Since it came out in 1981, the film History of the World, Part I has seemingly promised a sequel. But being a Mel Brooks film, this was all part of the joke, with “Part 2” alluded to in the final scenes but never actually planned. That is, until now. The sequel will arrive after 40 years as a series on Hulu.
Variety reports that Mel Brooks will return as a writer and executive producer for the eight episode comedy series. He’s joined by writers Nick Kroll, Wanda Sykes, Kevin Salter, Ike Barinholtz, and David Stassen. Writing will start this October with production slated for spring 2022.
History of the World, Part I came out in 1981, directed by, written by, and starring Mel Brooks. The movie features various absurdist takes on history, such as the originally planned “15 Commandments” and a song-and-dance number about the Spanish Inquisition. Brooks appears as Moses, Roman “stand-up philosopher” Comicus, Grand Inquisitor Torquemada, as well as King Louis XVI and his lookalike servant, Jacque the “piss boy.” Dom DeLuise, Madeline Kahn, Cloris Leachman, Gregory Hines, Orson Welles, and John Hurt also round out the all-star cast.
Brooks never intended for History of the World, Part I to have a sequel. The title is an allusion to Sir Walter Raleigh’s book The Historie of the World, Volume I. Beheaded in London shortly after, Raleigh never got around to writing a second volume. Brooks nevertheless put in a fake trailer for “Part 2” in his film, featuring previews of “Hitler on Ice” and “Jews in Space.”
It remains to be seen whether we’ll actually see these premises play out in History of the World, Part II. But it will follow the same formula of vignettes of various historical events. Brooks, who turned 95 this past June, has said, “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!”