Jack McBrayer Opens Up About the ‘Wackadoo’ Homes He Toured on HGTV's “Zillow Gone Wild”: 'This Is Insane' (Exclusive)

The ‘30 Rock’ alum chatted with PEOPLE about the “24 incredibly unique homes” he visited for the new HGTV series premiering Friday, May 3

<p>HGTV</p> Jack McBrayer on HGTV


Jack McBrayer on HGTV's 'Zillow Gone Wild'

Zillow Gone Wild is officially making its HGTV debut!

Based on the viral Instagram account with nearly 2 million followers, the new series follows host Jack McBrayer as he tours some of the most unconventional homes throughout eight episodes. PEOPLE chatted exclusively with the 30 Rock alum all about these wacky abodes ahead of the series premiere on Friday, May 3.

“I was able to tour 24 incredibly unique and special homes across the country,” McBrayer tells PEOPLE. “It was just so fun because I kind of got to do in person what a lot of us do naturally online anyway.”

He recalls his favorite part of the whole process was being able to meet the masterminds behind it all — the homeowners.

“What was especially fun for me was that by getting those real-life tours, I'm able to meet the homeowners, meet the sellers, and hear the stories behind their choices for their design, architecture, themes — whatever it was.”

Related: HGTV Announces New 'Zillow Gone Wild' Series Will Showcase 'Wildly Quirky' Homes

McBrayer notes that while picking a favorite home would be like “choosing a favorite child,” some memorable ones for him include a Lake Tahoe, Calif. abode that was built around a massive boulder. Another unforgettable one was a “huge storage house” where the comedian recalls seeing “thousands and thousands of shelves and cabinets.”

<p>HGTV</p> Jack McBrayer chatting with a homeowner on 'Zillow Gone Wild'


Jack McBrayer chatting with a homeowner on 'Zillow Gone Wild'

“I just love the passion behind these homeowners. Why did you choose this old general store or diner to build your home? Guess what — it works,” he continues. “This couple had bought an old church. This couple in Nebraska bought an old schoolhouse. Their primary bedroom is the first grade classroom. I'm like, this is wackadoo. This is insane.”

Related: Bluey Episode About Moving Inspires Heartwarming Zillow Ad from Ryan Reynolds’ Production Company: WATCH

<p>HGTV</p> Whale House


Whale House

A lot of these homes, like the famous Whale House, have been featured on the Instagram account run by Samir Mezrahi, who McBrayer adds is a producer of the show.

The actor says he admired how each homeowner was “putting themselves in a position of vulnerability” by opening the doors to their one-of-a-kind space.

“It's like, please bring these cameras into my house and let me tell you why I decided to decorate it like a pirate ship. That takes some bravery and fortitude on the side of the homeowners. I'm just grateful that they did it.”

Related: Renter Says Her ‘Heart Sank’ After Returning Home to Find Her Attic Door Mysteriously Open: ‘There Is Someone in My House’ (Exclusive)

<p>HGTV</p> Jack McBrayer touring a pirate ship-inspired home


Jack McBrayer touring a pirate ship-inspired home

PEOPLE also spoke with Zillow Home Trends Expert Amanda Pendleton about the fascination behind “Zillow surfing,” especially when it comes to unique homes.

“The idea of Zillow surfing is people turning to Zillow to imagine all the possibilities a move could bring,” Pendleton says. She explains that living in a post-pandemic world has all age groups “rethinking how and where we want to live” in addition to “dreaming” about their ideal lifestyle.

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<p>HGTV</p> Old schoolhouse converted into a home


Old schoolhouse converted into a home

While the real estate company is not associated with the Instagram account, Pendleton says Zillow Gone Wild has “captured our imagination and redefined what a home can be.”

“What it does is highlight homes that are fun and whimsical and joyful. They're not ‘cookie cutter’ homes. Some people are going to love them, some people aren't, but I think that's what makes this social account and TV show so entertaining.”

Zillow Gone Wild premieres on Friday, May 3 at 10:30 p.m. ET on HGTV.

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