‘Zillow Gone Wild’ host Jack McBrayer explores the most ‘wackadoo’ homes — while remaining a ‘very good houseguest’

In Entertainment
May 03, 2024

The new HGTV show Zillow Gone Wild brings to life the guilty pleasure of gawking at bizarre homes.

The nine-episode TV series is based on the ultra-popular Instagram account of the same name, which curates unusual listings. In the show, host Jack McBrayer tours the homes and meets their owners. It airs weekly on Fridays starting May 3 on HGTV and will also be available for streaming on Max.

Including entries as unusual as an abandoned missile silo and a house transformed into a pirate ship, each episode assigns ratings to three homes based on how creative, committed to theme and “wackadoo” they are. Over the course of the season, the highest ranking move forward in a tournament, in which one listing will be crowned as the “wildest” of all in the finale.

“Whether we admit it or not, we’re so curious … about seeing inside other people’s homes,” McBrayer, best known for his Emmy-nominated performance on 30 Rock, told Yahoo Entertainment. “It’s such a cool expression for the individual who purchases it.”

Zillow Gone Wild features both people who recently purchased unusual homes and people who are hoping to sell them. Sometimes, their reason for leaving — welcoming a new partner into their home, hoping to invest in a different project or just moving on from a style — provides fascinating insight.

“My favorite thing was that I got to meet the people who made these decisions and get the background straight from them,” McBrayer said.

Though the show’s conceit may be pointing out the eccentricities of certain homes, he said he was touched by the “vulnerability” of the homeowners who let him and a camera crew poke around their houses.

“Not to toot my own horn, but I think I’m a very good houseguest,” McBrayer added. The Georgia native, who joked about his Southern charm, gave all of the homeowners a mug from HGTV and sent them handwritten thank-you letters.

He was careful not to tease any of them for their eclectic tastes and declined to name a favorite home out of the dozens he toured, citing how “unique and memorable” they all were.

“I told HGTV, ‘Look, I’m a comedian, but I’m not here to tear anybody down. I’m more of a thumbs-up guy,” McBrayer explained. “And they said, ‘Perfect! That’s exactly what we want.’”

He indulged the base instincts of most curious onlookers by asking homeowners to, for example, tell him “every single thing about this rainbow wall,” or to say, “I can’t believe you bought a Catholic Church — walk me through it,” without ever making fun of them.

“I’m glad that we chose to use the word ‘wackadoo’ to say some things are really out there, because I didn’t want there to be any negative connotations, like if you said one was ‘insane,’” he said. “I wanted there to be a celebratory way of saying, ‘Wow, you have committed to expressing yourself through your home!’”

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