Murderville Trailer: Will Arnett And Friends Solve A Murder Mystery, Improv Style

It's an excellent news day for people who, like me, think actors breaking composure during comedy scenes is inexplicably the funniest thing in the world. The trailer for Netflix's "Murderville" is out, and it turns out the new show is an entirely improvised murder mystery comedy led by star and executive producer Will Arnett.

"Murderville" will feature a slate of guest stars who accompany Arnett's character, Detective Terry Seattle, as he searches for clues and tracks down killers. The six episode first season includes an enjoyable slate of guest detectives, including comedians Conan O'Brien, Ken Jeong, Annie Murphy, and Kumail Nanjiani. The show doesn't limit the fun to people who make a business out of being funny; actress Sharon Stone and football player Marshawn Lynch also join in.

Arnett Has Us Laughing Through Crime Scenes

The series seems to be a clever hybrid between a traditional series and an improv show. The actors navigate real sets, wear convincing costumes, and are filmed in a single-cam setup. Yet they're clearly working from scratch, following prompts Arnett drops into their unplanned conversations. "These celebrities have no script and no idea what's going to happen," the trailer's intertitles explain. The result is Stone sporting a strong German accent while helping Arnett cover a patient's squirting surgical wound, or "Schitt's Creek" star Murphy forgetting her own character's name while getting a pep talk in a fake mustache.

This method of a half-unscripted show has been used in the past for series like "Here's What You Do" or "Scare Tactics," but both of those are hidden camera shows whose goal is getting a reaction out of participants rather than making good comedy. The idea for "Murderville" actually comes from a British sitcom called "Murder in Successville," an impersonation-heavy series that ends each episode with guests sharing their guesses about the killer's identity.

Improv shows can end up with a lot of dead air, but "Murderville" looks hilarious. In one bit, Arnett talks to O'Brien in an earpiece, giving him a fake name to convincingly share in conversation. He keeps adding suffixes to the name, until O'Brien has to introduce himself as Todd Carington-berg-son-field. When celebrity guests break character, the show keeps that in, too, as when Jeong attempts to investigate a scene by laying in the body's tape outline and dissolves into laughter. More than a few guests seem to get the giggles as they attempt to follow Arnett's super-serious yet ridiculous commands, and even in preview, their laughter is already contagious.

"Murderville" premieres February 3 on Netflix.