If you’ve been following the comedy world for the past decade, odds are you’ve heard those two words uttered in unison with sleazy ease dozens of times. Nick Kroll and John Mulaney have played the parts of Gil Faizon and George St. Geegland, respectively, moving on up from the underground NYC comedy scene to a bonafide stage on the Brd’way. These two old and crusty curmudgeons have now made the jump to the streaming thanks to the new Netflix special Oh, Hello On Broadway.
There’s a reason that this pair of gabbing Upper West Side senior citizens with little tact and mostly bad opinions have persisted: they’re real. Literally, Gil and George are based on two turtleneck-wearing gentlemen that Mulaney and Kroll observed in the early ’00s while shopping at beloved NYC bookstore the Strand. Both men, who were probably not named Gil and George, purchased copies of Alan Alda’s Never Have Your Dog Stuffed: And Other Things I’ve Learned and then relocated to a coffee shop to begin a presumably weekly (daily?) gabfest.
The two men made an impression on Kroll and Mulaney, who based Gil Faizon and George St. Geegland on them. The duo began hosting a comedy show at the now closed comedy club Rififi in character, which led to an Oh, Hello web series in 2008.
When Nick Kroll launched Kroll Show on Comedy Central, the characters were a no brainer for inclusion. Mulaney appeared on Kroll Show as George St. Geegland 11 times starting in January 2013, introducing the world to the timeless prank that is too much tuna.
Yeah, the prank show pretty much boils down to Gil and George setting up a lunch date with someone, ordering a baseball-sized mound of tuna in between two slices of bread for their guest, and then impatiently waiting for them to say, “that’s too much tuna.”
Not every Kroll Show “Oh, Hello” sketch focused on Gil and George’s tuna-based prank show. The characters got fleshed out (in sometimes uncomfortable ways) in sketches like this one, set at George and Gil’s Y.
Another sketch revealed the danger of eating, you know, too much tuna.
Kroll Show ended in March 2015, but the Oh, Hello story was just beginning. The pair did an hourlong “interview” in character with NBC’s Willie Geist at New York’s 92Y in January 2015.
Oh, Hello made its Off-Broadway debut in December 2015, which put the pair in close proximity to late night shows (like Late Night with Seth Meyers). Here’s George and Gil taking up space on Seth’s couch in December 2015.
Gil and George went on the road after that, traveling cross country to Los Angeles to appear on IFC’s Comedy Bang! Bang! This appearance from June 2016 teases Oh, Hello‘s upcoming Brd’way debut, and also runs through the pair’s theatrical history (like their response to Cats, called Pugs).
Oh, Hello hit Broadway in September 2016, kicking off a 15-week engagement. When Conan O’Brien set up shop in New York for a week at the Apollo, the Upper West Side residents made the trip north to pay a visit.
For two clueless old dudes, Gil and George have an extensive assortment of videos on YouTube. The Oh, Hello Show channel is packed with videos from dozens of installments of the Broadway show’s star-studded “Too Much Tuna” segment. You can see Adam Driver react to being delivered too much tuna and too many confusing takes on “Stah’wars.”
Stephen Colbert dropped by once and talked about, of all things, angels.
Chris Pratt stopped by last December and faced a barrage of questions about filming movies off planet.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that of all the celebrities in the world, Leslie Jones was the first one to not play by Gil and George’s weird rules.
Now that Oh, Hello‘s Broadway run has concluded, the show will live on in the form of Netflix’s Oh, Hello On Broadway.
As final as a big Netflix special may seem, though, there’s definitely the chance that Kroll and Mulaney will revisit the characters sooner rather than later. These old blowhards have grown from being a hosting bit at a small comedy venue to having their own Netflix special. Could the world be ready for Too Much Tuna: The Movie?