Review: Netflix's 'Oh Hello' Starring John Mulaney And Nick Kroll

The problem with theater is, of course, that it’s temporary. When the show is over, it’s over forever. Unlike a movie, you can’t just go back and watch that performance again. When I left the Broadway production of Oh, Hello earlier this year, I was absolutely floored, and deeply disappointed that my friends couldn’t see this brilliantly hilarious show. Enter Netflix, who filmed one of the last performances of the play and finally released it today!

The play is written by comedian friends Nick Kroll and John Mulaney, who also star in it as George and Gil, two elderly self-absorbed New Yorkers premiering their original play-within-a-play. Based on a sketch the duo performed on Kroll Show, the play delivers the exact type of bizarre humor and specific pop culture references fans of the comedians have come to love. Truly, I laughed harder than ever when I saw the show in person, and the Netflix special captures a great deal of that spark.

When it’s funny, it’s hilarious. The joke-per-minute count in Oh, Hello is astonishing. One of the many benefits of having it on Netflix is the ability to pause or turn on captioning so you don’t miss any jokes drowned out by laughter. And this laughter lasts throughout most of the 90 minute special. Unfortunately, toward the end of the show, they revisit an extended parody of over-dramatic arguments in theater. This really slows down the otherwise quick pace of the play, so it drags a bit to its ending. That is to say, it’s about ten minutes longer than it should have been. Too much of a good thing, etc.

If you’re hesitant to watch it because of its concept, I assure you that the old man characters are far less annoying than they seem, with very little of the show’s humor coming from their broad cartoonish stereotypes. Instead, we’re treated to the strangest hour and a half imaginable, filled with proudly inaccessible references and spot on parodies of theatrical conventions. Once again, I stress that it is predominantly funny, and when it is funny, Netflix’s Oh, Hello is one of the best pieces of comedy I have ever seen.  Do yourself a favor and check it out.

4 out of 5