healthy different kind of relationship, and a partner, and then to have, you know, the person who was your partner, when you were kids saying, hey, man, we’re still we’re still partners and how important that is, and then showing this beautiful, healthy relationship between Hodgson and Michelle. And that that can coexist with this relationship, and the beauty of a friendship and then just a family, which becomes its own thing. And then embracing everybody, and that’s how you make a village. And it’s just that feeling and that experience and it’s literally you could watch this movie and say it’s her story. It’s Eden’s story. It’s her story, it’s Dawn’s story, it’s Halston story, it’s the story of the city. And it’s and it is a movie about Choice Words with Samantha Bee, is it over? I’m just kidding.


Samantha Bee  45:41

It’s never know. I think that the relationship with Halston was beautifully rendered too, that’s kind of rare too.


Michelle Buteau  45:50

Yeah, it’s so I think it’s so important to see, black and brown men be happy and stable supportive fathers.  You know, I’m really just so tired of this narrative. You know, the buffoonery of like, sorry, I’m gonna call out loving hip hop right now. Just all the stuff. Like under that umbrella. You don’t I mean, it’s so nice to see just just normalized some good old fashioned diversity. You know, let’s just do it. You know, because if you wait, we’re actually all friends like Alana, Huston and I were all friends but like when I watched the movie for the first time, we look good. […] Queen, queens, baby.


Samantha Bee  46:43

So you’re the village that supports you. They’re literally sitting in the front row, which is awesome. Just awesome. Who do you go to in your who’s in your who’s in your circle? Who are the people that you reach out to? For help or advice or counsel or just to blow off steam?


Michelle Buteau  47:02

Oh, I mean, she’s in my circle. She’s one of the top five. Because no one’s gonna get it like between being you know, doing a bunch of like the show, you know, the acting the stand up the boundaries with friends, the kid the being married trying to be in a loving relationship while you’re like also the most important relationship is with yourself like type shit like so.


Ilana Glazer  47:34

Being a real adult stride you and I and our friendship. We met as knuckleheads you know get nuts.


Michelle Buteau  47:42

For drink tickets. Back that shit yes […] I need with everything.


Ilana Glazer  47:53

Yeah, we’ve been hitting a real adults right. And it’s so true and to find like women who can understand the different roles that you have to play whether they’re the same hours happened to really overlap but to talk about switching contexts yeah is really really helpful I find with my best women friends.


Samantha Bee  48:11

Well I loved the movie I recommend that you all go to the premiere tonight at the Paramount everyone was listening to this podcast needs to see this film which I believe comes out in May and we will all be waiting for it and may I just put in my bed for you to make another movie in 20 years and that is Babes too menopause edition. It’s needed, I want to thank you so much. I want to thank everyone for coming to this live event. I really.


Ilana Glazer  48:44

Thanks everybody for not going to Conan […]


Samantha Bee  48:54

Thank you, thank you so much. Good night everybody, good night everyone.


Ilana Glazer  48:58

Stay safe out there.


Samantha Bee  48:59

That was Pamela Adlon, Ilana Glazer, Michelle Buteau who joined me live on stage at South by Southwest. And as always, there’s more Choice Words with Lemonada premium subscribers get exclusive access to bonus content, like a special outtake from this very episode. Subscribe now in Apple podcasts.


CREDITS  49:41

Thank you for listening to Choice Words which was created by and is hosted by me. We’re a production of Lemonada Media, Kathyrn Barnes, […] and Kryssy Pease produce our show. Our mix is by James Barber. Steve Nelson is the vice president of weekly content. Jessica Cordova Kramer, Stephanie Wittles Wachs and I are executive producers. Our theme was composed by […] with help from Johnny Vince Evans . Special thanks to Kristen Everman, Claire Jones, Ivan Kuraev and Rachel Neil. You can find me at @Iamsambee on Twitter and at @realsambee on Instagram. Follow Choice Words wherever you get your podcasts or listen ad free on Amazon music with your Prime membership.

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