History of the World, Part II
GenreSketch comedy
Based onHistory of the World, Part I
by Mel Brooks
Starring
Narrated byMel Brooks
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes8
Production
Executive producers
  • Mel Brooks
  • Wanda Sykes
  • Nick Kroll
  • Ike Barinholtz
  • David Stassen
  • Kevin Salter
  • Christie Smith
Running time29−31 minutes
Production companies
Original release
NetworkHulu
ReleaseMarch 6 (2023-03-06) –
March 9, 2023 (2023-03-09)

History of the World, Part II is an American sketch comedy limited series written and produced by Mel Brooks, Wanda Sykes, Nick Kroll, Ike Barinholtz, and David Stassen. The series serves as a sequel to the 1981 film written and directed by Brooks, with sketches parodying events from different periods of human history and legend.[1][2] It premiered on March 6, 2023, on Hulu.[3]

Cast

The cast features a large ensemble, including a core of several regulars who are also among the series writers:[4][5]

Main

Recurring

Episodes

No.TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal release date [6]
1"I"Alice Mathias, David Stassen, Nick Kroll, Lance BangsIke Barinholtz, Emmy Blotnick, Guy Branum, Mel Brooks, Owen Burke, Adam Countee, Lance Crouther, Ana Fabrega, Fran Gillespie, Janelle James, Jennifer Kim, Nick Kroll, Sergio Serna, David Stassen, Wanda SykesMarch 6, 2023 (2023-03-06)

In 1865, President Abraham Lincoln instructs Ulysses S. Grant to look after his son, Robert, as the Civil War nears its end. The Romanovs are murdered and Princess Anastasia is kidnapped at the dawn of the Russian Revolution. A family of Jewish shtetl dwellers decides to leave for Moscow, and later Rasputin is murdered by the cast of Jackass.

In 400 BCE India, Vātsyāyana pitches the Kama Sutra as a cookbook. Three cavewomen discover fire while struggling to light a joint. A new hire struggles to fit into William Shakespeare's writers' room. Sports commentators react to Hitler on Ice.
2"II"Alice Mathias, David StassenIke Barinholtz, Emmy Blotnick, Guy Branum, Mel Brooks, Owen Burke, Adam Countee, Lance Crouther, Ana Fabrega, Fran Gillespie, Janelle James, Jennifer Kim, Nick Kroll, Sergio Serna, David Stassen, Wanda SykesMarch 6, 2023 (2023-03-06)

A group of soldiers get seasick on D-Day. Kublai Khan and Marco Polo exchange gifts. In a parody of Curb Your Enthusiasm, Judas is hired to betray Jesus for thirty pieces of silver. He and Luke go to Peter's one-man show, where he delivers the Kiss of Judas.

