History Of The World, Part II Cast: Where You've Seen The Stars Of Mel Brooks' New Hulu Comedy Series
They's making history by being hysterical.
By our count, there are 97 famous faces in the massive, star-studded History of the World, Part II cast — all of whom would be just a little too difficult to cover in one article. So, we decided to narrow our breakdown of who is starring in Mel Brooks’ aptly titled series sequel to his 1981 film, History of the World, Part I, to just the 18 names confirmed in the trailer for the new comedy TV show streaming on Hulu now. Let’s begin with the man who started it all.
We do not know who Mel Brooks is playing in History of the World, Part II, but hope he reprises some of his characters from the original (such as Moses and King Louis XVI), which is just one of the many classic spoof movies (such as Young Frankenstein, Blazing Saddles, and Spaceballs) that made him a legend. In more recent years, the Oscar winner (for writing 1967’s The Producers) has mostly done voice acting roles in movies like the Blue Sky favorite, Robots, the Hotel Transylvania movies was Vlad, Toy Story 4 as Melephant Brooks, and the Paws of Fury: The Legend of Hank cast as The Shogun.
Portraying multiple historical figures (including Alexander Graham Bell) is executive producer and former MADtv star Ike Barinholtz, who has also starred in parody movies like Disaster Movie and Vampires Suck, as well as more grounded comedies like Blockers and Neighbors and nuanced, dark satires like The Oath, which he also wrote and directed. The Mindy Project cast member’s career has also grown more eclectic after appearing in thrillers like Suicide Squad (before voicing Two-Face on the DC-inspired podcast, Batman: The Audio Adventures), The Hunt, and Netflix’s fantasy crime drama, Bright.
Also taking on multiple roles (such as Judas, according to THR) and executive producing is comedian Nick Kroll, who had his own sketch series called Kroll Show, following his appearances in movies like I Love You, Man and Dinner with Schmucks and his starring role on one of the funniest shows on Hulu, The League. Outside of lending his voice to the new Addams Family movies and the Sing movies, the Emmy-nominated co-creator of Netflix’s Big Mouth has also led a more eclectic career lately that includes joining the Don’t Worry Darling cast and the 2018 historical drama, Operation Finale.
Fellow History of the World, Part II headliner (appearing as Harriet Tubman in one sketch, for instance) and executive producer Wanda Sykes has one of the funniest stand-up specials on Paramount+, is a scene-stealer in movies like Down to Earth, Monster-in-Law, and Clerks II, and stars on a popular Netflix sitcom called The Upshaws. The recent Oscars host was also a highlight of other sitcoms like Curb Your Enthusiasm and The New Adventures of Old Christine and has leant her voice to movies like the Ice Age series and TV shows like Bob’s Burgers.
Pamela Adlon’s career began with a role in 1982’s Grease 2, leading to guest spots in acclaimed sitcoms like Night Court and The Jeffersons, and parts in cinematic favorites like Say Anything… She is best known, however, for her various voice acting roles — such as her Emmy-winning work in the King of the Hill cast as Bobby Hill and Netflix’s Human Resources cast with Kroll — and leading the FX dramedy, Better Things, which she also co-created.
Appearing as Mary Magdalene (according to Time) is Zazie Beetz, who rose to fame as one of the four main stars of FX’s Atlanta in her Emmy-nominated role as Vanessa. Soon after, the German-American actor earned comic book movie roles (Domino in Deadpool 2 and Joaquin Phoenix’s love interest in Joker), leant her voice to a comic book TV show (Amazon Prime’s Invincible cast), played a disguised assassin in the Bullet Train cast, and is set to appear on Black Mirror Season 6, next.
Jack Black once paid tribute to Mel Brooks at the Kennedy Center Honors by performing a song from Robin Hood: Men in Tights and earned the chance to do so by being one of the most popular comedic actors of his time after starring in movies like High Fidelity and School of Rock — the latter of which earned him his first Golden Globe nomination — to name a few. Some of the actor and musician’s best-known work also includes Peter Jackson’s King Kong remake, director Ben Stiller’s Tropic Thunder, voicing Po in the Kung Fu Panda franchise, and the last couple of Jumanji movies.
Jack Black’s Weird: The Al Yankovic Story co-star, Quinta Brunson (she played Oprah), has quickly become one of the most prominent faces in comedy following her Emmy-winning work as the creator and star of Abbott Elementary. Prior to that, she appeared alongside Seth Rogen (more on him later) in HBO Max’s An American Pickle, parodied another era of history on TBS’ third season of Miracle Workers, and also leant her voice to a few episodes of Big Mouth.
As Princess Anastasia, we have former Disney Channel star Dove Cameron, who has come quite a long way since rising to fame as both titular roles on Liv and Maddie and Maleficent’s daughter in the Descendants franchise. The star of Vengeance and Good Mourning more recently utilized her talents for acting and singing in Apple TV+’s Schmigadoon! cast.
