Monday, March 13, 2023

What I’m Watching: History of the World Part II

History of the World Part II: Season 1, Episode 5 “Part V” (B+)

I’m much more used to seeing Tyler James Williams and Tim Baltz in comedy, on “Abbott Elementary” and “The Righteous Gemstones,” respectively, but it’s a nice treat to see Zahn McClarnon, a dramatic actor from “Longmire,” “Westworld,” and “Dark Winds,” in this humorous setup. His standup set about how you might be a colonizer was entertaining, as was the performance of the song “Fuck the North.” I liked that Grant tried to do the “he’s trying to escape” bit that was a clear call-back to “Blazing Saddles,” and that they ultimately survived thanks only to the timely intervention of one Harriet Tubman after the younger Lincoln tried to talk forever so that they wouldn’t kill them. Whispering the plan to a fourth person and needing to turn the looking glass around were other great moments from what may now be this show’s longest-running sketch. The incomprehensible speech by the West Virginians was also amusing, and I think this show succeeds best at mocking American concepts rather than the entire history of the world that it seeks to cover. The “Shirley” sitcom had some highlights too, like her visit to see a hospitalized George Wallace. The Yalta Conference photoshoot was typically absurd, as were the Galilameo iPhone bits featuring Nick Kroll, who I do believe may be this show’s MVP. We’re done with Shmuck Mendrick, but he continues to take on new characters and imbue them with a particular hilarity in every episode, capturing the unique tone of this show perfectly.

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