Who Should John Mulaney Be Now?
May 12, 2021 10:53 AM   Subscribe

"Mulaney has had an incredibly difficult year. We knew that he had checked himself into a Pennsylvania rehab facility in mid-December for a 60-day treatment to address his addiction to alcohol and cocaine, and that he and his wife of seven years, Anna Marie Tendler, were on the verge of divorcing; the latter news was confirmed the day of his first City Winery show. On Monday night, Mulaney opened up in ways no one had been expecting." (SLVulture)

"By the time this material is filmed, you’ll see less a new and improved John Mulaney, but an older, more mature one. You know how when a caterpillar is turning into a butterfly, their entire body decomposes before recomposing, so if you were to cut the chrysalis open in the middle, it would be just gross goo? Last night was like that goo. With most of the material, Mulaney didn’t come off particularly well; he knew that, and leaned into it."
posted by lunasol (178 comments total) 23 users marked this as a favorite
 
Sorry to hear that he relapsed, and glad he went to rehab. He seems like such a good person, (other than his love for the word "midgets").
posted by Windopaene at 10:59 AM on May 12 [3 favorites]


I read the piece -- it was interesting, and fair game as it was a review of a professional standup's show -- but it also left me thinking that I'd rather die than be famous. Or at least, I would have to be worth at least $100 million very liquid USD in order to make up for being famous, and I would use that money to disappear from public life until people were less interested in my divorce and stints in rehab.

My old (mean? not funny?) joke about Fred Armisen's long stints on Seth Meyers was that he had gotten divorced and had no place to spend the holidays anymore. Hearing that John Mulaney's appearances were proto-rehab...really makes me think that.
posted by grandiloquiet at 11:03 AM on May 12 [21 favorites]


John Mulaney's always used his life as his main source of material, and now he'll have different experiences to joke about. He's very talented and I'm sure he'll continue to be a good comic however his personal life goes from here. I mean, this is a guy who can make an anecdote about the time he had his prostate checked into a bit.

Not quite on topic, but if you haven't heard his "The Salt and Pepper Diner" story yet, you should. I've listened to it multiple times, and it kills me every time. The last time I heard it I wound up lying face down on my couch emitting high-pitched squealing noises because I was laughing too hard to breathe properly and therefore couldn't laugh normally either.
posted by orange swan at 11:10 AM on May 12 [31 favorites]


By the time of his first City Winery show, he told the audience, he was 141 days sober. At which point, we all clapped.

One of the only things I disliked about early sobriety (yes, 141 days is early) was people telling me stuff like "I'm so proud of you!" when we weren't really all that close of friends....I didn't want to tell them I actually don't care at all what you think about this, but that was the truth. They meant well, I said thanks and let it ride. I just found it kind of cringey, in most cases. I knew fully well it was not a done deal; I personally knew people who had been sober for a couple of years and then later drank themselves to death.
posted by thelonius at 11:10 AM on May 12 [43 favorites]


I'm 2.5 years sober after decades of booze (mostly) and some drug abuse. Rehab stints, detoxes, hospital, sober living house, near divorce, etc.

2.5 years ago, I felt something click as I sat down to call my wife from my second 5 day medical detox. I don't know exactly what happened and it wasn't a revelation or some godly intervention. I just couldn't do it anymore. I stopped. I was embarrassed. I had a vision of who and where I was. And I have no desire to do it anymore. I had support and luck and a decent living with a disposable income of sorts. White cis het male to top it off. Lucky.

When I first read he was hired as a writer on Seth Meyer's show, I thought: I bet he relapsed. I needed structure to my days and nights. I'm no expert and I know I could fall back into full-blown addiction spiral TODAY if I wanted to. But right now I don't want to. I'm trying to keep it that way. I wish him the best. I wish all my fellow substance use disorder humans the best.

All I know is I cannot get sober again.
posted by SoberHighland at 11:19 AM on May 12 [100 favorites]


What's New Pussycat!
posted by Windopaene at 11:23 AM on May 12 [7 favorites]


I needed structure to my days and nights. I'm no expert and I know I could fall back into full-blown addiction spiral TODAY if I wanted to.

I'm also sober, and one of my favourite jokes is from Craig Ferguson's brilliant monologue on sobriety: "I don't have a drinking problem. I don't. But I can get one, fast."
posted by ZaphodB at 11:29 AM on May 12 [48 favorites]


“Most people live their entire lives with their clothes on, and even if they wanted to, couldn’t take them off,” she writes. “Then there are those who cannot put them on. They are the ones who live their lives not just as people but as examples of people. They are destined to expose every part of themselves, so the rest of us can know what it means to be a human.” Mulaney is trying to create material that is both funny and says something about addiction, public perception, truth, fame, being a good guy, and how a person should be. He is working toward something great, but, for right now, he’s just working.

Oh. You mean an artist?

Early sobriety is so weird. It’s like you’re two people, a hulking brute possessed of metric kilos of self-loathing and shame, and behind that brute, a squalling baby. And somehow, you’re supposed to age the baby and tame the brute at the same time. I feel for him. Can’t even imagine the pressures of needing to do that kind of work while getting clean.
posted by Ephelump Jockey at 11:30 AM on May 12 [19 favorites]


I really don't understand why this guy constantly gets a pass. He's just another unfunny, entitled asshole, no? Six months ago he was on the huge platform that is SNL telling people not to vote because Biden was the same as Trump. Fuck this guy.
posted by dobbs at 11:34 AM on May 12 [9 favorites]


Six months ago he was on the huge platform that is SNL telling people not to vote because Biden was the same as Trump.

FWIW, he delivered a pretty clear and unqualified apology for that one.
posted by lunasol at 11:39 AM on May 12 [17 favorites]


Entitled asshole, maybe, but unfunny? That's just mean.

I feel like John and Pete are both caught in a horrible self-destructive spiral, but I hold out some hope that between the two of them, they'll manage to pull each other out.
posted by jacquilynne at 11:41 AM on May 12 [3 favorites]


One of the only things I disliked about early sobriety (yes, 141 days is early) was people telling me stuff like "I'm so proud of you!" when we weren't really all that close of friends....I didn't want to tell them I actually don't care at all what you think about this, but that was the truth. They meant well, I said thanks and let it ride. I just found it kind of cringey, in most cases. I knew fully well it was not a done deal; I personally knew people who had been sober for a couple of years and then later drank themselves to death.

Oh... yes. When I was at that stage of my sobriety, a bit less than nine years ago, I was pretty miserable and angry; the pink cloud of early sobriety had long since lifted, and I was months away from accepting the fact of my addiction and dealing with the legal and personal consequences, and really starting to work a program. And I had been one of those people who'd had a couple of years (and change) of sobriety without a program, and had gone back out and eventually gotten another DUI. I can't imagine doing something like going out on a stage and trying to be funny in those early days of 2012.
posted by Halloween Jack at 11:42 AM on May 12 [8 favorites]


I really don't understand why this guy constantly gets a pass.

Well you aren't giving him a pass, are you? I'm sure there are many people out there in the world who aren't giving John Mulaney a pass. And I imagine some (or all?) of them think he's not particularly funny, and/or entitled, and that thing he said about not voting for Biden should damn him to hell.

