John Mulaney and Nick Kroll’s Oh Hello routine became a play last December (presented at the Cherry Lane Theatre), and now it’s just opened as a Broadway production, running from now until January 8, with, it turns out, some rather impressive understudies. Likely waiting for John Mulaney and Nick Kroll to slip on a discarded wig or frown themselves into a coma so they can finally get their moment in the spotlight are none other than Mad Men‘s Jon Hamm and John Slattery — or so they’re listed in the show’s Playbill.
The Hollywood Reporter caught up with Hamm at the opening of the production, where he told them, “It’s very smart — they clearly chose us for a reason! Those boys aren’t getting any younger, so you never know if there’s gonna be a fall backstage. John and Nick are good friends of both John and I, so it’s a fun meta moment we were able to put into the show with them.”
Meanwhile, Kroll and Mulaney also spoke to the publication about their reasons for choosing these actors. Kroll said, “You need a less talented version of yourself up there,” and Mulaney confirmed — “they’re TV guys and we’re the serious theater actors.”
Hamm is understudying for Mulaney as George St. Geegland, while Slattery is hypothetically (in case of an accident) taking on Kroll’s role — Gil Faizon. (Though this all seems like a joke, even if they really did intend to take on the roles as understudies, it’d be unlikely for them to ever get stage time if Mulaney or Kroll were merely sick; “There would be nothing better than if George of Gil were physically sick onstage,” Kroll told THR, and Mulaney added that he’s “been deeply ill” while doing the show — and it only improved it.)
Each “understudy” wrote their own biography in the program, which has been circulating a bit on Twitter: