Comedians and costars Nick Kroll and John Mulaney sat down with Yahoo Global News Anchor Katie Couric to discuss their new Broadway play Oh, Hello and their longstanding friendship since college. The pair also discussed how they got into comedy, the origins of ‘Oh, Hello,’ and some of the famous faces who have stopped by the show and have been picked out of the audience – including Lena Dunham, Jimmy Kimmel, Aziz Ansari, Ira Glass, Will Forte, Fred Savage, and even Couric herself.
Interview highlights include:
Kroll on how the concept of characters came about: “We were friends that did improve in college at Georgetown…We were living in New York and were walking around The Strand bookstore one day. For folks that don’t know it’s a bookstore in New York who’s slogan is ‘8 Miles of Books.’ We saw these two older gentleman both buying their own copies of Alan Alda’s autobiography ‘Never Have Your Dog Stuffed”…We follow them, we watch them read their book together at a coffee shop. I mean these guys won’t share a book but they probably share a murphy bed…They became a symbol for a specific kind of person that we’ve been interested in for a while.”
Mulaney on getting to Broadway: “I remember someone saying in the very early stages, ‘Guys, please understand “Oh, Hello” on Broadway would be a disaster. So then we did off Broadway. We were very lucky. We sold out our entire run in about 8 hours. These are all weird people but we sold out in 8 hours…There was something in the air….I remember we had a meeting, we were touring in Boston and we came to New York and we met with our producers and they were explaining how it would work to go to Broadway and….I was like ‘Oh man, this joke is about to become real.’”
Kroll on when he decided to go into comedy: “It felt like just the thing that I had wanted to do. When I graduated I moved to New York and started doing improv and sketches. Anything I could do. My friends and family lived in the New York area so they would come to my shows. I would qualify them as skeptically supportive…They didn’t know anyone who had succeeded at it. The truth is doing comedy and writing and acting felt like the one thing that didn’t feel like work. Even all the busy work that goes into it. If you find something you like to do you do it and do all the nonsense that goes with it. And if you love it you just accept the nonsense.”
Mulaney on Trump: “I had a joke about Trump that I think sadly grows in relevance. He’s not a rich man, he’s what a hobo imagines a rich man to be. Like he saw a guy over a garbage can [saying], ‘If my number ever comes in I’m gonna put up tall buildings with my name on ‘em and I’m going to have fine golden hair.’
Kroll on the origins of the sketch ‘Too Much Tuna’: ‘Too Much Tuna’ came up during a real meal with our friend Jessi Klein who I’ve been friends with for a long time who is Amy Schumer’s head writer…We were at a place in the West Village and we ordered a salad nicoise…it just had so much tuna on it we were like ‘This has too much tuna.’ And it just rolled off the tongue. When we were doing Kroll Show I pitched it to the writers room…There’s something about tuna that is funny…It’s such a wet sandwich. It’s delicious, it smells weird, it’s always being recalled.”