The thing is, some people give John Mulaney a pass. They think he is funny. The world is full of people, some people get to appear funny to some other people, and that's just life.
posted by elkevelvet at 11:46 AM on May 12 [52 favorites]


He said that he started drinking at a very young age because he'd always had attention and then as a preteen it stopped. I can't help but feel like the real addition there is attention, and as an introvert with a family history of addiction, that's terrifying to me. It would mean to me that no matter what I took or drank, it really wouldn't be what I truly needed. But that's just an armchair observation from a fan. I don't know.. but that he'd joke about the intervention - attention from 12 people who love him - it sort of hurts my heart.

I genuinely wish him well, from someone else who "shoves their emotions down, and then one day I'll die." Something like Robin Williams saying "the funniest people are the most depressed." I'd trade some of his funny knowing it would give him some genuine happiness.
posted by librarianamy at 11:50 AM on May 12 [12 favorites]


I think John Mulaney is extremely funny. And I decided to like him as a person when he seemed to care very much for and want to help Pete Davidson when Pete was going through his tough time a few years ago. Of course, as is always the case, who knows what's really going on in people's lives? In any case, I hope the best for him.
posted by gwint at 11:51 AM on May 12 [14 favorites]


This is such a well written article, I've almost never seen a dissection of the craft of comedy written in such a humane way, keeping the person of the comedian at the center while never losing focus on craft either. Nice!
posted by MiraK at 11:51 AM on May 12 [25 favorites]


another unfunny, entitled asshole

anyone who can listen to the Salt and Pepper Diner bit and not crack the faintest smile is a cop.
posted by logicpunk at 11:52 AM on May 12 [32 favorites]


I really don't understand why this guy constantly gets a pass.

I'm not really sure what "getting a pass" means in this context. We don't, as a rule, cancel people for being unfunny unless they're unfunny in abusive, racist, sexist, or ableist ways. And we certainly don't cancel people for having substance abuse issues, that's a revolting stance frankly. Taste still exists and is permitted and no artist is universally beloved except for Dolly Parton.

If you are a showrunner on a comedy series and you don't wanna hire him nobody is going to MAKE you hire him. Nobody's going to MAKE you watch his standup. But it seems overshooting to say that he should Never Work in This Town Again Because DRUGS...ick.
posted by We put our faith in Blast Hardcheese at 11:55 AM on May 12 [54 favorites]


I'm not about to cancel someone for this either:
“But just rest assured,” he added, “no matter what happens, nothing much will change in the United States. The rich will continue to prosper while the poor languish. Families will be upended by mental illness and drug addiction. Jane Lynch will continue to book lots of projects.”
His main point wasn't incorrect, being that the rich are getting richer, people are suffering, and Jane Lynch is doing great, and the election isn't going to change any of that. Not every valid point comes out of everyone's mouth fully perfectly formed every single time.
posted by bleep at 12:10 PM on May 12 [27 favorites]


I don't understand why Jane Lynch booking projects is not a good thing, is she not cool anymore?

Anyway, I love Mulaney, but that was a stupid, reckless thing to say, I don't begrudge anyone who is done with him for saying that. If I knew him personally I'd want to smack him on the head and yell "these things matter, asshole!" And I think that's basically what happened, which is good enough or me. I wish him the best and hope he continues to write funny material.
posted by skewed at 12:17 PM on May 12 [4 favorites]


And frankly turning a well-written, thoughtful article about a human being’s struggle with addiction and their first halting steps into healing strikes me as a little gauche.
posted by Ephelump Jockey at 12:17 PM on May 12 [3 favorites]


I suggest everyone read the full apology lunasol linked to above. Not only does he make it clear that he vastly prefers Biden and should have said so, he explains the process that a joke goes through (for him) before it makes its public debut, and he said he slid on that one, and never should have said it, and deserved all of the blowback he got for it.

And also remember that his appearance on SNL when he told that joke was during his relapse into alcohol and cocaine abuse.
posted by tzikeh at 12:18 PM on May 12 [11 favorites]


a well-written, thoughtful article about a human being’s struggle with addiction and their first halting steps into healing

Seriously! I'm blown away by the gentleness and humanity in the writing. What else has this guy written? I would like to subscribe to his newsletter. (Edit: oh wait, he's the guy who does the Good One podcast! Not surprised, it's EXCELLENT.)
posted by MiraK at 12:24 PM on May 12 [6 favorites]


anyone who can listen to the Salt and Pepper Diner bit and not crack the faintest smile is a cop.

What I heard was a story about a couple kids who damn well knew what they were doing when they deliberately subjected a bunch of other people to their jerk behavior. I'm not a cop, but I sure as hell kept waiting for the funny bit to happen and it never did. I would have been right there with the poor guy pounding the table in agonized frustration.

I know next to nothing about John Mulaney. I wish him the best of luck with his recovery. But having listened to that diner story, I won't be searching out any of his other material.
posted by Greg_Ace at 12:26 PM on May 12 [2 favorites]


FWIW, he delivered a pretty clear and unqualified apology for that one.

Yeah, not accepted. Going on national TV right before the election and spouting off some "both sides, amiright?" bullshit isn't something that I'll ever forgive.
posted by octothorpe at 12:27 PM on May 12 [9 favorites]


but like, legally you have to tell us if you're a cop if we ask. are you a cop??
posted by Think_Long at 12:28 PM on May 12 [25 favorites]


are you a cop??

Not just no but hell no.
posted by Greg_Ace at 12:29 PM on May 12 [1 favorite]


I don't understand why Jane Lynch booking projects is not a good thing, is she not cool anymore?

No, that's the joke, it's a list of terrible things that won't change, and also Jane Lynch booking gigs, which sounds like he's saying she's terrible but then he follows it up to say obviously she isn't.
posted by jacquilynne at 12:30 PM on May 12


To me he was just stating a list of facts, good or bad.
posted by bleep at 12:31 PM on May 12 [5 favorites]


What I heard was a story about a couple kids who damn well knew what they were doing when they deliberately subjected a bunch of other people to their jerk behavior.

I agree, and I generally like Mulaney's jokes
posted by timdiggerm at 12:35 PM on May 12


Man...I wish we held our enemies to as high a standard as we hold our allies. There's plenty of people I'll never forgive for what they did from 2016-2020, but can't say John Mulaney (whom I really only know from a handful of SNL skits) is one of them.
posted by praemunire at 12:37 PM on May 12 [84 favorites]


I blame PTSD from that strange, malformed, hellish dimension you call 2016-2020.
posted by Ephelump Jockey at 12:44 PM on May 12 [3 favorites]


are you a cop??

Not just no but hell no.


I didn't think the skit was particularly funny, but I thought it illustrated that being a huge jerk can be funny in hindsight if the storyteller is gifted. They did the equivalent of pressing every button in the elevator, which is easy and juvenile, but the story was better than the actual act.

At least What's New Pussy Cat is actually a short song, though it seems longer, so 7 plays is only like 15 minutes.

To me he was just stating a list of facts, good or bad.
His joke about the election is equally juvenile, but not told well. Are we really expecting Joe Biden to stop mental illness and keep Jane Lynch down? "Well we got gay space communism, but I'm still bald and only 5'10". The president sucks amirite? "
posted by The_Vegetables at 12:45 PM on May 12 [2 favorites]


But having listened to that diner story, I won't be searching out any of his other material.

