John Mulaney: Comedian of the Generation


By Kristen Egan

This past weekend John Mulaney returned to “Saturday Night Live” to host. This is a tremendous honor for all celebrities, but particularly special for Mulaney, who worked for the show for five years as a writer. Since leaving “SNL,” John Mulaney has proven himself as a comedian and is reaching for the title of best comedian of our generation.

After creating one of the most iconic characters in the show’s history, Stefon, the writer moved on to other projects including “Mulaney,” “Documentary Now!” “Oh, Hello on Broadway” and, most famously, his stand up comedy specials. John Mulaney has worked behind the scenes of some of the funniest material on television.

John Mulaney has gained a large audience since his Comedy Central special New in Town was added to Netflix and since his Netflix special The Comeback Kid was released. In his specials, John Mulaney presents himself as a meek man-boy incapable of driving and making decisions for himself as he recounts his life with stories from when Bill Clinton flirted with his mother in front of him to the time that his boss quacked at him.

With his third Netflix special, Kid Gorgeous, approaching release on May 1st, John Mulaney will likely soon accumulate a larger fan base. In March, Mulaney managed a seven-show run at Rockefeller Center where the special was recorded.

The rising popularity of Mulaney is indisputable after continuously selling out the shows in his home city.

While still less popular than comedians such as Amy Schumer, John Mulaney’s audience is growing at a fast and inclusive rate. Mulaney’s jokes are ones you can listen to with your whole family without burrowing your head in a pillow with embarrassment.

He balances self-deprecation with real life accounts and meshes them in a way that you won’t be able not to laugh at. John Mulaney’s career is just getting started and will boom even more once his second Netflix special is released on May 1.

John Mulaney is refreshing in a sea of comedians who go for the cheap jokes of crude language and themes. In our current climate, 2018 does not and should not have room for offensive jokes of any kind in mainstream comedy. Comedians with mass following have to understand that even though jokes are jokes, they do impact society.

Unlike comedians such as Daniel Tosh, who in 2012 was under fire for jokes about rape, the extent of depiction in his own comedy is to himself. Mulaney keeps this in mind with his mostly family friendly routines and saves his more “inappropriate” jokes for other special projects outside of stand-up. There needs to be more standup comedians like John Mulaney—ones who don’t make everything political or everything disgusting.

Comedy nowadays is so filled with misogyny, perversions and politics that it appears like Mulaney is holding a light of hope amid the rest of the darkness.
“SNL” has received many criticisms that it has strayed too far away from its comedic origins and is now too crude for its initial audiences to fully enjoy it. When John Mulaney went back this past weekend to host the show he served in John Mulaney fashion, acting in two sketches that he wrote for the show but had never made it to air. Both sketches emulate the comedy that John Mulaney does best – clean.

There is nothing wrong with clean humor and there isn’t anything particularly wrong about dirty humor either.

Comedy is different to everyone and would be nothing without preferences. John Mulaney is a current rising preference and intends to rise to the top.