John Mulaney Talks SNL, New Standup Special, and Life Lessons

A few weeks ago, basically every living A-list actor, musician, athlete, and comedian came together for the grandiose Saturday Night Live 40th anniversary. Over the next several days, stars gushed about how amazing the event was, and how excited they were just to be there and partake in the festivities. John Mulaney, a writer for SNL for five years, was happy to be a part of the event, but not quite in the same way as some of the slightly more famous faces in the crowd.

"It was fun because I got to work on the show," he says. "I prefer having something to do as opposed to just being somewhere. The show itself was fun; but also very sad. But sad in a good way. It's kind of like going back to visit your old college or a high school reunion. It's fun but it's sad thinking about that part of your life being in the past." 

As the co-creator of Stefon, one of SNL's most famous characters of all time, Mulaney left his writing gig at 30 Rockefeller Center to take on his own sitcom, Mulaney, which debuted this past fall. While fans had high hopes for the show, it received mixed reviews from both critics and viewers. 

"It was an amazing experience," he says. "We wrapped in October, and I already miss all of the people I worked with. I learned a lot about running a network show, and hopefully those lessons will work for me in life later on when they come up again."

One of the reasons people were so excited to see Mulaney with his own starring vehicle is because of his hilarious standup material, including his most recent special, New in Town (which is now streaming on Netflix. Seriously, check it out. You won't regret it). His stage career has been on hold for the past few years while he worked on other projects. 

"I'm so happy to be doing standup again," he says. "I haven't been able to really tour in a while, with SNL and then my show right after that. Things keep coming up for me, which is great, but I've been watching all of my friends do specials these past couple of years and it made me anxious to do one myself."

He'll be recording that long-awaited special later this spring, and his Minneapolis show at the State Theatre this Friday is likely to be a sneak peek of what fans will be able to see on TV later this year. 

"I remember being in Minnesota back in January 2013," he says. "I remember that because it was the deep winter and I was thinking, 'This tour was routed well.'"

For a guy who says he prefers having something to do as opposed to just hanging out at places, his standup, acting, and writing projects should keep Mulaney plenty busy and front-and-center for comedy fans for the foreseeable future.


John Mulaney
State Theatre
Friday, March 20, 7:30 p.m.