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Oh, Hello: the play with too much of a lot of things

Creators tend to find low-key ways of sneaking indulgences into their projects.  There are some shining moments that seem like they were created just to amuse the creator. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. In Netflix’s special, Oh Hello on Broadway, Nick Kroll and John Mulaney go on an amusement rampage.  Under the guise of grizzled geriatrics, the two put on a “br’dway” play that seems to scratch every itch on their funny bone. As a viewer, I enjoyed the theatrics, but there were moments that made me feel used like an audience of stuffed animals surrounding a toddler.  We were just there for Kroll and Mulaney’s indulgences. It makes a girl wonder, is was my delighted juice worth their indulgent squeeze?

Grossest sentence ever typed.

Oh Hello is for a specific type of audience.  Gil and George speak to people who enjoy things that are peculiar and slightly cringe-inducing. Their material includes, but is not limited to:

  • Sick Au Bon Pain burns
  • Referring to fingers as “fingies”
  • Feuding with off-stage Ravi
  • Improvisation for non-listeners
  • Casual references to Clamato
  • And bestiality with raccoons
  • And this….

It’s a smorgasbord of things only Kroll and Mulaney could concoct.  I genuinely believe that they would riff off of each other about “protected settlements” to an audience of none. The play within a play brings me so much joy, except for that nagging feeling that I’ve been tricked.

During the prank talk show, Gil and George pluck Steve Martin out of the crowd for an interview and offer him “Too much tuna!” (It’s better than it sounds.)  For other showings, they got to prank talk to Chris Pratt, Alan Alda, Amy Schumer, Aziz Ansari and more. They were living the too much tuna dream.  It’s possible they were also having too much fun. There comes a point where the guest wish list is just an excuse to hang with other cool dudes and chicks.

Artists create their art, so they are entitled to cast the love interest that is out of their league, or go to exotic locations to film or trot out a long list of celebrities to prank interview. However, there were little tiny cracks that reminded me that George and Gil were not concerned about the audience’s amusement.  The faults include, but are not limited to:

  • The bloated introduction to the play. (Too much exposition!)
  • Gil’s untucked shirt was excessive. (I don’t need multiple examples of a slovenly disposition. The socks and sandals are enough)
  • Disrespecting Matthew Broderick’s time

These tiny cracks are frustrating because I’m envious. I want to create perfectly choreographed and thoughtful jokes that are completely silly and put me at the same table as Steve Martin.

Regardless of these tiny cracks, Kroll and Mulaney are in it for the love for the game. After their “high production value” dance sequence, the two collapse on the stage out of exhaustion. The result is a perfect self-indulgent moment.  The two minute real time break lets the actors regroup, but more important improvise random request of Ravi.  They would prefer to have a Ferrero Rocher and some Kashi good friends.  To recoup, the two need an ultra specific headshots brought to them.  Literally, it’s two dudes laying on the floor cracking jokes.

If I had a specific request, it would be that they wouldn’t stop.

In the end, I’ll watch any of the shenanigans that Kroll and Mulaney cook up.  I will soak up their sauce with my polenta body and bask in their indulgences.

Ok, so that’s the grossest sentence ever written.

Regardless, Oh Hello is for people who can tolerate this peculiar brand of comedy where two dudes spend an hour and half of your time doing whatever they please on screen.

Article written by Megan Suttles

I can't decide if I want to use this space to be witty or insightful. I guess it will be neither.