In 1972, New York Representative Shirley Chisholm becomes the first black woman contender for the Democratic Party nomination for the US Presidency; she makes a sitcom about her life. She invites her boss, Richard Nixon, over for dinner and gets inspired to run for president. Grant and Robert Todd Lincoln head to Rock Ridge (no, not that Rock Ridge), West Virginia in search of liquor but end up held at gunpoint in a saloon.
3"III"Alice Mathias, David StassenIke Barinholtz, Emmy Blotnick, Guy Branum, Mel Brooks, Owen Burke, Adam Countee, Lance Crouther, Ana Fabrega, Fran Gillespie, Janelle James, Jennifer Kim, Nick Kroll, Sergio Serna, David Stassen, Wanda SykesMarch 7, 2023 (2023-03-07)
After inventing the telephone, Alexander Graham Bell gets the first crank call. Noah fills his ark with only dogs. Sigmund Freud gives a MasterClass on psychoanalysis. Three Union soldiers get lost while attempting to rescue Grant from West Virginia. They stumble upon the Underground Railroad where Harriet Tubman points them in the right direction. In Moscow, Schmuck Mudman gets a job serving lunch to Vladimir Lenin’s politburo, where a bullied Joseph Stalin dreams of taking charge. Schmuck’s wife, Fanny, plots Lenin’s assassination. Their son, Joshy, finds Princess Anastasia in hiding and the two fall in love.
4"IV"Alice Mathias, David Stassen, Nick Kroll, Lance BangsIke Barinholtz, Emmy Blotnick, Guy Branum, Mel Brooks, Owen Burke, Adam Countee, Lance Crouther, Ana Fabrega, Fran Gillespie, Janelle James, Jennifer Kim, Nick Kroll, Sergio Serna, David Stassen, Wanda SykesMarch 7, 2023 (2023-03-07)
In Mesoamerica, a sacrificial virgin tries to claim she's had sex. In Russia, Fanny uses her husband's food cart to sneak into the politburo chambers and shoot Lenin, with Stalin secretly helping him die. Joshy and Anastasia announce their engagement, and the family decides to emigrate to America. In ancient Judea, Jesus and Mary Magdalene have their first date. In ancient Egypt, a scam artist entices a couple with a pyramid pyramid scheme.
5"V"Alice Mathias, Lance BangsIke Barinholtz, Emmy Blotnick, Guy Branum, Mel Brooks, Owen Burke, Adam Countee, Lance Crouther, Ana Fabrega, Fran Gillespie, Janelle James, Jennifer Kim, Nick Kroll, Sergio Serna, David Stassen, Wanda SykesMarch 8, 2023 (2023-03-08)
Galileo appears on Cameo and TikTok. General Grant and Robert Todd Lincoln are rescued by Harriet Tubman. Shirley Chisholm visits George Wallace in the hospital. The photographers at the Yalta Conference try to make things fun.
6"VI"Alice Mathias, David StassenIke Barinholtz, Emmy Blotnick, Guy Branum, Mel Brooks, Owen Burke, Adam Countee, Lance Crouther, Ana Fabrega, Fran Gillespie, Janelle James, Jennifer Kim, Nick Kroll, Sergio Serna, David Stassen, Wanda SykesMarch 8, 2023 (2023-03-08)
Jesus and the Apostles have their last jam session. Generals Grant and Lee attempt to sign the treaty at Appomattox Courthouse, but an officious notary wants to do everything by the book. Kublai Khan explains how he's probably your ancestor. A businessman touts his business of removing and reselling controversial statues. Amelia Earhart and Bessie Coleman advertise their "pilot bar" in the Bermuda Triangle.
7"VII"Alice MathiasIke Barinholtz, Emmy Blotnick, Guy Branum, Mel Brooks, Owen Burke, Adam Countee, Lance Crouther, Ana Fabrega, Fran Gillespie, Janelle James, Jennifer Kim, Nick Kroll, Sergio Serna, David Stassen, Wanda SykesMarch 9, 2023 (2023-03-09)
At the Oslo Peace Accords, the factions argue over which people first created hummus. Shirley Chisholm and her husband relax at the Watergate Hotel, as Shirley tries to impress Jesse Jackson and Gloria Steinem, whose caucuses are also meeting there. Typhoid Mary livestreams her cooking show. Jesus and the Apostles give their rooftop sermon. The Real Concubines of Kublai Khan argue over the great Khan's affections.
8"VIII"Alice Mathias, David Stassen, Nick KrollIke Barinholtz, Emmy Blotnick, Guy Branum, Mel Brooks, Owen Burke, Adam Countee, Lance Crouther, Ana Fabrega, Fran Gillespie, Janelle James, Jennifer Kim, Nick Kroll, Sergio Serna, David Stassen, Wanda SykesMarch 9, 2023 (2023-03-09)
Two East Berliners accidentally tunnel into a man's bathroom. The First Council of Nicaea decides to retroactively make Jesus white, eventually turning him into an action movie star. Teddy Roosevelt shills for his bodybuilding course. The Chisholms travel to the 1972 Democratic National Convention. A "preview" of what's to come for next season, including The Great Fascist Bake Off, the Dust Bowl (grainy footage of a football game), and Jews in Space!

Production

Despite the numeration History of the World, Part I, there were initially no plans for a sequel to the 1981 film.[7] The title was a play on The History of the World by Sir Walter Raleigh, which was intended to be published in several volumes but only the first was completed.[8][9]

However, in October 2021, Hulu and Searchlight Television announced the Part II sequel series was in the works, with production beginning in spring 2022. Mel Brooks would produce and write the series along with Wanda Sykes, Ike Barinholtz, and Nick Kroll, who would also appear.[10]

Release

The first two episodes premiered on Hulu on March 6, 2023, with the remaining episodes released over the following three days.[11] It was released internationally on the same day as an original series on Disney+, under the dedicated streaming hub Star, on Disney+ Hotstar, and on Star+ in Latin America.[12]

Reception

Audience viewership

According to Hulu, History of the World, Part II was the most-watched Hulu Original scripted original series of 2023 in its first week of launch.[13][14]

Critical response

On the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, 73% of 51 critics' reviews are positive, with an average rating of 6.3/10. The website's consensus reads: "Nick Kroll takes up the torch from Mel Brooks and does him proud with an all-star sketch series that's just as uproariously funny — and as hit-and-miss — as the original motion picture."[15] Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, assigned a score of 64 out of 100 based on 22 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews."[16]

