At last! "History of the World Part II" is finally being made – prepare for “phoney baloney stories"

It's good to be the king again! Mel Brooks will make the long-awaited sequel to his 1981 film as a series for Hulu

Published October 18, 2021 10:24PM (EDT)

Mel Brooks in History of the World: Part I (1981) (20th Century Fox)
Mel Brooks in History of the World: Part I (1981) (20th Century Fox)

It's good to be the king . . .  again! More than 40 years since the release of "History of the World, Part I," Mel Brooks & Co. are back with an eight-part sequel series titled — you guessed it! — "History of the World, Part II." It took long enough.

On Monday, Hulu announced the comedy-variety series will begin production this coming spring, while the writers' room convenes this month. Brooks – who is a spry 95 years young – will return as a writer and executive producer to the sequel series, along with familiar young comedic names like "Big Mouth" co-creator Nick Kroll, Wanda Sykes, Ike Barinholtz of "The Mindy Project," David Stassen and Kevin Salter. But little else has been revealed about casting, plot or historical events to be included in this iteration of "History of the World."

"I can't wait to once more tell the real truth about all the phony baloney stories the world has been conned into believing are History!" Brooks said in a statement released by Hulu. 

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You'll recall that "History of the World, Part I" explores comedic retellings of the Stone Age, the Old Testament of the Bible, the Roman Empire, the Spanish Inquisition, and the French Revolution. 

In the original movie's most memorable scenes, Brooks is Moses during the Old Testament arc of "Part I," announcing the original 15 commandments, before dropping five of the tablets and announcing, instead, the 10 commandments. Under the Roman Empire, Brooks is a stand-up comedian, Comicus, employed at different points by the doomed Julius Caesar and the notoriously cruel Emperor Nero. In the early days of the French Revolution, aka the most iconic and violent class war in history, Brooks is King Louis, shocked upon being informed that the peasants don't exactly like him.

As for what delights "History of the World, Part II" will hold, the final moments of "Part I" may offer some insights. "Part I" ends with a joke trailer for the next installment, promising to include plot lines like Hitler on Ice, stories of the Vikings, and "Jews in Space," which would parody "Star Wars" and "The Muppet Show." (Or you know, maybe that was "Spaceballs.") That trailer, of course, wasn't intended to be taken seriously, as there were no plans at that point for a sequel.

And as the decades wore on, the lack of sequel seemed like the ultimate joke of all. Until now.

With "Part II" now confirmed and in the works, the last 40 years since the release of "Part I" contain more than enough content for an eight-part series, alone, between the end of the Cold War, the internet, the 2016 presidential election, the global COVID pandemic, and more. 

Of course, there would be no "Part II" if not for how well "History of the World, Part I" has stood the test of time, with its scathing and hilarious critiques of racism, sexim, wealth inequality and violence. It's the sort of satire we need more than ever today, as these potent forces, ripe for mocking and derision, persist.

It's unclear yet when "History of the World, Part II" will release on Hulu, but with every day of 2020 and much of 2021 feeling like history being made, "Part II" certainly has our attention

By Kylie Cheung

Kylie Cheung is a staff writer at Salon covering culture. She is also the author of "A Woman's Place," a collection of feminist essays. You can follow her work on Twitter @kylietcheung.

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