Lol I'm sorry but between this and "omg he did a both sides-ing" this is like next level pearl clutching over some objectively benign comedy shit, good god. Between the last ten years of comedy controversy around rape jokes and racism and racists masquerading as telling-it-like-it-is comedians; this guy shares a story about some kids joking around at a diner or saying some clumsy variation of "gee whiz politics sucks don't it" and people are motivated to enter into a thread about his addiction struggles to cross their arms and huff "well IIIIIIII don't like him" Unreal levels of hall monitor nerd energy happening here jesus christ.
posted by windbox at 12:47 PM on May 12 [227 favorites]


If I were a stand up comic I could easily do a tight 10 minutes about this thread.
posted by bondcliff at 12:49 PM on May 12 [64 favorites]


Yeah well, welcome to MetaFilter lol
posted by stinkfoot at 12:49 PM on May 12 [11 favorites]


Unreal levels of hall monitor nerd energy happening here Jesus christ.

Hall monitor nerd energy is Metafilter's brand.
posted by betweenthebars at 12:49 PM on May 12 [95 favorites]


He didn't even try to get that horse out of the hospital. unreal.
posted by Think_Long at 12:51 PM on May 12 [45 favorites]


A pal of mine's brother put If by Telly Savalas on the pub jukebox some large number of times (16 comes to mind). He was barred. From the only pub in the village. Now that was funny.
posted by StephenB at 12:53 PM on May 12 [8 favorites]


teeth-gnashing over a Mulaney bit during an SNL monologue when the show had Trump himself host (in 2004 and again in 2015, after he'd declared his presidential bid), giving Trump a ton of free publicity by referencing him in material (for well over a decade -- The Apprentice is an NBC embarrassment), especially throughout 45's term and presidential runs, is a real forest/trees sitch
posted by Iris Gambol at 12:53 PM on May 12 [35 favorites]


If by Telly Savalas

I thought it was Rudyard Kipling
posted by thelonius at 12:55 PM on May 12 [5 favorites]


Hall monitor nerd energy is Metafilter's brand.
*extremely Ron Perlman voice* Metafilter, Metafilter never changes.
posted by Ephelump Jockey at 12:55 PM on May 12 [14 favorites]


Unreal levels of hall monitor nerd energy happening here

You wander the halls of Metafilter without a pass, you'll definitely get what's coming to you!
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 12:59 PM on May 12 [8 favorites]


People are really uptight about this Diner bit.

For years I have been loading up digital jukeboxes with 5 to 8 back-to-back plays of 'Cherry Pie' by Warrant every chance I get. Sometimes, if I'm lucky, there'll be a live version of the song on one of the deeper digital boxes, so the crowd gets a moment of false relief in the intro prior to hearing that opening chorus. And woe befall the units that let me use my credit card to just auto-charge playback long after I've left the premises.

Learn to live a little!
posted by jordantwodelta at 1:02 PM on May 12 [24 favorites]


I don't think I stopped laughing for a single moment when I saw him on tour for Kid Gorgeous. In the years since then, reading about his struggles, I've wished that he could trade away some of his funny for less sorrow. Sincerely wishing him the best as he ungoos and morebutterflies.

I love his homebuying bit, the little shimmy he does while impersonating his realtor has made its way into my physical vocabulary. Also really enjoy his Petunia bits.
posted by snerson at 1:04 PM on May 12 [2 favorites]


Man, I've been to the Salt and Pepper Diner, and 20 plays of "What's New Pussycat" with one random play of "It's Not Unusual" would have improved the experience.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 1:05 PM on May 12 [27 favorites]


this is like next level pearl clutching over some objectively benign comedy shit, good god.

And that comment is likewise an over-reaction to me simply saying I didn't find his story funny. Also, "objectively benign" is a subjective opinion.
posted by Greg_Ace at 1:06 PM on May 12 [7 favorites]


The horse is really loose in this hospital/thread. The internet is where people come to make sure no one else is enjoying aaaaaaaaaanything.

Also, I'm 7 days without a drink. It has been quite awhile since that has happened. Cool, cool, cool.
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 1:08 PM on May 12 [59 favorites]


If by Telly Savalas

I thought it was Rudyard Kipling


No that's Stephen King.
posted by Naberius at 1:09 PM on May 12 [8 favorites]


teeth-gnashing over a Mulaney bit during an SNL monologue when the show had Trump himself host . . . is a real forest/trees sitch

Why? SNL sucks irredeemably in my opinion for all of that and more, but it's not really the subject at hand, is it?

I didn't think the skit was particularly funny, but I thought it illustrated that being a huge jerk can be funny in hindsight if the storyteller is gifted.

Yeah, the point of the routine isn't "it's very funny to annoy people by replaying bad songs in public", you're not supposed to be impressed at his roguishness, or be inspired to do the same.
posted by skewed at 1:13 PM on May 12 [3 favorites]


teeth-gnashing over a Mulaney bit during an SNL monologue when the show had Trump himself host (in 2004 and again in 2015, after he'd declared his presidential bid), giving Trump a ton of free publicity by referencing him in material (for well over a decade -- The Apprentice is an NBC embarrassment), especially throughout 45's term and presidential runs, is a real forest/trees sitch

I'm perfectly capable of being mad about both of those things at the same time.
posted by octothorpe at 1:13 PM on May 12 [5 favorites]


I'd be curious to know where Mulaney fits on the axis. I'm crossing my fingers for something better than Saget.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 1:14 PM on May 12


I'd be curious where each of us falls on it, They sucked his brains out!. Let the games begin.
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 1:18 PM on May 12


Good article, but re: repetitive jukebox loading

Isn't that just a dick move? To mess with everyone's experience of a space just to have a few laughs to yourself? Granted, somebody else might also enjoy it but it just seems selfish to me.
posted by coolname at 1:27 PM on May 12 [1 favorite]


Isn't that just a dick move? To mess with everyone's experience of a space just to have a few laughs to yourself? Granted, somebody else might also enjoy it but it just seems selfish to me.

He was 11 years old.
posted by bondcliff at 1:29 PM on May 12 [86 favorites]


i think this thread has been sent to kill me, that's the only explanation
posted by Think_Long at 1:33 PM on May 12 [51 favorites]


I don't think Mulaney is "entitled." His standup persona has a certain brassiness, but he's always struck me as kind of a neurotic guy who worries a lot and wants to do good in the world.

Here's what I wrote about Mulaney's SNL monologue on Fanfare, and I stand by it but now I'd add that Mulaney was quite possibly intoxicated at the time:

I think his monologue fell a little flat but I don't think it was actually meant to be both-sides-y. Like, he is clearly anti-Trump and he had the pointed line in there about trying to fight the new Nazis despite the "greatest generation" fucking things up by voting for the guy they see between commemorative coin commercials. It was "us vs. Nazis," and that's pretty clear. But he's never been a very political comedian and the cynic in me thinks that's why Lorne booked him for the show a few days before the election. They didn't want somebody who'd been seen as "too liberal," and while Mulaney is a rock solid lefty (link to GQ article where he talks about being a Bernie Sanders fan) politics have never been a big part of his act.

