“Nothing that I know can help you with your car ever. Unless you’re like ‘Hey I’ve got a flat tire, does anyone here know a lot about The Cosby Show.’”
If you have ever seen stand-up comedian John Mulaney’s self-titled 2014 Fox sitcom, , pretend you haven’t. The show, a clear attempt at a Seinfeld–esque
throwback sitcom proved to be a rare misstep for the comedian, earning rock-bottom ratings. Mulaney was the first real blunder of the comedian’s career, which began in 2008 when he became a writer for Saturday Night Live at the age of 26.
Something positive did result from the sitcom’s cancelation though. Not that we’re happy that the show failed of course, rather, Mulaney fans can breathe a sigh of relief knowing that now no one has the opportunity to watch the sitcom before seeing any of Mulaney’s stand-up. Now, he can no longer be assumed to be “un-funny” just because his show was “un-funny.” He can now get a chance to show his real talent without any pre-judgment.
If you really want to see Mulaney at his funniest, you need to see his 2012 special John Mulaney: New in Town and his newest stand-up special, John Mulaney: The Comeback Kid, which has been available on Netflix on since Nov. 13. Some of his earlier jokes (which are just as hilarious as his newer ones)—mainly jokes from his special The Top Part—still play often on the Comedy Central station on Sirius Radio.
His Top Part routine includes the story from his childhood about the time he managed to drive an entire diner insane with a loop of Paul Jones’ “What’s New Pussycat”, his love Law and Order even though all the episodes are virtually the same and the reasons why he no longer drinks alcohol, despite the nights he’d home from the bar with more money than he went with.
His new one-hour special, The Comeback Kid is mainly made up personal stories about his childhood experiences (including time his insensitive Irish father said “no” to happy meals and aftwerward, pulled up to the drive-thru only only to get himself a black coffee) and jokes about his new “real” adult life (like recently marrying his Jewish girlfriend because he appreciates how Jewish women are loud and don’t beat around the bush when “[HER] STOMACH HURTS!”
In Comeback Kid, viewers quickly gets a glimpse of Mulaney’s personality, his sense of humor and willingness to poke fun at himself (and he can be brutal when he does).
He admits to the audience the audience that he is just as surprised they are that he’s not gay, talks about the time he made a prostate exam even more awkward than it already was and he even introduces himself before beginning the Comeback Kid routine as “John Mulaney, the writer and star of the very successful one-season series of Mulaney.”
There’s something about John Mulaney that simply makes him one of the funnier comedians out there. Yes, his stand-up is sidesplitting, but it’s hard to pinpoint what it is exactly that makes his material so unique and hilarious. The way he presents himself on stage plays a huge part, as it creates an all-around “funny” atmosphere that grabs the audience’s attention and grabs hold of it before the routine even begins.
The tone of voice he uses, the emphasis he puts on words in specific parts of his sentences and the matter-of-fact, simplistic way he conveys his stories and jokes to the audience is a carefully constructed tactic of his. He just always succeeds in painting a clear picture of the scene and atmosphere his stories are taking place in. Basically, he’s a master of communication.