Catch-22 Is "Harrowing, Heartbreaking, Human, and Hilarious" According to the Cast

Hulu's new "absurd" miniseries is all about the madness of war

By Lauren Piester May 17, 2019 11:09 PMTags
Watch: "Catch-22" Stars Describe George Clooney Army Miniseries

In the mood for a bit of a weird laugh this weekend?

Hulu just launched Catch-22, its miniseries adaptation of the classic satirical novel by Joseph Heller. George Clooney is an executive producer and appears in the series, and if you're familiar with some of George Clooney's other satire work or the story of Catch-22, you might know what you're in for. If you're not, let the cast explain. 

"The book's a satire," Austin Stowell tells E! News. "There's wonderful source material that we had from Joseph Heller. It almost reads like a screenplay, and you laugh out loud. The characters are absurd at times, and I think that's what he was trying to accomplish really was that this idea of the absurdity of war and how one copes with it once you're there, because once you're down range, all you do is everybody has their different defense mechanisms, and so whether that's humor or naivete...but there's a lot of humor that comes out of these dark times." 

Kyle Chandler Talks "Catch-22", George Clooney and More

"We thought that it was a story that could use some retelling," EP Grant Heslov explains as to why they made this new adaptation. "We thought it's never a bad time to talk about sort of the madness of war, and the madness of the world, really." 

When we asked the cast to describe the show in three words, they gave us absurd, hilarious, dark, heartbreaking, human, harrowing, and according to Kyle Chandler, it's simply "Catch-22." 

You can hear more in the video above! 


Catch-22 stars Christopher Abbott as YoYo, a US Air Force bombardier in World War II. YoYo is, somewhat understandably, furious because thousands of people he's never met are trying to kill him, and he's desperate with every mission to "come down alive." 

Per Hulu, "his odds of success at such a simple aim keep getting worse because Colonel Cathcart keeps raising the number of missions the men have to fly. More than the retreating Germans, the real enemy for Yossarian and his rag-tag bunch of friends is the bureaucracy of the military, inverting logic at every turn. The pinnacle of this is Catch-22, a military by-law which states that if you fly your missions, you're crazy, and don't have to fly them; all you have to do is ask. But if you ask not to, then you're sane, and so you have to fly them." 

Clooney plays Scheisskopf, and Kyle Chandler plays Colonel Cathcart. The cast also includes Hugh Laurie as Major de Coverley, Giancarlo Giannini as Marcello, Daniel David Stewart as Milo, Rafi Gavron as Aarfy, Austin Stowell as Nately, Graham Patrick Martin as Orr, Gerran Howell as Kid Sampson, Jon Rudnitsky as McWatt, Kevin J. O'Connor as Korn, Pico Alexander as Clevinger, Tessa Ferrer as Nurse Duckett, Lewis Pullman as Major Major, Josh Bolt as Dunbar, Jay Paulson as Chaplain, Julie Ann Emery as Marion and Grant Heslov as Doc Daneeka.

In addition to Clooney and Heslov, executive producers include Richard BrownSteve GolinLuke Davies and David Michôd.

The show is now streaming on Hulu.