Interviews: Nick Kroll, Ike Barinholtz, and more discuss History of the World Part II

The stars, writers, and directors of the sequel to Mel Brooks iconic comedy film discuss the new series

Forty-two years ago, Mel Brooks delivered the perfectly titled sketch comedy movie History of the World Part I. At the end of the satirical and scatalogical look at history from cavemen to contemporary events, Brooks included a fake trailer for a sequel showcasing Hitler on Ice and Jews in Space. Never meant to be a real follow-up; I still would have people asking for the movie when I worked at Blockbuster back in the day. Now, decades later, the streaming wars have allowed this long fictional follow-up to become a reality thanks to a new generation of comedians ready to skewer events not featured in the original film. History of the World Part II, an eight episode series, continues the formula Mel Brooks made popular. Featuring a bevvy of comedians and celebrity cameos, this new look at history takes on events ranging from The Russian Revolution to the Civil War, Jesus and the Apostles, to the legacy of Shirley Chisholm. While Mel Brooks appears in the opening sequence of the series and serves as narrator throughout, this series is the brainchild of Nick Kroll, Ike Barinholtz, and Wanda Sykes. Teaming with a writer’s room of hilarious depth, this new series continues to mock everything and everyone with merciless abandon, and you will be laughing the whole way.

I had the chance to talk about History of the World Part II with Nick Kroll and Ike Barinholtz, as well as series showrunner David Stassen and director Alice Matthias. Kroll and Barinholtz, who both serve as writers and stars of the series, talked about the legacy of Mel Brooks and how it felt carrying on his legacy with this series. Kroll teased that he and Ike dropped acid before our interview, hence the fun they had with me talking about our experiences at Hebrew school and beyond. David Stassen spoke about their approach to dividing each episode’s content and how it differed from the movie. At the same time, Alice Matthias picked which sketch was the most logistically challenging to execute. Check out the full interview in the embed above.

History of the World Part II premieres on March 6th on Hulu. Read our review here.


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Alex Maidy has been a editor, columnist, and critic since 2012. A Rotten Tomatoes-approved critic and a member of Chicago Indie Critics, Alex has been's primary TV critic and ran columns including Top Ten and The UnPopular Opinion. When not riling up fans with his hot takes, Alex is an avid reader and aspiring novelist.