When Mel Brooks’ History of the World, Part I premiered more than 40 years ago, it was essentially an elaborate sketch comedy show in movie form. And that’s the same spirit that comedians Ike Barinholtz, Nick Kroll and Wanda Sykes have brought to the long-awaited History of the World, Part II, streaming on Hulu this week.
“When we were conceiving the show, we really just kept going back to the movie as our North Star, structurally, the way it lays out, where you have a couple of longer sequences and then just quick hits and a couple of things in between,” Barinholtz told The Last Laugh podcast this week. “And we felt we could emulate that in the series, where we have a couple of stories that are bigger in scope that you’re following over multiple sketches, and then give you just real fast one-offs and keep the energy going.”
One of those “one-offs” is a commercial parody of Ancestry.com that you can see in the exclusive clip below.
Along with Barinholtz and Sykes, comedians Margaret Cho, Kulap Vilaysack and Bobby Lee wonder why they are the way they are. The Daily Show’s Ronny Chieng, as Kublai Khan, offers up an answer: “I had sex with all these people’s ancestors.”
“And you can find out if you are my progeny as well by signing up for Khancestry.com,” he says. “So you might be asking yourself, what is all this shit about? Genghis Khan, AKA my grandpa Genghy, started the biggest empire the world has ever seen. And I took that shit to the next level by creating trade routes to the West, establishing currency and balling my brains out!”
As Barinholtz’s character explains, “I cheated on my wife for years and I never knew why. It’s literally in my DNA to spread my seed as far and as wide as possible.”
“You know, I’m related to Kublai too, and I didn’t fuck the babysitter!” Sykes replies.
For more, listen to Ike Barinholtz on The Last Laugh podcast.