Hilarious Netflix Comedy Stars Actors Who Don’t Know Their Lines

By Jennifer Muscato | Published

Murderville is one of the most hilarious shows on Netflix you may not be watching, but should be. The concept is unique and chaotic. A guest actor or actors are invited on the show, but they don’t have a script. They know absolutely nothing, although the episode is written. There are scripted actors who know what’s going on, and the guest is ad-libbing and reacting to the scripted actors in the moment. They are sometimes even blindfolded as they walk on to the set.

Will Arnett Is Clueless

Murderville stars Will Arnett as Senior Detective Terry Seattle, and Arnett is in on the story and the script. In every episode, Seattle has to solve a murder with a different celebrity guest star as his partner. Arnett is also a co-excutive producer on the police procedural comedy.

While the unique format for Murderville may be new audiences in the U.S., the series is actually adapted from British origins. The series is based on the BBC Three series Murder in Successville which aired from 2015-2017. The American version premiered in 2022.

An Insane Production

will arnett murderville

Murderville is chaotic in the best way possible. All of the cameras are handheld and there are four of them, which is a lot. The goal of production is to only have two takes. The first one is to get the shot of the of guest, and the second take is of the scripted actors. Then, they all move on to the next scene.

For Murderville, Arnett says they wanted to do a show where it felt like anything could happen at any moment. And it does. The actors break on camera, and they don’t cut those moments out.

The Christmas Special

We saw the Christmas episode starring Jason Bateman and Maya Rudolph, and you should too. Sean Hayes is one of the scripted actors and plays Santa, although his Santa getup prevents Bateman from knowing that his real-life friend Sean is even in the episode. Spoiler alert: Santa is murdered, and when they pull off his Santa facial hair to see who he is, Bateman hilariously responds, “Oh Jesus, you dragged Sean Hayes into this?” By the way, Who Killed Santa? A Murderville Murder Mystery has a 91 percent on Rotten Tomatoes.

Arnett, Bateman and Hayes are also the hosts of the mega popular podcast Smartless and if you have listened to the show, you know how sharp their ad-lib skills are. It’s perfect for a show like Murderville.

Amazing Guest Stars

As the main character, Arnett appears in all the episodes. The uninformed guests include Kumail Nanjiani, Conan O’Brien, Annie Murphy, and even Sharon Stone, whose name isn’t synonymous with comedy, but the Oscar-nominated actress does a great job. Former NFL running back Marshawn Lynch appears in a couple of episodes as well, displaying his off-the-field comedic chops.

Short, Simple, And Doesn’t Overstay Its Welcome

The episodes of Murderville are just 30 minutes long, so they are quick and hilarious. There’s not a lot of time to go through all the clues, so the show doesn’t try too hard to stump its guests, which adds to the ridiculousness.

The seven episodes of Murderville are streaming now on Netflix. Despite positive reviews, Netflix has not officially announced Murderville Season 2.