Nick Kroll and John Mulaney have been channeling eccentric, cantankerous, tuna-loving old men Gil Faizon and George St. Geegland for over a decade, but when it came to filming their Netflix special Oh, Hello On Broadway, they decided to add a new, darkly cruel undercurrent to their tried-and-true characters.
In past iterations, most notably skits on Kroll's Comedy Central sketch series The Kroll Show, Gil and George have always complained and bickered about the world around them, but never one another. It felt like it was always them against the world.
But in Netflix's Oh, Hello On Broadway, which is currently available to stream, the comedians twist the characters, revealing that Mulaney's George is actually a vicious bully to Kroll's Gil behind the scenes.
Elite Daily caught up with John Mulaney and Nick Kroll to talk about the added cruelty in their characters, and how John grew to love yelling at Nick night after night.
Elite Daily: One of the things that stood out to me, knowing the characters from like the Kroll Show skits and everything before, is in those like earlier skits you see them as such good friends and you think, “They hate everyone else, but they're always with each other –”
John Mulaney: Yeah, I had a problem with that. I didn't like it at first. It was Largo where we decided that [Gil and George] would fight. It was the Largo show in LA, and I was like, 'Nah, nah, it's them against the world, we shouldn't do this.' And I remember the first time we ran it, I was like, 'I don't like yelling at Gil.' And by the end of Broadway, I loved yelling at Gil. And I would stomp my feet – I loved screaming and being mad so much. But the first time, I was like, 'No, no, it should be them versus the world. They prank other people; they don't get pranked.'
Nick Kroll: Every night when George starts reprimanding Gil for the show, breaking the fourth wall, every night right by the staircase, when [to John] you're like, 'You think if you OD'ed anyone would give a shit.' It was stuff like that and then it was like whatever –
JM: Like 'You're God's bottom.'
NK: So every night it was a different thing.
JM: That white-hot meanness was so fun. And it also helped us really dial into the emotional arc of Oh, Hello. At a certain point it's so fun to do but when you're doing it 138 times you're like, 'Tonight I'm just gonna be like: I'm George and I'm mean!'
Other Journalist: So when the decision came to have that conflict with one another, how did you decide who was going to be kind of the instigator?
JM: Well, because George was always a little meaner to people during the prankings, and a little blissfully unaware of how cruel he was and how misogynistic he was... but he does have a daughter, so he's a good guy. He's a good dad like Louie. So that might have been it. I always was a little meaner to guests. But what became evident was because I never yell at anyone in real life I have so much saved up. So it was always there.
NK: I think it's a chance for both of us to exercise different things. Someone at some point described the show to us as 'George is an asshole and Gil is a baby.' There's a thing where John doesn't get to be an asshole, so playing George was really fun and I'm sure a release.
JM: Such a release. And then when the show was over, I would go to the gym for hours and get in physical therapy because I got this thing out of my system every night, where I got be like 'You're f—ing dirt compared to me,' — that type of thing.
NK: For me, you know, I like to have fun, but Gil is a true child who likes to be led around.
JM: Nick is very sharp and Gil gets rat f**ked every night.
Oh, Hello On Broadway is available to stream now on Netflix.