From Horniness To Amniocentesis, Ilana Glazer Shares Her Most Surprising Observations About Motherhood | CBC Arts

Arts·Q with Tom Power

The actor and comedian sits down with Q’s Tom Power to talk about her latest comedy film, Babes, which tackles the messy reality of parenthood.

The actor and comedian’s new film Babes tackles the messy reality of becoming a parent

Vivian Rashotte · CBC Arts

· Posted: May 30, 2024 11:25 AM EDT | Last Updated: June 3

Ilana Glazer in the Q studio in Toronto. (Vivian Rashotte/CBC)When co-writers Ilana Glazer and Josh Rabinowitz were writing their latest comedy film, Babes, they were both about to become parents for the first time with their respective partners. Naive to the massive life changes that were about to occur, they put together a list of the surprising and absurd things they started experiencing on their path to parenthood.

“Some things on that list were horniness,” Glazer tells Q’s Tom Power on today’s show. “When I was pregnant, I couldn’t believe the spontaneous arousal. It was so animalistic, it was funny.”

The actor and comedian says some of the other things on that list included amniocentesis (a procedure that uses a “long, skinny-ass needle” to take a small sample of amniotic fluid for prenatal testing) and the process of birthing the placenta (the third stage of labour in vaginal births). “My placenta was as heavy as my baby,” Glazer says.

WATCH | Ilana Glazer’s interview with Tom Power:

But one of the most surprising realities about having a child was the sense of loss that many new parents feel.

“You expect the gain,” Glazer says. “You’re going to gain a baby and it’s going to be wild and interesting and hard, but the loss of your identity, your time, your space, your bodily autonomy and your friendships — you can’t unsee the loss that you experience in these years. And it’s sad. It is sad and there’s something to grieve, too, when you gain the miracle of a child.”

Babes follows inseparable childhood friends Eden (Glazer) and Dawn (Michelle Buteau) as Eden decides to have a baby on her own following a one-night stand. As Eden leans on her best friend for support and guidance through motherhood, their friendship faces some big challenges.

I’m so proud to show men who are hilarious, beautiful, vulnerable, hideous at times, and annoyed and pissed off and frustrated.- Ilana GlazerWhile there have been several comedies about pregnancy and parenthood from a man’s perspective (Knocked Up and Three Men and a Baby, for instance), Glazer says it’s hard to think of any from a woman’s perspective. What she, Rabinowitz and Babes producer Susie Fox really set out to do was make an outrageous comedy about pregnancy that also has a lot of heart.

WATCH | Official trailer for Babes:

“When Susie and Josh and I put together this list, we’re thinking, has this been covered?” Glazer says. “None of it has been covered because it’s all about men. And there’s sort of an implied joke there like, ‘He’s not fit to be a dad!’ To be honest, I find that dehumanizing to men. I want to see a movie about a guy who’s a better dad than he expected and he loves it, but then something else is broken about him that he didn’t realize.

“I’m so proud of the complex male characters in this movie, of which there are many: The Lucas Brothers, Hasan Minhaj, Oliver Platt, John Carroll Lynch. I’m so proud to show men who are hilarious, beautiful, vulnerable, hideous at times, and annoyed and pissed off and frustrated. And I actually think so many stories centering men dehumanize men and make them binary.”

Glazer says one of the most important things Babes had to get right was the trade-off between the gain and the loss that comes with parenthood, and the balance between the joy and the suffering parents can experience.

“It was that balance: comedy and heart,” she says. “We went lopsided in both directions and then I think we found the balance, just struck the right chord in the final edit.”

The full interview with Ilana Glazer is available on our podcast, Q with Tom Power. Listen and subscribe wherever you get your podcasts.

Interview with Ilana Glazer produced by Vanessa Nigro.


Vivian Rashotte is a digital producer, writer and photographer for Q with Tom Power. She’s also a visual artist. You can reach her at

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *