'History of the World: Part II' delivers wild cast, lots of laughs

Ike Barinholtz, Nick Kroll and Wanda Sykes worked with Mel Brooks on this long-awaited sequel.

ByGina Sirico OTRC logo
Thursday, March 2, 2023
'History of the World: Part II' boasts epic comedic cast
'History of the World: Part II' is heavy on comedic star power and lots of laughter.

LOS ANGELES -- "Hello, I'm American treasure, Mel Brooks. To some of you, I'm a hero. To others, merely a legend."

That's the opening line in episode 1 of the new Hulu series, "History of the World: Part II." And, well, he's not wrong!

The 96-year old Brooks, best known for cinematic treasures "Spaceballs," "High Anxiety" and of course "History of the World: Part I," is the ultimate influence for so many comedians today. Three of them, Nick Kroll, Ike Barinholtz and Wanda Sykes worked alongside Brooks to create "History of the World: Part II."

"To get to work with Mel and, I mean, Nick Kroll and Ike Barinholtz, it's just been a dream, it really has," Wanda Sykes told On The Red Carpet. "It's been so much fun, like being at camp!"

"It's the most amazing and scariest thing in the world pitching a joke to Mel Brooks," Nick Kroll said. "Mel is so gracious and he understands how important he is to people. I mean, yes, he would say 'that joke's not funny.' But when he throws his head back laughing, it's like...I have a child, but I would say it's head-to-head which is the biggest honor of my life."

The trio had no problem casting the 8-part series, as Barinholtz recalls. "It's the world's easiest 'yes.' If you get a text from Nick or me or Wanda saying 'hey can you work with Mel Brooks for a couple of days?' It's like the opposite of saying to someone, 'hey can you pick me up from the airport.'"

Along with Kroll, Barinholtz and Sykes, the cast includes Jack Black, Quinta Brunson, Tyler James Williams, Josh Gad, Taika Waititi, Sarah Silverman, JB Smoove, Johnny Knoxville, Kumail Nanjiani, Jack McBreyer, Marla Gibbs, Ken Marino, Finesse Mitchell, Pamela Adlon, Dove Cameron and Jay Ellis.

"My favorite kind of comedy is that ludicrous, over the top, disconnected from reality, no holds barred, Mel Brooksian comedy," Dove Cameron said. "I was really only part of it for like a week or so, but it was so much fun."

Sykes admitted that Barinholtz was always the one to break character, and Kroll grinned as he said there was a sheep on set that would always make him laugh. Finesse Mitchell, though, says he was the source of the collective set laughter.

"I'm gonna keep it 1000. I made everybody crack up," Mitchell said with a smile. "I'm so underrated and so humble!"

"History of the World: Part II" begins streaming on Hulu March 6th.

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