Accolades

Year Award Category Nominee(s) Result Ref.
2023 Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Picture Editing for Variety Programming Angel Gamboa Bryant, Stephanie Filo, Daniel Flesher and George Mandl (Episode: "III") Nominated [17]
Outstanding Character Voice-Over Performance Mel Brooks (Episode: "VIII") Nominated [18]
2024 Art Directors Guild Awards Excellence in Production Design for a Variety, Reality, or Competition Series Monica Sotto (for "VIII") Pending [19]

Future

David Stassen has said that he would be on board for a Part III and would love to feature more historical figures and eras. Pamela Adlon also said she would love to be involved in a second season. Jay Ellis, who plays Jesus Christ, said he'd like to play Mayor Eric Adams, while Zazie Beetz, who plays Mary Magdalene, said she would be interested in playing Josephine Baker. Josh Gad, who plays William Shakespeare, said if he were given another go at it that he would like to play a young Seth Rogen.[20]

References

  1. ^ Clark, Mickel (February 24, 2023). "Everything you need to know about History of the World II". TheStreamBible.com.
  2. ^ Rice, Lynette (January 13, 2023). "'History Of The World, Part II': Hulu Drops Official Trailer For Mel Brooks Sequel Series". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved February 28, 2023.
  3. ^ Sheehan, Sofia (March 5, 2023). "Where to Watch 'History of the World, Part II': Stream Mel Brooks' Highly-Anticipated Sequel". Collider. Retrieved 2023-06-23.
  4. ^ Huff, Lauren (February 6, 2023). "'History of the World Part II' reveals massive starry guest cast and (some) character names". EW.com. Retrieved February 28, 2023.
  5. ^ Flam, Charna (February 7, 2023). "'History of the World, Part II': Hulu Releases First Trailer For Mel Brooks' Sequel Series (TV News Roundup)". Variety. Retrieved February 28, 2023.
  6. ^ "History of the World, Part II Episode Listings". The Futon Critic. Retrieved March 6, 2023.
  7. ^ Berkowitz, Joe (January 3, 2013). "How I Got My EGOT: 12 Lessons Mel Brooks Learned Making TV, Albums, Movies, and Theater". Fast Company. Retrieved March 2, 2023.
  8. ^ Raleigh, Sir Walter. "The History of the World" (PDF). University of Washington.
  9. ^ Motamayor, Rafael (January 18, 2023). "One Of History Of The World, Part I's Most Memorable Jokes Was A Last-Minute Addition From Mel Brooks". /Film. Retrieved March 2, 2023.
  10. ^ Otterson, Joe (October 18, 2021). "'History of the World Part II' Variety Series Ordered at Hulu, Mel Brooks to Write and Executive Produce (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Archived from the original on October 18, 2021. Retrieved October 20, 2021.
  11. ^ Kelley, Aidan (2023-01-21). "'History of the World: Part II': Release Date, Cast, Trailer, and Everything We Know so Far". Collider. Retrieved 2023-06-23.
  12. ^ "History of the World, Part II". Disney+. Retrieved March 7, 2023.
  13. ^ Seitz, Loree (March 21, 2023). "'History of the World, Part II' Becomes Hulu's Most Watched Scripted Original of 2023 (Exclusive)". TheWrap. Retrieved 2023-06-23.
  14. ^ Bart, Lily (April 27, 2023). "Record-Breaking Viewership for History of the World Part 2: Becomes a Must-Watch". ScreenBinge.com. Retrieved 2023-07-28.
  15. ^ "History of the World: Part II". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved March 10, 2023.
  16. ^ History of the World, Part II, Metacritic, retrieved 2023-06-23
  17. ^ Rice, Lynette; Hipes, Patrick (July 12, 2023). "Primetime Emmy Awards Nominations: The Complete List". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 2023-07-28.
  18. ^ Czachor, Emily Mae (July 12, 2023). "2023 Emmy Awards: "Succession" leads nominees as HBO ties record - CBS News". CBS News. Retrieved 2023-07-28.
  19. ^ Tangcay, Jazz (January 9, 2024). "Saltburn, Oppenheimer, Killers of the Flower Moon Lead Art Directors Guild 2024 Nominations". Variety. Retrieved 2024-01-09.
  20. ^ Burton, James. "Will 'History of the World Part 2' Get Another Season? Cast Talk Show's Fate". Newsweek. Retrieved 9 March 2023.