When John Mulaney and Nick Kroll told Marc Maron who they wanted for “Oh, Hello on Broadway,” they mentioned that Alan Alda, Bernie Sanders, and Donald Trump’s doctor were on their wish list. After all, they’re rich man’s versions of Gil Faizon and George St. Geegland, the creepy, crusty Upper West Side roommates who rose to fame as characters on Kroll Show. Last night at the Lyceum Theatre, Donald’s doc failed to show up, but there were plenty of Trump jokes when Katie Couric made a surprise appearance.
“Oh, Hello on Broadway” is currently in previews, with an opening set for October 10, so I won’t say too much about it in general. The plot will be familiar to you if you saw an earlier production at the Cherry Lane Theatre in the West Village. If you haven’t and you’re worried the jokes will be as stale as a plate of month-old tuna, don’t be. Gil and George’s departure from their rent-controlled department does factor in, but otherwise very little of the material has been recycled from Kroll Show and their standup riffing– for instance, they’ve scrapped a riff about being old pals with Bernard Sanders back in the Burlington Three days.
Actually, there’s not a lot of politics in the show, with the exception of a crack about how their set’s trap door was recycled from The Diary of Anne Frank— “not to be confused with the diarrhea of Barney Frank.” (Even Kroll cracked up on that one last night as he delivered the line.)
But, of course, there was no ignoring last night’s debate when Couric took the stage to be a guest on Too Much Tuna. (She had heard Jon Hamm did it, and indeed he’s in the playbill along with his Mad Men co-star John Slattery, though neither showed up last night.) The Yahoo News anchor noticed Gil Faizon’s “I Voted” sticker and was informed that it was from 1988, when his ballot was thrown out because he misspelled Mike Dukakis (he unwittingly voted for “two Cocka’ Spaniels” instead).
Eventually, St. Geegland got around to asking Couric what she thought of the debate.
“Oh, really?” the former Today, 60 Minutes, and CBS Morning News journalist demurred, to the delight of the audience.
“Who do you think is more qualified to be president,” Faizon pressed. “Hillary Clinton or the man with a butthole for a mouth?” When that got the sort of audience reaction that could easily get under the thin skin of a litigious man, Faizon made sure to add: “Allegedly.”
St. Geegland asked Couric if she had met Barron Trump– “because he’s going to be the head of cyber security.”
Eventually, Faizon realized that Couric hadn’t said much, and let her know that he and St. Geegland were happy to just keep bantering over her.
“I feel like Lester Holt,” Couric said, referring to the debate’s milquetoast moderator. As soon as she mentioned the news anchor at her former employer NBC, the audience completely lost it and George St. Geegland rose to clap.
“I would’ve stood up for you but I got a big hard-on after that one,” said Faizon.
“Oh, Hello on Broadway” continues through Jan. 8 at Lyceum Theatre, 149 W 45th St.; tickets $37 (limited rush tickets at theater) to $250.