Tonight, for the third time in three years, John Mulaney is back to host a brand new Saturday Night Live!
You can feel the excitement in the air! Unless of course, that’s just the coronavirus going airborne. But it’s always a thrill when John Mulaney returns to host the national late night variety show where he got his start as a young comedy writer. And even though Mulaney has gotten his name penciled in on the SNL schedule each year for the past three seasons, the annual “John Mulaney” episode of Saturday Night Live has become one to look forward to, and as NBC used to say, it’s must-see TV.
The first time John Mulaney hosted Saturday Night Live, it was in April of 2018 during SNL – Season 43. He was back less than a year later when he hosted again in March, 2019 in the middle of SNL – Season 44. Now, just 11 short months later again, Mulaney is back for SNL – Season 45.
John Mulaney, who has become one of the country’s most successful touring comedians, auditioned for Saturday Night Live in 2008 and instead of joining the cast, he was hired as an SNL writer and remained part of the writing staff for six seasons. Arguably, John Mulaney’s most famous work in the Saturday Night Live writers’ room was the character of Stefon the Club Kid, co-created and performed by former SNL cast member Bill Hader. Mulaney even made a cameo with Hader’s Stefon when he appeared on Weekend Update as Stefon’s attorney and conceptual piss artist, Shy.
His hard work on SNL paid off when he won a Primetime Emmy Award in 2012 for the Saturday Night Live episode hosted by Justin Timberlake that season. Mulaney would win a second Emmy Award in 2018 for Outstanding Writing for a Variety Special for his Netflix comedy hour, “John Mulaney: Kid Gorgeous at Radio City.”
Besides SNL, John Mulaney has written for the Golden Globe Awards, “Maya & Marty” starring Maya Rudolph & Martin Short, Comedy Central Roasts, the White House Correspondents’ Dinner hosted by Seth Meyers (back in 2011 before Trump’s feelings got an owie and they still had comedians host) and the IFC comedy series “Documentary Now” where Mulaney also starred in couple of episodes.
It’s John Mulaney’s latest stand up special that he’ll be promoting tonight when he hosts Saturday Night Live for the third time. “John Mulaney & the Sack Lunch Bunch” is the award winning comedian’s 4th stand up special for Netflix. It follows “John Mulaney: New in Town” (2012), “John Mulaney: The Comeback Kid” (2015), and “John Mulaney: Kid Gorgeous at Radio City” (2018) which we previously mentioned. Plus, don’t forget to put 2017’s “Oh, Hello on Broadway” in your Netflix queue when loading it up with John Mulaney’s comedy specials.
“Oh, Hello on Broadway” was the special filmed during John Mulaney’s sold-out smash hit run on Broadway with comedy partner Nick Kroll. The 21st century comedy team performed as their alter-egos, Gil Faizon (Kroll) and George St. Geegland (Mulaney), which are characters the pair brought to life on Nick Kroll’s Comedy Central series “Kroll Show.” Faizon and St. Geegland are two elderly curmudgeons who long for the glory days of old New York City while kvetching about all their modern day annoyances.
As for his newest Netflix comedy hour, “John Mulaney & The Sack Lunch Bunch“, it’s a comedy special that’s different from any that you’ve seen before. There’s no stand up involved and it’s done in the tradition of children’s variety shows like “The Electric Company” and “Zoom“. Mulaney is joined by a cast of singing and dancing 8 to 13 year olds as well as plenty of guests stars including Jake Gyllenhaal as Mr. Music, former Talking Heads frontman David Byrne, André De Shields, Natasha Lyonne, and the great Richard Kind who hosts a segment in the special hilariously titled “Girl Talk with Richard Kind.”
The “Sack Lunch Bunch” is filled with sketches, “Sesame Street” style quizzes like “Spot the Difference” and “Put This List of New York City Mayors In Order“, and plenty of songs including “Grandma’s Boyfriend Paul“, “Algebra Song!” and “I Saw A White Lady Standing On The Street Just Sobbing (And I Think About It Once A Week)“, among others. There’s also more talk about death than is normally found in a children’s television show.
Now, while John Mulaney is certainly not known as a musical comedian, it’s the big SNL musical number productions that he’s become known for when he hosts Saturday Night Live. When Mulaney hosted SNL for the first time in 2018, he revived a sketch that he had originally pitched back in 2010 that he had written with current Weekend Update co-anchor and co-head writer Colin Jost. The sketch was called “Diner Lobster” and it took 8 years for it to see the light of day on television.
