Hulu's Reboot: Modern Family Creator's New Comedy Is Excellent, And Horny Johnny Knoxville Is Only One Reason To Watch

Judy Greer and Keegan-Michael Key in Reboot.
(Image credit: Hulu)

In an era of entertainment in which everything old is new again, a comedy poking fun at the idea of reboots, revivals and reimaginings could be a risky venture. But if anybody’s up for the task, it makes sense that it would be Modern Family creator Steve Levitan. Hulu’s new comedy Reboot takes aim at everything that is right and wrong about sitcoms, remake culture and comedy in today’s climate, and it does it with the most spectacular ensemble cast in the most appropriately meta way — with a TV show about a TV show. 

Keegan-Michael Key stars as an actor who played the patriarch of the fictional 2000s-era sitcom Step Right Up, which is receiving a modern-day revival, courtesy of Rachel Bloom’s Hannah. It’s a constant battle between her hopes to update the series with a more meaningful look at the series' family dynamics and original creator Gordon Gelman’s old-school (read: bordering on problematic) sitcom tactics. The result is comedy gold that everyone can enjoy, and here are the reasons you should fire up that Hulu subscription to watch Reboot

Johnny Knoxville on Reboot.

(Image credit: Hulu)

Johnny Knoxville Is The Perfect Jackass, But Not How We’re Used To Seeing Him 

Jackass star Johnny Knoxville plays Clay Barber, who plays the ex-husband Jake on the fictional sitcom. Clay’s life off-screen has been mired in drugs, alcohol and arrests, and at the time of the revival, we see him trying to clean up his act. That means he desperately needs this revival to work out — even if he continues to struggle with his demons — and honestly, his best moments are when he’s fighting against those baser instincts. 

Clay inadvertently becomes involved with Susan (played by the wonderful Kerri Kenney), the mother of Step Right Up’s former child star, who still hangs around her grown son’s set. Knoxville has no right being this damn funny as his character tries to navigate that awkward situation and, as you'd expect, a number of other scenarios. 

Calum Worthy on Reboot.

(Image credit: Hulu)

Calum Worthy Is The Best Worst Former Child Star Ever In Return To Sitcoms 

It’s so hard to single out any one or two actors in this amazing ensemble, because they are all worthy of praise, but Calum Worthy, like Johnny Knoxville, is just too good in this role. His performance as obnoxious former child star Zack Jackson feels like it should be grating, but it’s just brilliant. Zack’s wide-eyed naivety is only bolstered by his colleagues’ inability to acknowledge that he’s an adult now.

Like his character, Calum Worthy was a child actor, getting his start at 10 years old. The former Disney star is known for his role as Dez on Austin & Ally, but has since appeared in in multiple genres, also playing Nicholas Godejohn in the Hulu series The Act and Young Jasper in Netflix’s book-to-screen adaptation of Pieces of Her. The meta aspect of Worthy returning to sitcoms as a former child star is a thing of beauty. 

Judy Greer on Reboot.

(Image credit: Hulu)

Judy Greer Shines In The Leading Role She’s Always Deserved 

Judy Greer has a long (and fabulous) career of supporting roles. Whether she’s the best friend, the kooky co-worker or the main character’s mother/daughter/sister, Greer is all too often the best part of projects that under-utilize her talents. Well, say goodbye to those! In Reboot she is the leading lady Bree Marie Jensen, who played the matriarch in Step Right Up before marrying the duke of a small European country. It’s no surprise that Greer nails every assignment, making even the tropiest of tropes feel more refreshing than overcooked. 

Paul Reiser on Reboot.

(Image credit: Hulu)

The Cast Of Comedy Veterans Appeals To Multiple Demographics 

When we think of multigenerational comedies, Modern Family comes to mind (for good reason), and while Reboot also is a product of Steven Levitan, it touches multiple demographics in a completely different way than the ABC sitcom. The A+ cast boasts comedy stars from three different decades, including Paul Reiser (Mad About You), Rose Abdoo (Gilmore Girls), Judy Greer (Arrested Development), Keegan-Michael Key (Key and Peele), Rachel Bloom (Crazy Ex-Girlfriend), and the list goes on. 

In the same way that Hacks pits Gen Z’s Ava (Hannah Einbinder) against Baby Boomer Deborah Vance (Jean Smart), the characters in Reboot are able to make honest and often scathing social assessments about each other without alienating any segment of the home audience. Some of the best scenes take place in the writers’ room, where the young writers are constantly cringing at the veterans’ crass conversations and tired ideas of comedy, while the older writers are flummoxed by the new generation’s penchant for writing “jokes” that aren’t funny. 

Keegan-Michael Key and Judy Greer on Reboot.

(Image credit: Hulu)

Reboot Does Meta The Right Way, And Yes, There Will Be Tropes 

Rather than having the well-worn comedy plotlines play out on the fictional Step Right Up, Reboot incorporates the tropes right into the main story, and it just works. An argument in the writer’s room over whether or not it's funny when someone trips over something will inevitably end with one of them doing just that. Reed (Keegan-Michael Key) navigates the complexities of working with Bree (Judy Greer), who he used to date, despite currently being “in a committed relationship.” Even the obligatory “character gets too drunk/high and makes a fool of themselves” feels fresh when done by this cast with these scripts. 

Step Right Up intro from Reboot, featuring Judy Greer, Keegan-Michael Key and Johnny Knoxville.

(Image credit: Hulu)

It’s The Best Show About A Show Since 30 Rock 

There have been some truly iconic series that explore the behind-the-scenes happenings of fictional TV shows, with 30 Rock providing some of the funniest inside jokes. Tina Fey’s NBC comedy had its own star-studded cast to satirize Saturday Night Live, and Reboot could be the equivalent for a series parodying the best TGIF sitcoms. Step Right Up’s opening credits feel very Full House, and it’s so much fun to see the result of multiple generations trying to figure out what that kind of series would look like today.

TV viewers with any kind of appreciation for sitcoms should definitely check out Reboot, especially if you’re willing to laugh at the more ridiculous aspects. From an A+ cast to hilarious writing and meta plotlines, we can only hope this Reboot will see more seasons to come. The first season of Reboot is available for streaming on Hulu, with new episodes coming each Tuesday. Also be sure to check out the other best shows on Hulu and see what premieres are coming to television and screening with our 2022 TV Schedule.

Heidi Venable
Content Producer

Mom of two and hard-core '90s kid. Unprovoked, will quote Friends in any situation. Thrives on New Orleans Saints football, The West Wing and taco trucks.