Hulu’s Only Murders In The Building is now in the midst of season 2 and it has kept up the impressive showing of season 1, which received rave reviews. This is in no small part due to its cast of legendary comedians and talented dramatic actors blended together.
One stand-out character is Martin Short’s now Emmy Award-nominated performance as Oliver Putnam. Oliver is a true-crime-obsessed theater director with big ambitions – sometimes too big for his fellow podcasters Mabel and Charles, and offers many of the show’s funniest lines.
At the memorial service for Tim Kono, Oliver gets excited when he sees a spread of dips from Dimas Wraps. Mabel seems surprised by his enthusiasm, prompting him to reveal his unusual diet. He even mentioned that he lost hair and weight from just eating dips.
Oliver’s love of dips, especially from Teddy Dimas’ restaurant, is frequently mentioned throughout the series. As well as being highly unhealthy, the dips and their subsequent sponsorship of his podcast get Oliver into frequent trouble.
When trying to clear their name after being arrested in suspicion of the murder of Bunny Folger, Oliver, Mabel, and Charles sneak into Bunny’s apartment. There, they find their former landlady had a hidden elevator that takes her down to a secret exit in the back of the Arconia building.
Even death cannot stop the rivalry between Oliver and Bunny. Oliver’s happy-go-lucky personality hilariously clashes with Bunny’s no-nonsense attitude throughout his residency at the Arconia, leading Bunny to set up some traps for Oliver from beyond the grave.
When trying to convince Mabel to continue the podcast after she becomes a prime suspect in Bunny’s murder, Oliver tries to emphasize the importance of the trio’s friendship and their fame as podcasters. In doing so, he tells them about the portmanteau he made of their names, which is OliMabel, clearly leaving out Charles and explaining that his name is silent.
The quote perfectly sums up the trio. Oliver is overbearingly enthusiastic at times and loves to appear trendy, causing him to make ship names for their fandom. His enthusiasm often shows itself in his love for Mabel and their friendship, while often dismissing the more grouchy Charles.
Comedian and celebrity Amy Schumer becomes a new resident at the Arconia, and bonds with Oliver as a fan of his podcast. With her connections in show business, Oliver pitches an adaptation of the first season of their podcast to Amy.
Oliver can be very vain and his ambitions as a theater director often make him clash with his peers. He can also be quite delusional – such as casting a much younger man to play him. His frenemy relationship with Charles and his ways of insulting him make for some of the best jokes on the show.
At the beginning of the first episode, Oliver makes his debut by meandering down the busy streets of New York City in his signature flamboyant coat and scarf. In his daydreaming, he almost gets hit by a car.
Oliver and Mabel wear the best outfits on the show. His love for dressing as exuberantly as his vibrant, often egotistical personality adds to how loveable his character is and the humor in Martin Short’s performance.
At Tim Kono’s memorial, Charles, Mabel, and Oliver sit amongst their fellow Arconia residents and record to pick up some clues on who the murderer could be. Oliver gets increasingly frustrated when those who disliked Tim Kono have mostly building-based grievances.
As a director, Oliver wants to put on a show for his podcast. Many of his funniest one-liners in the show come from his frustration that Tim Kono may have been murdered for something as boring as property, and he always tries to put some extra pizzazz in the trio’s murder investigations.
In the middle of an investigation, Mabel and Oliver are stopped by fans of their podcast, all wearing matching tie-dye hoodies. Mabel is horrified that they have followers dedicated to their investigation but Oliver, on the other hand, is delighted.
Oliver’s love for attention and all things dazzling sets him apart from the more secretive Mabel and the grumpy Charles. The comedic contrast between the three main characters’ personalities helps make OMITB one of the best streaming shows around.
While recording the podcast, Charles tries to add some drama to his narration by playing the accordion for some backing music. Oliver, as the director, is disgusted at the idea and berates him for his ideas and flair for folk music.
Many of the show’s funniest scenes involve arguments over the podcast between Oliver and Charles as they clash as director and actor. Martin Short and Steve Martin’s 40-year comedic partnership gives them incredible timing and chemistry in their arguments and all their quips make for comedy gold.
The trio breaks into Tim Kono’s apartment once the police leave the Arconia, convinced that Kono was murdered. When they get in and see the crime scene, they are unprepared for its gruesomeness – particularly Charles, who is freaked out at the sight of blood.
Despite the fact he hosts a murder podcast, Oliver is highly squeamish and is not exactly courageous in the face of the dangers the trio face along the series. His line delivery in this scene and his assumption he’s bleeding make a brilliant laugh-out-loud scene.
Faced with a new murder to solve after the death of Bunny Folger, the trio agree to continue the podcast into a new story which will help clear their names in suspicion of the murder. When the gang puts their heads together and try to work out a line of investigation, Oliver is ecstatic.
Of course, this is a wink to viewers over the fact this line is delivered at the beginning of season 2. The show was a zany, meta approach to its storytelling that keeps viewers engaged with the characters as the mystery unfolds and helps the humor feel fresh.
NEXT: Each Character’s Best Quote From OMITB Season 1