Why I Love John Mulaney… and Why You Should Too!

John Mulaney performing his Netflix special, Kid Gorgeous at Radio City, in 2018.


John Mulaney performing his Netflix special, Kid Gorgeous at Radio City, in 2018.

On the first day of school, my teacher had us gather in a circle and asked us questions as an ice breaker. The questions varied from what is your favorite color, to what is your favorite movie. Since we were a group of nervous, first day of high school teenagers, we weren’t particularly inclined to be enthusiastic about this activity. However, after around question number 126, our teacher asked who our favorite comedian is. Several hands shot up, including mine. Fortunately, I was called on and I said, of course, John Mulaney. 

John Mulaney started as a comedy writer for the iconic Saturday Night Live. He would later go on to host the show five times, and also has three stand-up specials on Netflix. I was introduced to John Mulaney when I was eleven years old, and that is where my love for comedy began. I started quoting (to my parent’s great dismay) from all three of his stand-up Netflix specials, John Mulaney: New in Town, John Mulaney: The Comeback Kid, and John Mulaney: Kid Gorgeous

His first special, John Mulaney: New in Town, focuses on stories varying from his childhood experiences, to getting an unexpected prostate exam. One of my favorite bits is when Mulaney reminisces about his babysitter as a child, “In my head, when I was a little kid, I thought that Veronica was twenty-five, thirty years old.” After talking to his mom recently he figured out that Veronica was thirteen when he was ten. “That would be like if you were going out of town for a week and you paid your horse to watch your dog.” From that line he carries the joke into a whole other bit that still fits perfectly with the story from before. He goes on to joke about a horse babysitting a dog, “Here is the number where we will be, and here is where we keep the dog food. And you’re a horse. Shh, shh, shh, shh, shh.” From there looping the joke back from babysitting to horses, “Why do people do that? People always shush animals. They’ve never spoken.”


In his second comedy special, John Mulaney: The Comeback Kid, my personal favorite, he focuses on his wife, their real estate agent, and him meeting former President Bill Clinton. He shares a story of his mother taking him to a fundraiser of Georgetown alums that Bill Clinton hosted when he ran for President. His father hated Bill Clinton but his mother loved him. With his father refusing to go, Mulaney attended it with his mother at the age of ten, and his mother knew Clinton purely from him walking her home one night during college. When they get there his mother drags him all the way through the room right to Bill Clinton. There he recognizes Mulaney’s mom and says, “Hey Ellen” and then he sums up the joke perfectly by saying, “-cause he never forgets a bitch, ever.” However, instead of ending there, he goes on to talk about when the Monica Lewinsky scandal was exposed five years later: “I wake up to the newspaper hitting me in the face. I am a teenager asleep in bed, and the newspaper hits me in the face and falls open on my stomach. And I open my eyes to see my dad standing there dressed for work, and he says, “The other shoe just dropped.” 

Then Mulaney ends his whole stand up routine perfectly by adding, “And then my dad went in to work to find out that his law firm was hired to defend Bill Clinton.”

In his final stand up special on Netflix, John Mulaney: Kid Gorgeous, he tells many hilarious stories varying from his life in college, his dog, and my personal favorite, school assemblies. Now being a child myself, school assemblies are what I dread the most. But they do in fact provide the best comic material. Mulaney perfectly explains the school assemblies in his bit, imitating a teacher’s voice in the morning before an assembly saying, “Put down your books. Go to the gym.” He begins by talking about what he calls the “Bruno Mars of assemblies”: stranger danger: “You are gathered together as a school and you are told never to talk to an adult you don’t know, and you are told this by an adult you don’t know.” He goes on to explain that every year they brought in a detective named J.J. Bittenbinder, and his methods of teaching how to defend yourself against strangers. Impersonating Bittenbinder he says, “If some guy tries to grab you, you can’t fight him with your fists, so here’s what you do: you kids fall down on your back and you kick upward at him. That will throw him off his rhythm.” Mulaney goes on to say, “Yeah he wasn’t a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down kind of guy. He was more like brush your teeth now boom orange juice that’s life.”

John Mulaney is not only a trailblazer in his field—he is a prominent comedian in the lives of our younger generation. As Mulaney says, “If you have a niece or a son who is bad at sports they might [know me].”

So what are you waiting for? Go watch his specials on Netflix now and click here to buy tickets to see John Mulaney at PPG Paints Arena on Saturday, September 24!