“Diner Lobster” featured cast member Pete Davidson as a customer who commits the New York City sin of ordering the lobster off the menu in a diner which is just not done. Mainly because it’s a gross thing to do. The scene turns into an elaborate musical number featuring cast member Kenan Thompson as the singing lobster in a parody of “Les Misérables”.
Then a year later in 2019, during Mulaney’s second time hosting SNL, we got the follow-up in a musical sketch called “Bodega Bathroom“. In this scene, Pete Davidson breaks another New York City unspoken law when he asks to use the bathroom in a local bodega. As over-the-top as “Diner Lobster” was, “Bodega Bathroom” went even higher. This symphonic sequel included a large, animated, singing toilet which resembled Audrey the Flower in “Little Shop of Horrors“. The sketch featured a medley of songs from Broadway shows such as “Little Shop“, “Rent“, “Cats“, and “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – The Musical.”
Tonight will be filled with anticipation for how John Mulaney will attempt to top himself with a third act to his musical thrillogy. Which unspoken rule of New York City society will Mulaney make sure gets violated in this evening’s song & dance sketch? It could be “manspreading” on a subway or “upstreaming” other people on the street when you’re all trying to hail a cab, or carrying a golf-size umbrella on the sidewalk in the rain or worst of all, getting on board a subway car that seems totally empty and then you immediately find out why it isn’t. Just hold your breath till the next stop.
While we’re looking forward to plenty of on-screen comedy on tonight’s brand new Saturday Night Live, the behind-the-scenes drama going on is just as entertaining. Controversy has been circulating all week around one of SNL‘s current cast members and you can have one guess on who it is!? Yep, Pete Davidson. And you got it on the first try.
In an interview released this week with Charlamagne tha God, Pete Davidson talked about wanting to quit Saturday Night Live. Pete said, “Here’s the thing: I personally think that I should be done with that show, because they make fun of me on it,”. Pete added, “I get it, but I’m like, cold-open, political punchlines. I’m like, ‘Weekend Update’ jokes. When I’m not there, they’ll be like, ‘Ha ha ha, Pete’s a f—ing jerk-face.’ And you’re like, ‘Whose side are you on?’”
Anyone who watches SNL on a regular basis isn’t going to remember any of Pete’s paranoia actually happening on the show. But Pete’s exchange with Charlamagne Tha God obviously hasn’t gone unnoticed by Saturday Night Live. As you’ll see below, the writers managed to work Pete’s comment about everyone at SNL thinking he’s dumb into one of this week’s show promos.
There’s also been grumblings behind-the-scenes regarding the star treatment that Pete Davidson gets at Saturday Night Live which according to a New York Post piece this week, some feel is undeserved. Page Six claims SNL informants told them, “Pete has a pretty cushy gig, to say the least,” said their source. “The cast isn’t into him,” said another. “He’s just there — he doesn’t add much.”
So this brings us to tonight where on one hand, we have Pete Davidson causing new levels of uncomfortability (and that’s not even a word) at Studio 8-H by ragging on the show’s cast and writers. And then on the other hand, Pete has been one of John Mulaney’s best pals ever since John and his wife took Pete under their wings after his faux suicide threat just over a year ago. So while it might be tempting for the SNL staffers to want to write Pete out of this evening’s show, the host may be wanting to work with his buddy even more tonight, like they have in the past on Saturday Night Live.
Last season, after Pete’s mental mishap, John Mulaney joined him on Weekend Update where the two of them hilariously reviewed the Clint Eastwood film, “The Mule.” It was their review that got raves all over social media the next day. Unfortunately for Clint “The Mule” Eastwood, John & Pete’s review of the film got better reviews than the film did. It had all of social media (as well as Pete himself) really laughing hard with many hoping the bit would become a regular Weekend Update feature. The duo also appeared in an SNL – Digital Short together featuring Pete’s monosyllabic character Chad. “Okay.” Tonight, it will be interesting to see if Pete Davidson is a big part of John Mulaney’s third hosting gig or if he’s pushed off to the side like a dummy as he claims happens.
