So having seen John Mulaney perform his new material last spring in Nashville, I’ve anxiously awaited his new special to come out. And to my great pleasure The Comeback Kid was released a few weeks ago and I was really excited that I could listen to his new stuff again. Through the years he’s really gained in popularity, with two stand up specials already out, a period as a writer at SNL, and with the short-lived comedy “Mulaney”, it’s been great to see his name appear in more and more things.
I’ve loved Mulaney’s stand up ever since I heard his “New in Town” cd a few years ago. It was such a fresh routine, with the way he looked at life, as well as how he deals with people and how he feels people see him is just hilarious. He has a certain flamboyant nature and attitude about him that separates him from a lot of other comedians. But he’s still able to be self deprecating and relatable with the stories he tells. And after listening to that album, as well as his older material, dozens and dozens of times, I decided that he was my new favorite comedian. Although I would say his material is mainly aimed at people in their 20s and 30s, he is somebody that most people would enjoy listening too, regardless of their age(even my parents love him). His humor is off the wall but it’s never too crazy, and where a lot of comedians can be really funny with dirtier material, his is pretty clean, rarely even swearing unless the joke calls for it.
I worried that his stint on the failed comedy “Mulaney” would dampen his mood and affect his comedic talent. But luckily, his new material came out stronger than ever, and may even overtake the “New in Town” album, which seemed like the peak. His new routine is fast paced and filled with so many jokes and funny stories, that it will take a lot of viewings to fully catch all of them. From stories of his childhood and having to deal with his crazy parents, to telling about how he’s adjusting to married life and their pet dog that he struggles to stay in charge of, it makes for an enjoyable hour. But as strong as his material is, his delivery is what really sells it. Mulaney’s over the top flamboyance and witty sarcasm gives every joke a certain edge that makes them all special and uniquely his. He has an amazing stage presence that’s magnetic as well as personable, and it really brings the entire act together for an amazing performance every time he’s on stage.
The only slight disappointment I had with the Netflix special was its pacing. Since I was able to see Mulaney live and with no time constraints, he was able to tell the material at a slower speed, letting the material sink in a little bit more before he moved on to something else. Even though he was saying the same material, he was much more relaxed and was able to interact more with the audience. It made for a really fun and interesting experience, and I wish some of that would have transferred over to the special. But with the audience being a lot larger than the one I was in, and the amount of editing that had to take place to fit inside the hour slot, it seemed to lose a little of its special quality.But other than the pacing being faster and not as laid back, it’s an amazing routine. It was great the first time I heard it and it was hilarious to see it again and be able to talk about it with everyone else.
All in all, this is an amazing stand up album that I’ll be listening to for a very long time. All the jokes are unique and perfectly delivered, all inside a tight set that rarely goes more than a few seconds without the crowd erupting with laughter. Mulaney is definitely a comedian on top of his game and this newest special demands that he be put on your radar.