I think that "nothing will change" stuff was a kind of clumsy attempt to say that no matter what happens, life in America will go on. The example he used, of some poor girl getting bullied at a slumber party, was not a happy picture at all. It was a scene of everyday, humdrum sadness. I think he was trying to say that even if it feels like we're on the brink of the apocalypse, the world will keep turning and ordinary life will go on. It was a tricky point and I think he fumbled it, as evidenced by how many people thought he was saying it doesn't matter who you vote for. I think it matters to him very much that people do not vote for Trump, but he doesn't think he's the guy to do political satire so he was trying to cheer us up in his snarky, John Mulaney way. It was... not great.

posted by Ursula Hitler at 1:34 PM on May 12 [17 favorites]


Jesus Christ, am I the only person who sees the Salt & Pepper Diner sketch as John Mulaney screaming, "You may think I'm funny but I'm actually an irredeemable asshole." to the world? Like, isn't that the core of his addiction issues? The fact that he has an incredible amount of self-loathing going through his head that is constantly dissonant with the smiling adulation he gets from the audience and others around him?

Damn, people.
posted by Big Al 8000 at 1:35 PM on May 12 [21 favorites]


Oh wow, not being a consumer of John Mulaney media, I read the FPP and several of these comments before I realized we weren't talking about John Mahoney...
posted by darkstar at 1:39 PM on May 12 [7 favorites]


The crazy thing is we're only at like the 6th play of "What's New Pussycat" of this thread
posted by gwint at 1:40 PM on May 12 [64 favorites]


John Mulaney has always struck me as deeply sad and full of conflicted self-loathing. I love his comedy, but a story of being a kid sitting at a diner and reading the times? I was that kid, sitting in the hallway reading a book because I tested out of my reading class and my small-town rural school didn't have a place for me. I am deeply saddened that he let his self-destructive behavior out of the bottle, and it sounds like it ruined the thing he loved most, which was his marriage. I'm full of self-destructive behaviors, and I fight them down every day because I don't want to ruin my own marriage.
posted by gwydapllew at 1:42 PM on May 12 [10 favorites]


When I was 15 I did the same thing with the jukebox at our local pizza joint with "Summer Nights" from the Grease soundtrack AITA?
posted by vverse23 at 1:43 PM on May 12 [9 favorites]


Good article, but re: repetitive jukebox loading

Isn't that just a dick move? To mess with everyone's experience of a space just to have a few laughs to yourself? Granted, somebody else might also enjoy it but it just seems selfish to me.



Absolutely. And I confess to having done it with a couple of my pals in the dining hall in my freshman year of college. Mercifully, the third time the plaintive notes of the song "Sara" by Jefferson Airplane Starship started up, someone cleverly, and quite appropriately, unplugged the jukebox.

I cringe at who I was 35 years ago.
posted by darkstar at 1:43 PM on May 12 [4 favorites]


it sounds like it ruined the thing he loved most, which was his marriage. I'm full of self-destructive behaviors, and I fight them down every day because I don't want to ruin my own marriage.

Yeah I deeply love a lot of his standup but it was during whatever his last big Netflix special was where the punchline to one of his jokes was calling his wife a bitch (after she had, I don't totally remember but I think asked him not to? Or something along those lines) where I was like "Wow, either they really have an understanding, and this is more of a bit than I gave him credit for, or he's burning this candle thoroughly at both ends."
posted by jessamyn at 1:46 PM on May 12 [13 favorites]


When I was 15 I did the same thing with the jukebox at our local pizza joint with "Summer Nights" from the Grease soundtrack AITA?

My friend and I would go into Radio Shack back when they would have the Color Computers set up to demo. We'd turn up the volume on the TV and then type the following:

10 for x=1 to 10000:next x
20 for x=1 to 255
30 Sound x,1
40 next x
Run

And then we would walk outside and look in the window at the employees when the REALLY LOUD alarm went off on the computer. Total dick move. We were maybe 13. Good times.
posted by bondcliff at 1:48 PM on May 12 [15 favorites]


given the response in this thread, it looks as if the "You may think I'm funny but I'm actually an irredeemable asshole," interpretation is very popular here?

¯\_(ツ)_/¯

When I was 15 I did the same thing with the jukebox at our local pizza joint with "Summer Nights" from the Grease soundtrack AITA?

apparently, in the eyes of mefi, irredeemably so.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯

anyway, in the words of "an irredeemable asshole",
...when I was a kid, I was raised that you should be nice to everyone in every situation because you never know their story. But now, at the end of my life, I don’t know, because a lot of people don’t seem that nice and they seem to be doing fine in the world. Or maybe they have different definitions of what it means to be nice. That’s something you figure out as you get older and meet new people. Not everyone thinks the same things are nice.
posted by i used to be someone else at 1:48 PM on May 12 [13 favorites]


The thing to remember is that, collectively, Metafilter hates everything and everyone.

(and also with you)
posted by Huffy Puffy at 1:52 PM on May 12 [46 favorites]


Jesus Christ, am I the only person who sees the Salt & Pepper Diner sketch as John Mulaney screaming, "You may think I'm funny but I'm actually an irredeemable asshole." to the world? Like, isn't that the core of his addiction issues? The fact that he has an incredible amount of self-loathing going through his head that is constantly dissonant with the smiling adulation he gets from the audience and others around him?

This is absolutely correct. As an audience member, what do you do with that information? Louis C.K. was screaming on stage for years and years about how terrible he was. Were people really shocked when he turned out to be actually heinous? I don't know. People didn't want to see it.

In the article, it says that John Mulaney talked in this set about awful things he did. But the Salt & Pepper Diner bit, compared to Louis C.K., is just...really really mild? He also didn't help Tyler because he was on the bench, and in both cases he was a kid. I might be wrong, but nothing in his comedy has made him seem like a bad person. He actually seems like quite a good person. But clearly he does have this self-loathing, and clearly it interacts with the adulation he's received in some fucked up way. (Although, I think that might be universally true for stand-ups.) So what do we do with that? I deeply believe in killing your heroes; nobody is worth putting on a pedestal, everybody is just human. But in our culture now, we don't have any way to recognize celebrities as human until they've done something bad enough to get cancelled, and then they're ruined forever.

I don't have experience with addiction, but I do have experience with other forms of mental illness, both personally and in loved ones, that can lead to people doing fucked up shit. And I know that responding to it requires a difficult balance of support, acceptance, and accountability. None of us is really equipped to do that for a stranger, and it's not our place to. Mulaney is my favorite comedian, and I feel sorry for him, and when his next project comes out I'll engage with it, and if you don't like him then don't do that. I think that pretty much sums up the realm of genuinely appropriate responses.
posted by cosmic owl at 1:52 PM on May 12 [19 favorites]


"You may think I'm funny but I'm actually an irredeemable asshole." to the world? Like, isn't that the core of his addiction issues? The fact that he has an incredible amount of self-loathing going through his head that is constantly dissonant with the smiling adulation he gets from the audience and others around him?

This feels autobiographical for me. And yes, I'll do anything to shut my brain down from the repetitive thoughts of bad, no good, very bad. A lot of ADHD/anxiety/depressed folks probably would also see themselves in it. The way he tells the jokes feels like therapy sometimes.
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 1:53 PM on May 12 [7 favorites]


and with your spirit, huffy puffy, and with your spirit.
posted by i used to be someone else at 1:53 PM on May 12 [4 favorites]


ALSO I HAVE THE MEN AT WORK SONG STUCK IN MY HEAD WHY DID I OPEN THIS THREAD WHO CAN IT BE NOW
posted by Huffy Puffy at 1:53 PM on May 12 [8 favorites]


17 years old, drunk in the Morrisey Tavern Toronto at 4:00 in the afternoon; my pal and I went with the Theme from Ghostbusters 9 times on the jukebox. Yes, asshole.

