Nick Kroll And John Mulaney Explain How Steely Dan Inspired Oh, Hello

Last fall, comedians Nick Kroll and John Mulaney staged their Oh, Hello show on Broadway, and today a taping of that show premiered on Netflix. Billboard talked to the duo shortly after they presented at this past weekend’s Tony Awards about Steely Dan’s outsized influence on their production, which includes a Steely Dan-inspired number sung by the show’s protagonists. Kroll and Mulaney explain the initial spark:

Nick Kroll: When we were writing the first version of the show, they [the characters] were on trial for the murder of someone by too much tuna and in their trial, their defense was based around the fact that they were like Steely Dan.

John Mulaney: Right. ‘You just don’t get us, because we’re a little impenetrable. But we’re cool and we’re hipsters and we’re hepcats of the night.’

NK: And so, for some reason we just immediately glommed on to that and then we wrote “Sweet Rosalie,” based on “FM.” I think we can say that.

JM: ‘Yo dee da doidle dee, the girls don’t seem to care…’ Yeah, it’s “FM.”

Donald Fagen even came to the show’s Broadway run and enjoyed it:

He came backstage afterwards and said if you guys ever need any music, my career is… and he motioned his hand going downwards. Which is hilarious because they still sell out the Beacon ten nights in a row and have Venetian residencies and Dodger Stadium. They’re doing quite well. But that to me was the highest praise that we could get was Donald Fagen was like I’ll make music with you guys.

Read the full interview with Kroll and Mulaney here.