John Mulaney is a comedy genius

I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I actually laughed a lot at SNL last night.

SNL’s monologues usually suck, but Mulaney’s was excellent.

SNL’s musical numbers usually suck, but Bodega Bathroom was inspired lunacy.

Nothing else reached those levels, but even the worst sketches were good. The show was not only funny, but the writing was creative and nutty. The last time I felt that way about SNL might have been when Will Farrell did his bizarre Neil Diamond impression.

One disappointment: The show featured both John Mulaney and his buddy Bill Hader. They are the geniuses behind “Stefon,” everyone’s favorite club habitue. As a general rule, I dislike SNL’s repeating bits and characters, especially the ones that weren’t funny in the first place (I’m looking at you, The Californians), but Mulaney’s attempts to make Hader/Stefon break character were always the highlight of any show in which they appeared. For one reason or another, Stefon did not appear last night to bring us up to speed on New York’s hottest clubs.

9 thoughts on “John Mulaney is a comedy genius

  1. My take was a little different. I’d never heard of the guy. I muted the monologue quickly because I found his delivery too annoying & robotically rehearsed. My thought was, “Yet another instance of Lorne Michaels allowing some lame comedian to come out & do his bits, rather than putting any creative energy into it like they did in the 70’s–90’s.” It was way too long, just like the opening credits with the ever-growing number of people in the cast, many of whom are so untalented they still remain generally unknown after being there a while. Then they had the typically unfunny opening couple sketches, the one-joke skits that go on & on, long after the lame joke had expired. Hader was unexpectedly in these skits and I’m thinking, “Why? Is this a dual-host show?” (I was unaware of any connection between the two.) I turned it off, as has gotten to be my habit the last several years after tuning in hoping for a change from the lame routine and being disappointed every time. Therefore I didn’t see the rest of the show; maybe there were some funny bits, as you mentioned. Kenan Thompson does make me laugh in most of his appearances though. That guy is naturally funny and a real pro. I think everyone else should be put out in the street: cast, writers, producer & all, other than Melissa Villasenor, who does have talent for impressions along the lines of Wiig, but is seldom allowed to do her thing on the show.

    1. The horror movie with Mulaney and Davidson was also excellent.

      I agree with you on Mulaney’s delivery. It’s too artificial for my taste. But, man, that guy can write!

      1. I’m out of touch, I totally admit it. I don’t know who 90% of these hosts & ‘musical’ guests are. The whole show reeks of millennial humor which is about as appealing to me as being shot in the face. I’m not a bitter old man; I’m only 51, but man, I feel old when I see these dumb kids farting around so aimlessly on a show that used to be pretty at times in the long ago. I’ve had that feeling for a while though… starting when Sandler & Spade joined & started being featured a lot. I thought, WOW, talent is not being required anymore on this show…

  2. Older & wiser, I’d say. Wise enough to know that millennial humor is usually utterly without substance or intelligence. I relate to what George Carlin (a genius mindless millennials would know zilch about) wrote as the preface to his first book:

    “I frankly don’t give a fuck how it all turns out in this country—or anywhere else, for that matter. I think the human game was up a long time ago (when the high priests and traders took over), and now we’re just playing out the string. And that is, of course, precisely what I find so amusing: the slow circling of the drain by a once promising species, and the sappy, ever-more-desperate belief in this country that there is actually some sort of “American Dream, “ which has merely been misplaced.

    The decay and disintegration of this culture is astonishingly amusing if you are emotionally detached from it. I have always viewed it from a safe distance, knowing I don’t belong; it doesn’t include me, it never has. Now matter how you care to define it, I do not identify with the local group. Planet, species, race, nation, state, religion, party, union, club, association, neighborhood improvement committee; I have no interest in any of it. I love and treasure individuals as I meet them, I loathe and despise the groups they identify with and belong to.”

    1. Old folks always think the human race is circling the drain before they pass on. Somehow they find it reassuring.

  3. I too really enjoyed last nights episode. Mulaney was brilliant. His delivery is his own thing. He’s found his voice. If you don’t like it fine. Sone people didn’t like Carlin’s delivery, some didn’t like Cosby’s, or what about Andrew “Dice” Clay or Sam Kinison.
    That said, you can’t discount the fact that he was a writer on SNL for several years and was nominated at least twice for an Emmy and won one of them.

    Before the sketch was over I Tweeted that the SNL props, costumes, makeup, and even graphics department were on point on the Bodega Bathroom sketch. Pure brilliance.

    1. I don’t know exactly who conceived and/or wrote Bodega Bathroom, but that was one inspired, twisted work of genius. I have watched it 4-5 times!

      Considering its similarity to Diner Lobster, and that Mulaney was the host both times, I think Mulaney’s hand must have guided it.

      (Plus he loves Broadway.)

  4. It’s kinda funny how different people age or don’t age along with SNL. I’m 63 and have been watching it since Episode 1. I follow it like a baseball team were you look forward to seeing what the new kids can do and realize that the biggest stars are probably going to move on. I feel sorry for Kenan Thompson for being stuck on he show for so long.

Comments are closed.