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42 Years Later, This Mel Brooks Hit Is Getting a Sequel on Hulu


Mel Brooks as King Louis XVI in 'History of the World, Part I'

Mel Brooks’s movies are some of the funniest films ever made. I grew up watching his comedy and still love revisiting his films. History of the World, Part I, released in 1981, is one of Brooks’s more well-known movies. It takes a comical look at human history through stories highlighting different eras, starting with the first humans developing fire and culture. Then we jump to ancient Rome, the Spanish Inquisition (look out, sin!), and the French Revolution.

At the end of History of the World, Part I, Brooks promised that a sequel was “coming soon.” The supposed preview featured highlights from “Hitler on Ice,” “a Viking funeral,” and a Star Wars/The Muppet Show “Pigs in Space” parody called “Jews in Space.” A mere 42 years later, we are finally getting the sequel to History of the World, Part I—as a TV series on Hulu.

History of the World, Part II, coming soon!

We know it will highlight the American Civil War and the Russian Revolution, and more. In what feels like a miracle, Brooks returned as a writer for History of the World, Part II. Entertainment Weekly released some first-look photos for the eight-episode series, which comes out later this year. The images show comedians Nick Kroll, Wanda Sykes, and Ike Barinholtz playing different historical roles. In one image, all three are dressed as commentators in front of an ice skating rink (“Hitler on Ice”?!). They also show Wanda Sykes as Shirley Chisholm (the first Black woman elected to Congress) and Ike Barinholtz as Leon Trotsky. also listed Johnny Knoxville as playing “Russian mystic” Rasputin, which is giving me all kinds of feelings.

Mel Brooks’s movies aren’t just funny, they also mock power imbalances in America. Sure, not all the jokes have aged perfectly, but Brooks’s brilliance makes sure everyone takes a hit. The commentary on how the rich treat the poor in History of the World, Part I is still relevant today. My favorite joke occurs during the French Revolution segment, when King Louis laments how he loves the poor people of France—before having his servants toss them in the air like clay pigeons for shooting practice. I feel that scene in my bones every time funding is cut for social programs.

The only disappointing thing about the sequel is that Madeline Kahn, one of the best parts of any Brooks film, passed away in 1999, and her absence will be felt. Other than that, I can’t wait. What are you hoping to see in History of the World, Part II?

(featured image: 20th Century Studios)

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D.R. Medlen is secretly a selkie that will one day return to the sea. In the meantime, she spends her days fangirling over anything from comic books to folklore podcasts, and everything in between. She lives that hobbitcore life while teaching her offspring the ways of the nerd.