Reviving hit sitcoms is a trend that has dominated TV (or streaming, more accurately) for years — such as with Netflix’s Full House sequel series, Fuller House, or Paramount+’s follow-up to Nickelodeon’s iCarly, more recently. Part of the fun of seeing the stories of these classic comedies continued as opposed to being remade is the original cast coming back to the spotlight and reuniting for the first time in a while. But, what if the actors are merely a shell of their former selves and a reunion with the former co-stars comes with disastrous results? That is the question that Reboot asks and answers in a hilarious fashion.
From Modern Family co-creator Steven Levitan, this new Hulu original September release chronicles the Hulu exclusive revival of a (fictional) family-friendly, early-2000s sitcom called Step Right Up. While things do not go so well behind the scenes when the show’s original cast members and creator are brought in to work together again, I cannot imagine the talented Reboot cast facing the same issues. Speaking of, let’s dive deeper into the hilarious, self-aware world of this new comedy by shedding light on who plays whom and where you know them from.
Keegan-Michael Key (Reed)
Playing Reed — an actor with a failed post-Step Right Up film career — is Keegan-Michael Key, who is already one of the biggest names in comedy from co-headlining the hit sketch series, Key & Peele, with his former MADtv co-star Jordan Peele, with whom he would also reunite on the big screen in Keanu and Toy Story 4.
His other notable cinematic endeavors include Shane Black’s The Predator, Mike Birbiglia’s Don’t Think Twice, a couple of Disney remakes (2019’s The Lion King and Pinocchio from 2022), the Hotel Transylvania movies, and several Netflix original comedies like Dolemite is My Name and The Bubble, more recently. Reboot actually marks only his latest time on a TV comedy ensemble following the likes of Playing House, Netflix’s Friends from College, and the Apple TV+ musical fantasy Schmigadoon!
Johnny Knoxville (Clay)
As Clay — an actor with a post-Step Right Up criminal record — we have Johnny Knoxville, who most know best as one of the boldly immature pranksters from MTV’s Jackass and its many feature-length spin-offs, subsequently. However, years of risking his life on camera would soon earn him a relatively impressive acting career, as well, that includes low-brow comedies like 2005’s The Dukes of Hazzard and the surprisingly heartfelt The Ringer from 2006, and action moves starring the likes of Will Smith (Men in Black II), Dwayne Johnson (2004’s Walking Tall), Arnold Schwarzenegger (2014’s The Last Stand), Jackie Chan (2016’s Skiptrace), and Mads Mikkelsen (2019’s Polar).
Knoxville also voiced Leonardo in the new, live-action Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movies and has even done earnest dramas like Lords of Dogtown and the 2019 horror film, We Summon the Darkness, but Reboot actually marks his first time joining a scripted TV series’ main ensemble.
Judy Greer (Bree)
Bree — an actor with a disappointing post-Step Right Up TV career — is played by Judy Greer, who has been a standout in many main ensembles on TV shows of various genres, such as Showtime’s The First Lady cast and on FX’s Archer voice cast as Cheryl Tunt, most notably.
However, she is even more prolific as a scene-stealer in some of the biggest blockbuster franchises — like the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Ant-Man’s ex, Jurassic World as the sister of Bryce Dallas Howard’s character, or as the daughter of Laurie Strode in the latest Halloween movies. Greer has also starred in some highly acclaimed cinematic favorites like Steven Soderbergh’s Three Kings from 1999, 2004’s 13 Going on 30, the Oscar-winning dramedy The Descendants from 2011, and plenty more.
Paul Reiser (Gordon)
As Gordon — the creator of the original Step Right Up — we have Paul Reiser, who has some real-life experience with sitcoms (such as My Two Dads in the 1980s and the ‘80s-set Amazon original Red Oaks more recently) and reboots, having revived his own ’90s sitcom, Mad About You, as a Spectrum original in 2019.
The comedian debuted in Barry Levinson’s Diner in 1982, played the human antagonist of Aliens four years later, and gave a memorable performance in Damien Chazelle’s Oscar-winning feature-length debut, Whiplash, in 2014. Reboot is the latest in what appears to be something of a comeback for Reiser that also includes his recurring role on Netflix’s The Kominsky Method, his enlarged role in the Stranger Things cast in Season 4, his awesome cameo on The Boys, and his return to the Beverly Hills Cop franchise in the upcoming fourth installment.
Rachel Bloom (Hannah)
Playing Hannah — who pitches Hulu the idea to revive Step Right Up — is Rachel Bloom, the Emmy-winning star and co-creator of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend who was previously best known for a serious of funny, musical shorts and a brief role on How I Met Your Mother in Season 7.
Since then, her big claim to fame has been mostly voice acting roles — such as recurring spots on Bojack Horseman and Robot Chicken, playing Batgirl in 2019’s Batman vs. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, or Barb in the Trolls 2: World Tour cast, to name a few. Bloom also recently appeared on the aforementioned iCarly revival and opposite fellow Reboot cast member, Keegan-Michael Key, in Disney+’s Chip ’n Dale: Rescue Rangers in 2022.
Calum Worthy (Zach)
As Zach — the now-grown-up, former child star of Step Right Up — we have the now-grown-up, former child actor Calum Worthy, whose previous sitcom experience mainly involves Disney Channel — such as Austin & Ally, most notably — but he also appeared on three episodes of Psych and had a pivotal role on Netflix’s mockumentary style true crime parody, American Vandal.
His dramatic TV work ranges from guest spots on series like Stargate: Atlantis, Smallville, or Supernatural to joining the ensemble of Hulu’s true crime miniseries, The Act, or lending his voice to Pacific Rim: The Black for Netflix. Worthy made his feature-length debut in 2004 with Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed, went on to play a teenage cyborg in 2007’s The Last Mimzy, and later was the lead of the 2017 rap battle film, Bodied.
Krista Marie Yu (Elaine)
Playing Elaine — Hulu’s new Vice President of Comedy, despite being “new to humor” — we have Krista Marie Yu, who is actually well-versed in humor from playing the title characters' daughter on Dr. Ken and foreign exchange student, Jen, on Last Man Standing. She also appeared on other TV comedies like Cougar Town, The Middle, and Nickelodeon’s The Thundermans, and funny movies like 2012’s Fun Size (with Reboot co-star Johnny Knoxville) and 2015's Love the Coopers.
Yu is also no stranger to drama, having starred in the 2016 horror movie, The Darkness, and landed small roles on the likes of Parenthood, the MCU-canon period adventure series, Agent Carter, and Netflix’s animated reboot of Carmen Sandiego, more recently.
They certainly don’t make sitcoms like Step Right Up anymore and it is rare to see such a star-studded ensemble of talented comedic actors like the Reboot cast all in one place. Check them out by streaming this Hollywood satire on Hulu, Tuesday, September 20, 2022.
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Jason Wiese writes feature stories for CinemaBlend. His occupation results from years dreaming of a filmmaking career, settling on a "professional film fan" career, studying journalism at Lindenwood University in St. Charles, MO (where he served as Culture Editor for its student-run print and online publications), and a brief stint of reviewing movies for fun. He would later continue that side-hustle of film criticism on TikTok (@wiesewisdom), where he posts videos on a semi-weekly basis. Look for his name in almost any article about Batman.