After John Mulaney And Nick Kroll Spent Three Lifelines And Almost Ten Minutes On One Who Wants To Be A Millionaire Question, I Remember Why I Love Celebrity Game Shows

After John Mulaney And Nick Kroll Spent Three Lifelines And Almost Ten Minutes On One Who Wants To Be A Millionaire Question, I Remember Why I Love Celebrity Game Shows

Spoilers ahead for the Season 3 premiere of ABC's Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? with Jimmy Kimmel hosting.

Another season of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? kicked off on ABC in the 2024 TV schedule with two sets of celebrities hoping to win the top prize for the charities of their choices. First off against host Jimmy Kimmel were comedians, friends, and Big Mouth collaborators John Mulaney and Nick Kroll. They played a fairly standard game up until they hit the $64,000 mark, at which point a question about Easter Island stumped them so much that they spent three lifelines and nearly ten minutes on it. By the end, they didn't win a million dollars for their charities, but they did earn some money and definitely reminded me why certain celebrity game shows are so much fun.

Nick Kroll And John Mulaney On Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?

The two contestants – both of whom participated in this year's Netflix Is A Joke comedy festival – paired up to try and win the grand prize for their charities, with Mulaney playing for The Innocence Project to help overturn wrongful convictions and Kroll playing for Comedy Vs Cancer in support of blood cancer research. Unsurprisingly, they were cracking jokes and bantering with Kimmel right off the bat, and it was a sign of how the night would go that they were cracking up about Bradley Cooper spending six years learning how to conduct an orchestra for Maestro just minutes in.

They managed to get all the way to the $64,000 question without using any of their four lifelines – which were the options to phone a friend, poll the audience, narrow down the choices to 50/50, and ask Kimmel – but they would burn through three of the four over the next ten minutes, and it made for great TV. This is the question that had them stumped:

Which of these statements is true about the giant stone heads that dot the landscape of Chile's Easter Island?

As always, there were four possible answers presented to the contestants, but past the $32,000 mark, Millionaire doesn't conveniently provide three answers that are very clearly wrong. These were the Easter Island options:

  • A. Originally they were homes
  • B. Only five are still intact
  • C. They all face due west
  • D. They also have bodies

Now, thanks to my decision to spend the early months of the COVID-19 shutdowns binging documentaries, I actually knew that the correct answer was D. right away, but that understandably wasn't the case for Mulaney and Kroll. Over the next nine minutes or so, they'd burn through lifeline after lifeline, starting with the 50/50 hilariously eliminating the only two answers that they were seriously considering. Calling up Jon Stewart as their "phone a friend" didn't help either, and they were about ready to make A. their final answer until they asked the audience, who set them straight on D.

And it was a pretty great segment, up to and including when Nick Kroll joked that they should have called Trevor Noah instead of Jon Stewart when Stewart didn't have an answer for them. Three lifelines and ten minutes after first being asked about Easter Island, they advanced to the $125,000 question, which was about the infamous Burberry bag from Succession. Unfortunately, neither they nor Jimmy Kimmel knew that it was described as "ludicrously capacious," so they got the question wrong and ultimately won $32,000 for their charities instead of $1 million.

How John Mulaney And Nick Kroll Reminded Me Of My Love Of Celebrity Game Show Episodes

I've always enjoyed when celebrities are playing for charity on game shows, and I remember watching Celebrity Jeopardy as a kid whenever I could, even before the epic SNL sketches. But there have been so many celebrity game shows in primetime in recent years that some of the excitement wore off. Watching the Season 3 premiere of Millionaire with Mulaney and Kroll – followed by the dynamic duo of Good Burger stars Kenan Thompson and Kel Mitchell – reminded me that stars playing games in primetime is most fun when they play the normal version, but the rules don't really apply because the end goal is to give money to charity.

Normally, people don't get to compete on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? in pairs with their pals, and unless I'm mistaken, there's a lot less swearing requiring bleeps in a typical episode than courtesy of some of Mulaney's language choices. Seeing Mulaney and Kroll play along with the game while bringing the banter was just fun, and there was no reason to be annoyed that the usual rules didn't entirely apply to them just because they're celebrities. The whole purpose was money for charity, so it was fun to sit back and enjoy their struggle to get to the right answers.

Plus, the fact that they burned three lifelines on the Easter Island question that the audience nailed and went out on a Succession question is just funny. What's not to love? If you missed the episode or just want to rewatch, Season 3 of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? will be available streaming with a Hulu subscription.