I wish him well - the horse in the hospital story was very very funny imo.
posted by whatevernot at 1:53 PM on May 12 [2 favorites]


Yeah, the point of the routine isn't "it's very funny to annoy people by replaying bad songs in public"

It’s pretty funny when a kid does something like that. That people are responding like he still does this regularly at 40 or whatever is kinda weird to me.
posted by atoxyl at 1:56 PM on May 12 [45 favorites]


For years I have been loading up digital jukeboxes with 5 to 8 back-to-back plays of 'Cherry Pie' by Warrant every chance I get.

For two summers, I worked in a restaurant and after it closed, I played Red, Red Wine and Cherry Pie alternately until I was finished my closing work and could go home because they were the only songs on our jukebox that were not old stuff even my parents wouldn't have listened to. I have no idea what kind of trauma I caused to our cooks with that routine, but since they didn't have to scrub the toilets, I didn't care, either.
posted by jacquilynne at 1:57 PM on May 12 [4 favorites]


17 years old, drunk in the Morrisey Tavern Toronto at 4:00 in the afternoon; my pal and I went with the Theme from Ghostbusters 9 times on the jukebox.

IT WAS YOU!
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 1:58 PM on May 12 [20 favorites]


I had no idea about his drug and alcohol problems. I just assumed he was as square in real life as he comes across on stage. Now I have to recalibrate my view of his acting ability.
posted by interogative mood at 2:09 PM on May 12 [3 favorites]


I remember thinking “Hmm, this sounds like there’s some trauma there,” when I heard John Mulaney talking about being a habitual blackout drinker as a teenager, and it turned out that I was correct. Apparently his little brother passed away as a baby and I cannot imagine the toll that that must have taken on his family.

I work with middle schoolers and yes, sometimes they do things we wish they wouldn’t do. Considering all the things he and his friend could have been doing at the Salt and Pepper Diner, the jukebox thing is pretty mild.
posted by corey flood at 2:10 PM on May 12 [12 favorites]


To you all, un-self-aware abusers of public eardrums, adolescent douchebags, we honor your meritorious service. You have performed your solemn duty, unique to only you.

You were teenagers. Go with god.
posted by Ephelump Jockey at 2:12 PM on May 12 [16 favorites]


I had no idea about his drug and alcohol problems. I just assumed he was as square in real life as he comes across on stage. Now I have to recalibrate my view of his acting ability.
Exactly. I never found him particularly funny and had only a tenuous understanding of his style. Honestly, now that I know he was going through all this, it makes me want to dig through his old material. As a co-sober-person, it always helps to understand a fellow traveler.
posted by Ephelump Jockey at 2:23 PM on May 12 [1 favorite]


Yeah, cryin' out loud, when a grown man did the jukebox thing with Thin Lizzy six years ago, as I recall he was hailed as a hero around this place.

Mulaney reminds me a fair bit of the person I was when I moonlit in stage comedy -- trying to earn back my right to exist by being funny, because my guilt complex had conditioned me to assume that my only possible uses in this world were as a scapegoat or a mascot. Honestly, that was most of the people I worked with in comedy. Substance issues and marriage troubles were as common as prematurely-dead parents and behavioural health problems.

And we were just small potatoes. As others have noted, I can't imagine what it would've been like to be famous. (I got recognized once or twice a year, and I always felt about to be "caught unfunny" when it happened.)
posted by armeowda at 2:36 PM on May 12 [10 favorites]


the punchline to one of his jokes was calling his wife a bitch (after she had, I don't totally remember but I think asked him not to? Or something along those lines)

This isn't accurate, actually. There's sort of two parts to it, in one part he's talking about how his wife doesn't care what people think of her, which he thinks is amazing and something he wishes he could do, because he's always desperately trying to make people like him. It's like he's running for mayor all the time.

He's kind of making a point about comedians who obviously hate their partners with the bitch stuff. He mentions that when they got married, he asked her if he could still make fun of her onstage, and she thought about it and said that, yeah, he could still make fun of her. But she didn't want him to say she was a bitch and that he didn't like her. Which he says is not true and he would never say his wife was a bitch and that he didn't like her because "what kind of show would that be." He made a face that clearly conveyed what he thought about comedians who do that sort of thing. Then he says in an admiring tone, "My wife's a bitch and I like her SO MUCH."

I can get why people wouldn't like any of that. I can get why people would be offended by that whole part of the routine. But I'm an unabashed fan of his, and what flummoxes me is the way people misrepresent this section, and how much he clearly adores his wife there, as him doing something she asked him not to and being hostile toward her and it's proof he's a bad human.

I'm really pulling for him to find his footing and I hope everything comes out okay. I've enjoyed hearing his laugh lately on Seth Myers's show. He's made me laugh in some really difficult times when I wasn't sure I'd ever find anything funny again. (I was in a diner a few years ago when someone played an annoying song multiple times on the old jukebox. I'm sure it had nothing to do with his routine, but I said to my friend, the fifth time we heard it, "This has some definite Salt and Pepper Diner energy" and we both laughed. And you know, I would have been the person getting apoplectic with rage before, but that freaking routine helped me grit my teeth and just chill about it instead of letting my blood pressure skyrocket.)
posted by kitten kaboodle at 2:39 PM on May 12 [77 favorites]


2018's Kid Gorgeous (transcript) has the "my wife is a bitch" joke, and it's a deliberate inversion of the stock wife-joke stand-up routines. Here, his wife Anna is his hero, while Mulaney's the exhausting & difficult spouse:

[...] And I love and respect my wife very much. So I said to her, “We’ve been married for three and a half years.” And she knew that. I said, “Do you mind if I still make fun of you on stage? And my wife said, “Yeah, you can make fun of me. But just don’t say that I’m a bitch and that you don’t like me.” I was like, “The bar is so much lower than I ever imagined. That’s it?” Also, I wouldn’t say that. What kind of show would that even be? Hello. My wife is a bitch! And I don’t like her! That’s like a support group for men in crisis, with keynote speakers Jon Voight and Alec Baldwin.

Also, I would never say that, not even as a joke, that my wife is a bitch and I don’t like her. That is not true. My wife is a bitch and I like her so much.

She is a dynamite, five-foot, Jewish bitch and she’s the best. She and I have totally different styles. When my wife walks down the street, she does not give a shit what anyone thinks of her in any situation. She’s my hero. When I walk down the street, I need everybody, all day long, to like me so much. It’s exhausting. My wife said that walking around with me is like walking around with someone who’s running for mayor of nothing.

My wife and I went to Best Buy to get a TV. We didn’t end up getting the TV. I was afraid that the Best Buy guy was going to be mad at me, so I bought an HDMI cable. I go to the register with Anna, my wife’s name Anna, she’s standing next to me, I hand the guy the HDMI cable. He takes it, he scans it, he says, “Do you have a Best Buy Rewards card?” And I said, “No, I wish!”

And then my wife said, “Jesus Christ!” And fully walked away from me.

posted by Iris Gambol at 2:45 PM on May 12 [76 favorites]


Louis C.K. was screaming on stage for years and years about how terrible he was. Were people really shocked when he turned out to be actually heinous? I don't know. People didn't want to see it.

The world is shitty enough for most folks that they will give you a lot of margin if you can just make them laugh.

