By now you’ve probably seen a couple of Netflix’s stand-up specials. Maybe you’ve seen the latest one from Louis C.K., 2017, where he gives perhaps the best joke ever on why “Catholics have it better than anyone else.” Maybe after his breakout stint at the recent White House Correspondents’ Dinner, you checked out Hasan Minhaj’s impressive and heartfelt Homecoming King and his mastery of mixing Kanye West references with racism and the traumas of being the son of an immigrant. Or unlike me, you watched the stand-up of Jo Koy or (god forbid) Russell Peters. The streaming giant has not been modest or frugal when it comes to dishing out high-profile comedy specials and staking its claim as the best place for comedy—and comedians. Just in the last couple of months alone, Netflix has released new stand-ups from Amy Schumer and Dave Chappelle and has Jerry Seinfeld banked for later in the year.
After seeing a couple specials, you might think you know pretty much everything about stand-up comedy—but I’m willing to bet you aren’t prepared for just how funny and brilliant their latest one will be.
On June 13, Netflix will be releasing Oh, Hello on Broadway starring John Mulaney and Nick Kroll. For the sake of brevity and not spoiling anything, Oh, Hello is about two 70-plus-year-old white urbanites who live in New York with dreams of stardom and an intense admiration for Alan Alda. The characters of Oh, Hello built a cult following through Kroll’s sketch show aptly called Kroll Show. In it, a vast majority of viewers was introduced to Gil Faizon (Kroll) and George St. Geegland (Mulaney), who hosted a little prank/talk show called Too Much Tuna. The simple premise does not in any way articulate just how deep and rich their comedy goes. And with numerous clips and videos up on YouTube already, you won’t be hard-pressed to understand why.
Despite the two having numerous successes throughout the years—Kroll with his instant classic sketch show and Mulaney being one of the best stand-up comics today, not to mention being a former writer for Saturday Night Live (where he co-created the Bill Hader character, Stefon)—Oh, Hello is perhaps the best thing they’ve ever done. I was lucky enough to see Kroll and Mulaney perform Oh, Hello on Broadway live late last year. It was exactly a week after the US Elections and, needless to say, I really needed some laughter for a change. I expected a certain level of comedy after being a fan of Too Much Tuna for years but Oh, Hello turned out to be more than anything I could’ve prepared for. It was one of the best comedies I’d ever seen from start to finish. The acting was fast and loose with joke after joke just hitting its mark non-stop. The show revolved around Faizon and Geegland’s relationship as the two went from making fun of Nixon-era politics to squirrel beastiality.
This article may seem vague but this is precisely the point. Seeing Oh, Hello on Broadway last year was nothing short of revelatory. While as insanely funny as it was, it was made even better by the fact that I had no idea what to expect. In today’s world of spoilers and the idea of reading reviews even before you watch anything, the best way to watch this Netflix special is to come in knowing nothing and just accept all the crazy shit that’s about to happen.