One of the biggest living legends in History of the World, Part II is Danny DeVito, whose eclectic film career includes One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Twins, and Batman Returns (as one of the most iconic Penguin portrayals) — and that is not counting what he has directed, such as Matilda and Death to Smoochy. He is just as much of an icon on TV, having earned an Emmy for playing Louie de Palma on Taxi and starring as Frank Reynolds in the It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia cast for 15 seasons so far.
Starring as Jesus is Insecure cast member Jay Ellis, who had previously landed his first starring role on a TV series with BET’s The Game. That would lead to an impressive resume of feature-length hits like 2019’s Escape Room, playing Payback in the Top Gun: Maverick cast, and Alison Brie’s love interest in Amazon’s Somebody I Used to Know.
Starring as William Shakespeare is Josh Gad, who last worked with Mel Brooks on FX’s mockuseries The Comedians, on which he poked fun at his meteoric fame following his Tony-nominated performance in Broadway’s The Book of Mormon and scene-stealing role as Olaf in the Frozen frozen. The star and co-creator of Apple TV+’s Central Park also had a big year in 2017 with Murder on the Orient Express, Marshall, and playing LeFou in the live-action Beauty and the Beast remake, before playing Muncher in Ghostbusters: Afterlife and starring on Avenue Q for HBO.
After MTV’s Jackass and its subsequent movie spin-offs made him a star, Johnny Knoxville (who plays Rasputin in History of the World, Part II) went on to star in comedies like The Dukes of Hazzard and The Ringer and action movies like Dwayne Johnson’s Walking Tall. More recently, the prankster — also known for voicing Leonardo in the new, live-action Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movies — landed his first starring role on a TV series when he joined Hulu’s Reboot cast in 2022.
As the creator of the “Kama Soup-tra,” we have Kumail Nanjiani, who was already well on his way to becoming one of comedy’s biggest names (as co-host of Comedy Central’s The Meltdown) before he and spouse Emily V. Gordon earned Oscar nominations for writing The Big Sick. The Pakistani-born actor and Welcome to Chippendales cast lead has since joined the MCU (he was Kingo in the Eternals cast) and the Star Wars universe (played Haja Estree in the Obi-Wan Kenobi cast).
Playing Noah is Seth Rogen, who has previously crossed paths with most of his History of the World, Part II co-stars at least once since breaking out in the Freaks and Geeks cast (his first of many collaborations with Judd Apatow), such as Nick Kroll in Sausage Party and Big Mouth, Zazie Beetz on Invincible, and Ike Barinholtz in The Disaster Artist. The writer, director, producer, and actor has expanded his horizons wonderfully in recent years with more serious roles in films like Steve Jobs and Steven Spielberg’s The Fabelmans, and TV shows like Pam & Tommy.
Rogen’s Funny People and Santa Inc. co-star and Jack Black’s School of Rock co-star, two-time Emmy-winner Sarah Silverman, had a short SNL stint and guest-starred on Seinfeld before becoming one of the most acclaimed comedians of her generation. Some of her best-known roles include Vanellope in the Wreck-It Ralph movies, Gladys Heldman in Battle of the Sexes, various characters on Bob’s Burgers, and fictionalized versions of herself on many occasions.
Seemingly poking fun at his Curb Your Enthusiasm character, Leon, in a History of the World, Part II segment called “Curb Your Judaism” (according to IGN’s review) is former SNL writer J.B. Smoove, who has appeared as a guest star or main player on numerous sitcoms over the years — most recently when he joined the Blockbuster cast for Netflix. In addition to memorable roles in movies like Pootie Tang and Date Night, he is also part of the MCU (having appeared in two Spider-Man movies).
Another an MCU star (from both in front of and behind the camera) in the History of the World, Part II cast (as Sigmund Freud) is Taika Waititi, who previously poked fun at history by playing an imaginary Hitler in Jojo Rabbit, which also earned him a Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar, and Blackbeard in HBO’s Our Flag Means Death. He is also part of the Star Wars universe, having played a droid on The Mandalorian (which he also directed an episode of), the DC Extended Universe after playing the original Ratcatcher in The Suicide Squad, and more recently leant his voice to Pixar’s Lightyear cast as Mo.
Look out for other cast members — such as Seinfeld’s Jason Alexander, Emily Ratajkowski, Big Mouth’s Jason Mantzoukas, Jillian Bell, Jack White, and so many more — when you stream History of the World, Part II on Hulu (opens in new tab). Be sure to do your homework by also checking out History of the World, Part I on Hulu (opens in new tab), too.
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Jason has been writing since he was able to pick up a washable marker, with which he wrote his debut illustrated children's story, later transitioning to a short-lived comic book series and (very) amateur filmmaking before finally settling on pursuing a career in writing about movies in lieu of making them. Look for his name in just about any article related to Batman.