(This is not an attempt to excuse profoundly shitty behavior. It is an observation.)
posted by jscalzi at 2:45 PM on May 12 [11 favorites]


For me, the really revealing bit of the diner routine is how the staff just don't give a shit. I don't know if all jukeboxes have hidden override/skip buttons, but the one in the last place that I frequented on a regular basis did, and you knew that you were a regular when they told you about it.
posted by Halloween Jack at 2:52 PM on May 12 [6 favorites]


I've always found Mulaney to be a really interesting and surprising comedian because, as TFA says, he has this very clean-cut, freshly-pressed image, and his material is so clean in many ways (so many of my friends with pre-teens love him partly because they can watch his stuff with kids and not worry about anything raunchy but also not anything racist/sexist/etc) but he really also mines a pretty deep and fairly dark vein of anxiety and self-loathing.

One of my favorite bits of his is a throwaway joke where he says "college was like a four-year game show called Do My Friends Hate Me or Do I Just Need to Go to Sleep?" I found this so relatable! And it has that extra frisson of surprise because he doesn't look like someone who would be insecure in that kind of way.

but that he'd joke about the intervention - attention from 12 people who love him - it sort of hurts my heart.

I remember reading/hearing a quote once from a comedian who said that when they told a joke, they were asking people to love them, and when the audience laughed, it was like they were agreeing to love them and I always think about that with comedians like Mulaney. It must be both gratifying and extremely uncomfortable to have so much social anxiety and be so beloved by a hardcore base of fans, people who only know this one part of you that you've shown them.
posted by lunasol at 2:57 PM on May 12 [17 favorites]


> For me, the really revealing bit of the diner routine is how the staff just don't give a shit.

In The Olden Days I worked at a dingy little restaurant/theater that had a jukebox with a terrible selection. People would play The Black Crowes' "She Talks to Angels" nonstop all night. The staff hated it, but we'd become inured to it and it would run off customers who had finished eating which would let us prep tables for a new round of (shitty) tippers.
posted by haileris23 at 3:03 PM on May 12 [5 favorites]


My wife and I went to Best Buy to get a TV. We didn’t end up getting the TV. I was afraid that the Best Buy guy was going to be mad at me, so I bought an HDMI cable.

Aw man. I went into a bookstore today, first time in a year, they didn't have the book I wanted. They offered to order it for next week. I said no, thank you after a long pause.

I then bought another book. Fuck! I don't need this book!

Not sure if it's irony that the book is called "Stop doing that shit."
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 3:08 PM on May 12 [6 favorites]


Thanks, kitten kaboodle, that was a great comment.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 3:11 PM on May 12


Yeah, cryin' out loud, when a grown man did the jukebox thing with Thin Lizzy six years ago, as I recall he was hailed as a hero around this place.

from that 2015 discussion:

I did this with "Beast of Burden" (possibly more than once...) and never even got yelled at. Because it's fucking great.

which speaks to my concern with the Salt + Pepper Diner bit. There seems to be an assumption that What's New Pussycat? isn't a great, great record, that Tom Jones' masterful performance of that song is at a level that I personally just don't have words for. I mean, try to imagine anybody else alive or dead actually delivering that song -- making it work not as comedy bit, not as a cringe worthy so-bad-it's-good embarrassment but as the gold standard pop aural sculpture it is.

I'm serious
posted by philip-random at 3:13 PM on May 12 [6 favorites]




Okay if we’re really doing this.

My crowning jukebox moment?

Me, five other dudes, all wasted, some coked out, all definitely assholes hellbent, at the oh so late hour of 10PM, on upending the depressing and dismal come-here-to-die atmosphere of a tiny bar in the bible belt. It started with Slayer, Seasons In The Abyss, a tepid choice, an eyebrow raised here and there, the occasional “what the hail is that racket?” and so on. Intercut with some hiphop-infused country abomination of the time. Then Cannibal Corpse. Then Deicide. Then silence, and Bailey, the angriest, most stern faced mama bartender you’re ever likely to meet, and she’s pregnant, and she is not having it. One hard look, and even we, the immortal rednecks, were chastened.

Technology does improve some things.
posted by Ephelump Jockey at 3:19 PM on May 12 [5 favorites]


one time in my local bar some dudebro douches played Brandy (You're A Fine Girl) by The Looking Glass like 10x in a row but I was ok with it because that song kinda rips plus that band was from new brunswick, nj which is my home town. HUB CITY!

i got kicked out of a different local bar because this one dude had stacked up $20 worth of 10-minute-long live Phish jams -- he ALWAYS did this, but he very courteously told me that the current song was the last one so I could go ahead and put some songs on. I did, and as soon as I put my money in and started picking my songs he came up to me and said "HA HA JUST KIDDING THERE ARE ACTUALLY ABOUT TEN SONGS LEFT IN MY PHISH SET"

things escalated from there (i had EVEN LESS chill back then) and we both got kicked out for the night.

we made up the next week and made plans to go to a Phish concert together. (never happened thank god)
posted by capnsue at 3:29 PM on May 12 [11 favorites]


There seems to be an assumption that What's New Pussycat? isn't a great, great record

All the jukebox stories clearly indicate that the intent is to annoy people. In my own case at least, I'd be annoyed by repeat plays even if was my favoritest song in the whole wide world.
posted by Greg_Ace at 3:41 PM on May 12 [1 favorite]


“Ghostbusters”, “Sara”, “Cherry Pie”… the prank doesn’t work when you pick good songs.
posted by Servo5678 at 3:43 PM on May 12 [5 favorites]


Both What's New Pussycat and It's Not Unusual are great tunes.
posted by whatevernot at 3:45 PM on May 12 [6 favorites]


Age 15 or so, my friends and I pooled our quarters in a Pizza Inn and cued up around 20 plays of Don’t Worry, Be Happy by Bobby McFerrin, which was a hit at the time. It was funny to us. I’m not that worried about it.

Also I worry about Mulaney. He is clearly troubled but my god he makes our whole family laugh till it hurts. The Sack Lunch Kids special is just *chef’s kiss*.

“Is Mr. Music OK?”
“No, Mr. Music is not OK.”
posted by freecellwizard at 3:50 PM on May 12 [14 favorites]


This is really sad. I never saw any self-loathing in him at all unlike some other posters. He came off like a super clean, self aware and very together, very mature man. I can only imagine how knowing or fearing that deep down you are the opposite of the image you project can lead to serious inner turmoil.

I haven't yet heard the new material but I hope it's as revolting as he may feel inside. It's important he expresses that if only to relieve himself of the distress of keeping it hidden. It's extremely important as a creator to make the thing you're frightened of making - to show the person you think others will hate.

His current fanbase might not like it, he'll probably draw in some dodgy crowds but at least he'll settle on a persona that doesn't leave him feeling like a liar at the end of the night.

I only wish him well.
posted by ihaveyourfoot at 3:51 PM on May 12 [7 favorites]


I'll take snotnosed youths ironically pouring coins into an exhausted jukebox over snotnosed any-age-people unironically playing their own competing music on their phone speakers at five individual tables, is all I'm saying.
posted by armeowda at 3:51 PM on May 12 [10 favorites]


this one dude had stacked up $20 worth of 10-minute-long live Phish jams

There... there are bars that have jukeboxes on which live Phish jams are, like, an option? I wish I could go there.
posted by Daily Alice at 3:59 PM on May 12 [13 favorites]


Mulaney's a really talented comedian and I wish him best luck and long, healthy sobriety. I expect we'll only see his material improve... eventually, given that it's hard to stay in practice and improve on stage during plague. (Even experienced comedians need stage time on a continuing basis.) I like him best when he's dark, which he is often but it's kind of camouflaged ,and we'll probably see more dark as he works out his struggles sober. If he keeps clean I'm sure he'll continue to be very successful.
posted by Sterros at 4:01 PM on May 12 [3 favorites]


I'd be curious to know where Mulaney fits on the axis. I'm crossing my fingers for something better than Saget.