Looking at what else we can expect on tonight’s all new episode of Saturday Night Live, the impending Coronavirus pandemic has to be at the top of the list. SNL could be bringing back Alec Baldwin to play President Donald “I refuse to wear a flu mask because it will smear my spray tan” Trump to recreate his bizarre press conference regarding the epidemic. It was the press conference where the country’s top medical experts would say one thing and the President would say the opposite. Or since the real President Trump appointed V.P. Pence to be in charge of his Coronavirus task force, SNL may not even need Baldwin when they have cast member Beck Bennett to do his impression of the current Veep.
There’s other angles that Saturday Night Live could go with when it comes to the growing Coronavirus epidemic, like how it’s affected the stock market earlier this week (and definitely not in a good way), plus the CDC saying that it’s “inevitable” that the outbreak reaches epidemic levels here in the U.S.A. which according to the CDC, now stands for “the Upcoming Sickness Armageddon”.
Other Trump news that SNL could use for inspiration for Weekend Update jokes tonight includes the intelligence reports revealed this week, saying the Russians are again actively trying to interfere in our Presidential election to get Trump re-elected. And on top of that, they’re also attempting to secure Bernie Sanders the Democratic nomination to give Trump an easier path to re-election. Paging Larry David! Please report back to Studio 8-H! And there’s Trump’s trip to India this week where he spoke to over 100,000 people. Hopefully he got swabbed for Coronavirus on his way back home from Asia like other travelers are experiencing.
We’ll also see tonight how Saturday Night Live handles the Harvey Weinstein conviction with Big Harv looking at 29 years in prison after being found guilty on charges of criminal sexual assault and 3rd degree rape. Of course, his “Go Directly to Jail” card got interrupted after Weinstein had a bad case of blood pressure and grabbed his chest and ended up in the hospital before going to Riker’s Island. Harvey obviously picked up some acting tips from all the stars he’s worked with over the years.
Saturday Night Live may also give us another Democratic Debate sketch for this evening’s SNL – Cold Open, especially after the octagon style debate the Dems had this past week where everyone was out for blood in the contest. Most notably, Bernie blood. Plus, there’s the upcoming South Carolina primary where former Veepster Joe Biden may be making his campaign’s last stand. Not to mention the previous Democratic Debate where Mike Bloomberg got beat up by the Miss Jane Hathaway (look her up) of the U.S. Senate, Elizabeth Warren.
Other topics the SNL writers may spin into punchlines include the “Friends” cast getting together to do a reunion special for HBO and getting paid handsomely for their time, Barbara Corcoran of “Shark Tank” fame getting scammed out of $400k, the Super Bowl halftime show featuring J-Lo and Shakira getting 1,300 FCC complaints, Ash Wednesday and the start of Lent, Dunkin’ Donuts selling a to-go bag of “Snackin’ Bacon” and Jussie Smollett being arrested for staging his faux racist attack. AGAIN!
Plus, we may get an SNL silent tribute to screen legend Kirk Douglas who passed away while the show was on its February hiatus. “Spartacus” himself, Kirk Douglas hosted Saturday Night Live in 1980 during SNL – Season 5.
We have the promos for tonight’s new Saturday Night Live starring John Mulaney available to watch below. As mentioned earlier, Pete Davidson’s comments about everyone at SNL thinking he’s dumb makes it into our first promo. It begins with John Mulaney visiting Pete in his dressing room and being very suspicious of a clean and sober Pete Davidson who seems to have himself all together. It’s good news, but we will miss the monkey.
Next up, it’s a “Best Of” highlight reel of John Mulaney. It features the work Kid Gorgeous did during his first 2 hosting gigs on Saturday Night Live. The promo includes Mulaney as Shy the lawyer / piss artist, drag queen Tawny Pockets and Chad’s stalker among other SNL Mulaney moments.
And finally, host John Mulaney is joined by cast member Heidi Gardner and tonight’s musical guest David Byrne. Yes, that same David Byrne who appears in John’s new Netflix special, “John Mulaney & the Sack Lunch Bunch“, streaming now on Netflix. They’re all together for a big celebration. It’s Heidi Gardner’s first SNL promo!! The only thing that could have made it more exciting is if John Mulaney had brought his puppet.
Former SNL writer John Mulaney is back at Saturday Night Live and this time, he’s hosting bitches!! And for the third time in three years! No one has come close to this streak since Buck Henry’s consecutive season hosting record in the late 70’s. John Mulaney is hosting a brand new Saturday Night Live tonight with musical guest David Byrne at 11:30pm et and live across all time zones on NBC!