John Mulaney talks 'SNL,' 'Kroll Show,' and what he would have done differently on 'Mulaney' ahead of his show at the Plaza Live



Chances are John Mulaney has made you laugh at some point. The 32-year-old comedian and writer has an impressive résumé for someone his age. One of his first professional gigs was as a writer on Saturday Night Live, where his most famous work was probably helping create Bill Hader’s beloved Stefon character, the Weekend Update guest with all of the info on the hottest clubs.

When asked about what he was most proud of accomplishing on that show, though, Mulaney replies, “I think I was most proud of doing four years and having lots of stuff in. Much of it forgetful, you know.” Since SNL is such an immediate show, relying on whatever’s in the news that week, most of Mulaney’s work on the show didn’t enter the pop-culture consciousness like Stefon. But Mulaney calls his time there “really fun, and it was a ton of work, but it was very satisfying.”

Mulaney ended up teaming up with a lot of SNL alumni on his FOX sitcom, Mulaney, that debuted last year but was canceled after 13 episodes. Former cast members Martin Short and Nasim Pedrad joined the cast along with Elliott Gould, who was an SNL host several times throughout the first five seasons. Mulaney says that that background helped the cast develop the feel of the show. “There were definitely things that were really influenced by doing sketch comedy, because it was for a live audience and it was in front of three cameras, just like Saturday Night Live, and I wanted it to be pretty bizarre, so there were things kind of set-piece-wise. Everyone involved was a comedian or an actor who’s done a lot of comedy, so there’s a real shorthand coming from a world like Saturday Night Live … of figuring out jokes and sort of the game of a scene.”

Though Mulaney was roundly panned by critics and canceled due to dismal ratings, John Mulaney doesn’t have any regrets. “There are things comedy-wise I’d go ‘Oh, I might want to do that a little differently,’ but I wanted to do this type of show and if it didn’t take off, it didn’t take off. There isn’t really anything major I would have done differently.”

When asked if he prefers working on sitcoms or on sketch shows like Kroll Show, where he’s a frequent guest star, Mulaney is definitive. “Nothing’s more fun than doing that with Nick [Kroll]. Nothing was more fun than shooting those things for Kroll Show, so I have to say as far as experiences, that’s about the most fun you can have doing comedy.”

But for now, Mulaney is focusing on his stand-up tour, which brings him around the country and over to Ireland and the U.K. over the next few months. “The best thing I’ve learned in the past few years is you should plan about three months ahead and after that it’s just guessing. You have no idea what’s going to happen.”

7 p.m. Thursday, April 30 | The Plaza Live, 425 N. Bumby Ave. | | $28-$36


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