That graph needs to be updated to include Dave Chappelle. Just going on his last two SNL monologues, I think he's passed O'Neal on the y-axis.

I didn't know who Mulaney was until I saw him on SNL. I'm wishing him well in his efforts to remain sober.
posted by fuse theorem at 4:17 PM on May 12


@freecell wizard - That Mr Music character is what I feel like in any professional space, and I begin to wonder if that's just how Mulaney feels the whole time too
posted by slightlybewildered at 4:21 PM on May 12 [5 favorites]


RE: The Bitch Joke

The underlying basis for the insult "bitch" is that women should be likable and compliant to the people around them, so failing to meet this standard is something negative. In the criticism that Mulaney once called his wife a bitch, there's an assumption then that this must have inherently been a bad act because there'd be no scenario in which him describing his wife with this word could be anything other than insulting.

Jokes are often based on a reversal of expectations. In this case, he is not saying that he dislikes his wife for being a bitch, or even that he likes her in spite of her being a bitch. He is saying that he loves and respects her for being a bitch, that her non-compliance to these expectations is a positive, lovable, and admirable quality. The reversal of expectations here is that he is using a word assumed to be an insult as a complement. In doing so, the joke highlights the audience's underlying expectations about women.

This is all a long way of saying that while Mulaney is obviously not a perfect person, as a woman, I love this joke.
posted by past unusual at 4:22 PM on May 12 [96 favorites]


When I listen to The Salt and Pepper Diner I feel a little guilty for laughing, not because it's mean-spirited but because it's relatably mean-spirited. We've all made a snarky remark, we've all played a prank, we've all had a laugh at someone else's expense at some point in our lives.

So that bit is cathartic to me, because I've largely grown out of enjoying that sort of thing, but it hits those same notes in a way that is fundamentally harmless. If eleven plays of What's New Pussycat is the most annoying thing you can imagine a child doing, I guess you just haven't met any children.

I really can't take any criticism of that bit seriously from someone who isn't talking about his "midget" jokes. That's some shit he did as a full-grown man, on one of the most prominent shows in the world, and then he did stand-up bits doubling down on it:
[Someone from the network] said, "If you put that word on TV, there could be a protest of midgets on this building!"

And I said, "Promise?"
That's something that actually hurts people. The most generous interpretation is that he's criticizing network executives for performative wokeness, but the "Promise?" punchline makes it clear he's no more concerned than they are.

I think he's very funny in general and a great performer, but historically he has several jokes that "punch down" and not enough that "punch up." I felt the same way about Louis C.K. and I'm really hoping that Mulaney is actually learning and growing as a person, instead of using self-flagellation as a cover for personal awfulness.
posted by Riki tiki at 4:29 PM on May 12 [15 favorites]


I have seriously never felt strongly about John Mulvaney in my life. But the bitch joke from him did not offend me. Context, y'all.

Yonks ago, I had a dad and he was into redneck humor, so I would buy him Jeff Foxworthy and Bill Engvall CD's. Woe to me the years when those guys didn't have a new one out for his birthday/Christmas. Well, one year I was effed and ended up buying him Larry the Cable Guy and Ron White. Larry the Cable Guy was just fucking awful. Everything he said sucked and then he'd laugh at himself saying "that's funny." No, it wasn't. I boycott the Cars movies because of Larry the Cable Guy. Ron White has one joke, the "Tater Salad" one, that is good. Everything else was almost as bad as Larry. But added bonus, boy, was Ron open about pretty much loathing his wife and his in-laws. I don't remember specifics at this point, but I do remember thinking, "I don't think I would have said that stuff if I was him." Like if I was his wife I would have OBJECTED STRONGLY to what he was saying. (I presume he probably got divorced at some point, but I'm not interested in checking that.) I actually apologized to my dad for buying these albums that turned out to be complete turds.

Anyway: depends on context, I suppose, but it seems clear that Mulvaney was saying it with love, as it were. And Ron White was....mad.
posted by jenfullmoon at 4:29 PM on May 12 [3 favorites]


This is all a long way of saying that while Mulaney is obviously not a perfect person, as a woman, I love this joke.

Sure, it's definitely a thing on which reasonable people disagree, what you think it meant or whether you liked it. What I heard him saying, while I understood the rest of the joke, was "My wife asked me not to call her a bitch and say I don't like her. So I'm going to be a bit transgressive and say she's a bitch but also I like her a lot" Everyone's got their lines in a different place, and that was over mine. Ron White definitely hated his wife, who he later got divorced from, totally agree. And as Riki tiki says, same with those jokes. I have no concern that lots of people think Mullaney's hilarious, he's clearly super talented and very very good at comedy. I just think there are times when his material is better and times when it feels lazy, no real different from anyone at their job.
posted by jessamyn at 5:57 PM on May 12 [4 favorites]


I hope he's getting the support he needs. I remember Craig Ferguson from his days in the Glasgow alternative comedy scene in the 1980s. He was absolutely wrecked the whole time, and you could tell that he was just burning himself up. His stage persona was completely different: very bristly and angry, all laughs despite yourself. I don't think he'd have made it to today if he hadn't stopped relying on drinking.

Jukebox packing is a rite of male eejitry. Strathclyde University, union pool hall, 1987-88: the trick was to load up on Star Trekkin's or Je t'aime moi non pluss without getting caught. Sometimes it was worth loading up a sacrificial (Don't Fear) The Reaper 'cos you could get away and be a deniable way from the jukebox before the good stuff dropped.

The only pub I've ever been kicked out of was in a tiny village in Fife. I was there with a bunch of conservation volunteers, but no matter what you chose, the jukebox would only play the dub version of Deeply Dippy. The landlady was getting a bit ticked off, thinking that our group had done this on purpose, and I just happened to be nearest to the jukebox when she came by. Dammit
posted by scruss at 6:10 PM on May 12 [10 favorites]


What I heard was a story about a couple kids who damn well knew what they were doing when they deliberately subjected a bunch of other people to their jerk behavior.

Yeah, and what about that darn Arlo Guthrie and his littering.
posted by DanSachs at 6:13 PM on May 12 [23 favorites]


I guess this isn't the thread to brag about that time we covered a manikin in ketchup and stuck it in the middle of the road.
posted by philip-random at 6:16 PM on May 12 [13 favorites]


[Craig Ferguson's] stage persona was completely different: very bristly and angry, all laughs despite yourself.

Was this back when he was Bing Hitler?
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 6:24 PM on May 12 [1 favorite]


Along the same lines and unlike Mulaney, i.e. probably well past redemption, what happened to Doug Stanhope? There was a guy you just knew was falling apart every day of his life.
posted by Ephelump Jockey at 6:32 PM on May 12


Stanhope always seemed like a Joe Rogan type asshole. Not Mulaney at all
posted by Windopaene at 6:43 PM on May 12


Was this back when he was Bing Hitler?

