Nick Kroll and John Mulaney’s new Broadway show, Oh, Hello, is just about everything you would not expect during a night out at the theater. Dressed as two cranky, crotchety Upper West Side–dwelling geriatrics — with a basic set “borrowed from various other sets” — the duo wheezes out crude, offensive (and often improvised) witticisms in a New York minute, leaving the audience in fits of uncontrollable laughter throughout the performance.
Being that the two characters live in the Big Apple — and claim to have met one night over “tunatinis” (that’d be a martini made with a can of tuna fish and just a splash of vodka) — there is extensive insight into the city’s food scene. This is, after all, a show that stems from the two comedians’ long-running gag titled “Too Much Tuna,” and immediately declares the Upper West Side to be “the coffee breath of NYC neighborhoods” with “buildings that all look and smell like soup.” In addition, Kroll and Mulaney encourage the audience to eat during the show and to open candy or breath mints slowly and deliberately, so as to cause as much noise as possible. Jokes regarding iconic NYC-centric items are sprinkled in liberally over the course of the 100-minute act. Here are some sage pieces of NYC food-related advice that associate editor George Embiricos recalls from Wednesday night’s production:
[Editor’s note: The following are paraphrased lines from the actual performance and therefore can be considered “spoilers,” though the show’s unorthodox format is certainly not conducive to the usage of such a word. Also, go buy tickets. Immediately.]
- Drop into any one of NYC’s countless 99-cent pizza joints and ask if tax is included.
- Take your time flipping through any Upper West Side diner’s 37-page menu before deciding on the lobster…just to see what comes.
- Or order the steak: guaranteed to be thin, gray and contain randomly shaped globs of fat around the edges.
- Accompany a cab driver after the end of his night shift to eat “green slop” in Jackson Heights. Because you crave getting diarrhea at exactly 5 a.m.
- Pop into Just Salad at its busiest hour, wait in line, and upon reaching the front, drum your fingers on the assembly-line counter while pensively asking, “So, how does this work exactly?”
- Head over to the nearest halal cart. Don’t bring back any food, just some of the banter.
- There’s apparently a restaurant near the theater called Guy Fieri’s American Pile of Toxic Garbage.