Get us in your inbox

Oh Hello
Photograph: Joan Marcus

Broadway review: Nick Kroll and John Mulaney kvetch up a comic storm in Oh, Hello

Adam Feldman
Written by
Adam Feldman

Oh, Hello marks the Broadway debut of Gil Faizon and George St. Geegland, but you’ve probably met them before. Aging “legendary bachelors” who share a rent-controlled apartment on the Upper West Side—“the coffee breath of neighborhoods”—Gil and George are New York kibitzers of a vanishing type. Their pleated corduroys and turtlenecks, less lived-in than lived-out, bespeak personas frozen in the 1970s and early 1980s; their heroes include Steely Dan, Philip Roth, Richard Dreyfuss and Ed Koch.

Perhaps you have spotted them at diners, parks, used-book stores or Zabar’s counters. Or maybe you’ve seen them in sketches on Comedy Central’s Kroll Show, hosting a cable-access prank show called Too Much Tuna. Embodied with a gleeful blend of affection and mockery by Nick Kroll and John Mulaney, respectively, Gil and George are miraculous comic creations who have earned a well-deserved cult following. Oh, Hello on Broadway, directed by goofy-smart prince Alex Timbers, stretches the shtick to 95 minutes of metatheatrical horseplay. On a set made of leftovers from past Broadway productions, would-be actor Gil and would-be writer George present a play based on themselves; there are flashbacks and jokes about stage clichés, with control-freak George effectively playing Bert to Gil’s sweeter, softer Ernie.

The internal logic gets foggy, but Oh, Hello is really about watching Kroll and Mulaney do high-level tag-team comedy, in the great tradition of Mike Nichols and Elaine May and Mel Brooks and Carl Reiner. If some of the tuna seems a bit canned, both comedians are superb improvisers, and the script leaves room for them to mix things up, notably in a 10-minute interview with a different celebrity each night. (Seth Meyers was the guest when I attended.) Deftly shuffling elements of recognition and surprise, Kroll and Mulaney keep the audience in giddy laughter. They make mustiness new, and they’re a New York City must.

Lyceum Theatre (Broadway). By Nick Kroll and John Mulaney. Directed by Alex Timbers. With Kroll, Mulaney. Running time: 1hr 35mins. No intermission. Through Jan 15. Click here for full ticket and venue information.

Follow Adam Feldman on Twitter: @FeldmanAdam

Keep up with the latest news and reviews on our Time Out Theater Facebook page.

The polls are open! Vote for your favorite spots that deserve a Love New York Award

Popular on Time Out

    You may also like
    You may also like