‘Oh, Hello’ review: A must-see for cranky New Yorkers


Nick Kroll and John Mulaney’s eccentric and enjoyable two-man comedy routine “Oh, Hello,” which gained popularity on Comedy Central’s “Kroll Show” and is now playing a limited run on Broadway, is intended for aging, oddball, scruffy, cranky, culturally (if not authentically) Jewish New Yorkers — and anyone else who identifies with or appreciates the same demographic.

Wearing outdated and unfashionable attire (including sandals with socks) and gray wigs, Kroll and Mulaney play Gil Faizon and George St. Geegland, respectively, who are single and out of work and have lived together in a rent-controlled apartment on the Upper West Side for decades.

There is a wisp of a storyline and even a dream ballet, but “Oh, Hello” is primarily a vehicle for the duo to kvetch and kvell about everything under the sun (from classic dramas, Alan Alda and Steely Dan to the closed Judaica store around the street) and long nostalgically for the bygone days of New York in the 1970s.

Gil and George are pretty shameless. Their makeshift set is made up of bits and pieces from various earlier productions, ranging from the “Fiddler on the Roof” curtain to salon chairs from “Steel Magnolias.” They will point out to the crowd how expensive a scenic effect looks or the magnitude of climactic moment.

They also have a talk show, “Too Much Tuna,” where a celeb guest is invited to lunch upon an oversized tuna sandwich. Each performance of “Oh, Hello” features a different guest star, some of whom have already included Seth Meyers, Katie Couric, Bobby Cannavale and Fred Savage.

As staged by Alex Timbers (the freethinking director behind “Peter and the Starcatcher” and “Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson”), “Oh, Hello” is 95 minutes of politically incorrect, gleefully silly fun. Jon Hamm and John Slattery apparently serve as understudies (at least according to the playbill), but I’d recommend sticking with Kroll and Mulaney.

 

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