Why ‘History of the World, Part II’ Is the Raunchy, Riotous Follow-up Fans Have Craved

    It’s good to be the king! And it’s great to see Mel Brooks’ iconic farce finally getting the raunchy, riotous follow-up fans have been wanting since 1981 in History of the World, Part II.

    “We wanted to honor the film but also really honor Mel,” says David Stassen, who executive produces the eight-episode hoot with the legendary comic as well as Ike Barinholtz (The Afterparty), Nick Kroll (Big Mouth), and Wanda Sykes (The Upshaws).

    They succeeded. In the sequel series, which rolls out over four nights (March 6 through March 9 on Hulu), Brooks’ narration introduces historical vignettes with the same side-splitting mix of high- and low-brow humor, sight gags, and sly social commentary.

    Sketches that skewer the Civil War, the Russian Revolution, Shirley Chisholm’s presidential bid, and the story of Jesus provide the backbone of Part II, recurring throughout the season.

    Some of the stand-alone topics: Noah’s Ark, Freud, Galileo, and the Pyramids. We love a bit set in William Shakespeare’s writers’ room. Having read a new draft of Hamlet, the Bard (Josh Gad) says, “Does Shakespeare like it? Yeah. Is Shakespeare in love? No.” There’s also a joke Brooks has “wanted to do for 40 years,” Stassen reveals, in a scene about a Confederate general and a poorly positioned sword.

    As for the cast, this is basically the Avengers of comedy. Kroll, Barinholtz, and Sykes lead the key stories as Judas, Ulysses S. Grant/Leon Trotsky, and Chisholm, respectively.

    As episodes play out, expect nearly every person who has made you laugh in the last 10 years: for starters, Jack Black, JB Smoove, Quinta Brunson, and Jack McBrayer. The full list is — wait for it — one for the History books!

    History of the World, Part II, Two-Episode Series Premiere, Monday, March 6, Hulu (Two Episodes Daily Through March 9)

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