Hulu busted out comedic star power for its Manhattan upfront presentation Wednesday, including Mindy Kaling, Amy Poehler, Billy Eichner and event hosts Ilana Glazer and Abbi Jacobson from Comedy Central hit Broad City. Jacobson played the wide-eyed ingénue, stunned that she was traipsing the stage at Madison Square Garden, until Glazer noted that it was, in fact, the Theater at Madison Square Garden, the world’s most famous arena’s dated neighbor.
Glazer thanked Hulu, in her unique way, for having them host. “We’re being paid so much money to be here,” she said. “I just can’t stress that enough.”
Jacobson, meanwhile, said she hoped to use the host platform to “hook up with a VP of marketing from P&G” afterwards.
Later, Poehler, executive producer of Difficult People (and Broad City, for that matter), took the stage with stars Eichner and Julie Klausner. Riffing on Larry Wilmore’s address at the White House Correspondents' Dinner, which included a variation of the n-word, a hyperkinetic Eichner quipped, “The n-word at this upfront is Netflix.”
The trio gleefully went off script, riffing on everything from Mario Lopez’s toenail fungus to the perceived lameness of Hulu’s “Hulugans” moniker for the streaming services’ devotees. “Hulu hoopers?” suggested Klausner.
Finding the laughs harder to attain was the cast of comedy Casual. “Do you hear a vacuum?” wondered star Michaela Watkins after a joke fell flat, the household appliance version of a comic’s dreaded crickets.
A buoyant Kaling was pleased to announce a fifth season of The Mindy Project in the works on Hulu, and remarked on the switch from a broadcast network to a streaming service. Kaling said she can now say she works in tech—way more believable, she said, than being an Indian-American entertainer.
Also stepping on stage, amidst the typical parade of network executives, was Aaron Paul, Michelle Monaghan and Hugh Dancy from The Path, Hugh Laurie from new thriller series Chance, and Jeffrey Donovan and KaDee Strickland from new drama Shut Eye.
Ron Howard and Sir Paul McCartney, meanwhile, addressed the Manhattan crowd via video conference, talking up Beatles documentary Eight Days a Week.
Glazer and Jacobson wrapped things a little more than an hour after it began. “We’ve learned advertising people are the most important people in the world!” japed Glazer before the house lights went on.