Yup. I mean, he was messing himself up, but he created lines that have stayed with me. I delight in using "if there's one thing I really REALLY hate ..." in conversation with zero chance that anyone will pick up on it
posted by scruss at 6:50 PM on May 12


Ghostbusters 9

I know I'm behind on my movies but it seems I'm really really behind.
posted by maxwelton at 7:42 PM on May 12 [1 favorite]


Delta Airlines...
posted by Windopaene at 7:42 PM on May 12 [3 favorites]


It's been a little while and things seem to be drifting back in that direction, so I would like to remind everyone that this thread is about a man openly struggling with addiction. Every time someone complains about how unfunny/inappropriate he is it's really hard to not take that as "...and so it's good that he's suffering."

I know it's really important for many you to express how much you dislike him, but please try to save those comments for his obituary thread.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 7:43 PM on May 12 [17 favorites]


We'll hear it then, too, no worries there.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 8:00 PM on May 12 [8 favorites]


Ok but people realize the goofy standup joke about jukebox shenanigans was exaggerated for comic effect like every other standup joke, right? What, are we gonna have a call-out thread about Jack Handey's grandfather killing all those people when he fell asleep at the wheel next?
posted by Emily's Fist at 8:15 PM on May 12 [27 favorites]


Dad always thought laughter was the best medicine.
Which I guess is why several of us died of tuberculosis.

Jack Handey
posted by ActingTheGoat at 8:45 PM on May 12 [23 favorites]


When the rehab news broke, I told my wife, "You know, with this new information, it's really obvious now how full of cocaine the Sack Lunch Bunch was."

I hope the guy gets the help he needs. I'd hope that for anyone.
posted by seasparrow at 9:30 PM on May 12 [5 favorites]


Dear MetaFilter, if Mitch Hedberg is unacceptable please don't tell me all about it. I'd still like to chuckle at his jokes and not hate myself for it. Thank you.
posted by elkevelvet at 9:42 PM on May 12 [12 favorites]


What, are we gonna have a call-out thread about Jack Handey's grandfather killing all those people when he fell asleep at the wheel next?

Careful—don't give them ideas.
posted by Ahmad Khani at 9:43 PM on May 12 [4 favorites]


if Mitch Hedberg is unacceptable please don't tell me all about it

Oh, I'm sure he is. Start a thread on him and there'll be all sorts of pathetic, thoughtless hand wringing.
posted by Ahmad Khani at 9:45 PM on May 12 [12 favorites]


if Mitch Hedberg is unacceptable please don't tell me all about it

you know a lot of people have mobility issues so when the escalator breaks it's never just stairs
posted by logicpunk at 10:18 PM on May 12 [29 favorites]


The National Comedy Center in Jamestown, NY (together with the Lucy museums, highly recommended) gives insight into stand-up comedy as a profession. There are exhibits illustrating the hard work of it—the heavy bag full of material that Dangerfield was never without, the exhaustively annotated routines kept by Joan Rivers, the endlessly revised stacks of observations by George Carlin. My takeaway was that for tedious labor and stress, stand-up stands alone, and its practitioners have to be really, really driven to do it. I am in awe of those who are good at this and sad when the internal and external pressures of the job prove too much, as has happened far too many times. I hope Mulaney can move on and be funny. Laughter is very serious business.
posted by kinnakeet at 4:38 AM on May 13 [5 favorites]


I know/am sure we don't like Jerry Seinfeld for reasons, but this article goes into his process and his approach to a joke reminds me of a pitcher in baseball working on a curveball or something, where you do it over and over again, tweaking it a little every time, and sometimes you don't get it, but sometimes it all comes together. Being funny is hard as hell. This is a bit more on how he does it.
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 5:11 AM on May 13 [7 favorites]


as the son of an abusive alcoholic who decades later found his way back, I wish Mulaney well.
as a writer, I just want to say that this line in the "bitch" joke:

running for mayor of nothing.

is brilliant. I know that guy, several of them actually.
posted by martin q blank at 6:46 AM on May 13 [15 favorites]


When I was twenty-two and miserably, borderline suicidally depressed, and definitely should have gone to sleep instead of sitting around wondering if anyone ever had or ever would truly like me, I remember sitting at the sleazy bar down the street from my college apartment, playing "Five Years" by David Bowie over and over again in the jukebox and crying, while this dude from my creative writing workshop tried to hit on me (true). I got kicked out of that bar that night, not for the song but for the old "let's put a cigarette out on our arm and see if it makes us feel better" thing. It was a deeply low period. I am not proud of it.

I genuinely like John Mulaney, and I don't like 95% of stand ups (and that's a generous estimate) . He reminds me of most of the boys I grew up with l (including a few I would eventually have major crushes on in high school), even down to the choirboy haircut . So some of it is a nostalgia thing. But I'm also a people pleaser and a storyteller and an attention needer. Or to put another way, I'm pretty sure I've had the conversation from his Best Buy joke with a Best Buy cashier in real life, roughly every single time I've ever gone to Best Buy.
posted by thivaia at 7:15 AM on May 13 [10 favorites]


I found this article both interesting and compassionate. I also learned a few things about how some comedians write and test their work. Stand-up comedy isn't something I usually enjoy very much, and I don't think I've seen much John Mulaney, but my heart goes out to him and I wish him well. I have a friend who is very early in sobriety, and she's posting a lot about it on social media, which, on the one hand, I think is great—but on the other hand, I hope she doesn't feel over-exposed and like she has to disappear if she relapses, which is so common.

I have a jukebox sort of story to share. The bad actor is technology.

Seven or eight years ago, when our excessive number of children were still quite young, my partner and I managed to go out for a very rare leisurely lunch, from appetizers to dessert, with much lingering and chatting. Service was slow, and we didn't care, because we were enjoying hanging out together.

However, there was some kind of glitch with the restaurant's satellite radio, and so, the entire time we were there, it only played four songs. Often, it glitched partway through a song, so we wouldn't even hear the whole thing before a new song started playing. Often it started a song midway through. Sometimes, it would be silent for a brief while, leading us to hope that whatever the staff were trying with it was working, but when it started up again, it would be one of these same four songs. Our server told us that it was getting on their nerves, too, but that, among the other satellite radio trouble, it was either impossible to turn it off, or nobody knew how to turn it off, or, occasionally, when they thought they had managed to turn it off, it turned itself back on.

We were there almost two hours, and all we heard were snippets, of varying length, of the following four songs:

ABBA, Take a Chance on Me.
Donna Summer, Last Dance
Ringo Starr, It Don't Come Easy
Gordon Lightfoot, If You Could Read My Mind
posted by Orlop at 7:31 AM on May 13 [8 favorites]


Srsly mefites, this probably never happened, lighten up. Even if it did happen exactly as this COMEDIAN is recounting it, the humor isn't about what terrible people the two preteens John and John were. I think it's a funny gag because the audience imagines themselves as diner patrons trapped in this situation, imagining that their torment is over, and then... "BWAAAP, What's new pussycat?"
posted by etherist at 7:58 AM on May 13 [16 favorites]


Whoah! ohh ohh ohh ohhhhh!
posted by philip-random at 8:01 AM on May 13 [5 favorites]


Srsly mefites, this probably never happened, lighten up. Even if it did happen exactly as this COMEDIAN is recounting it, the humor isn't about what terrible people the two preteens John and John were. I think it's a funny gag because the audience imagines themselves as diner patrons trapped in this situation, imagining that their torment is over, and then... "BWAAAP, What's new pussycat?"
posted by The_Vegetables at 8:21 AM on May 13 [19 favorites]


If we're doing this, when I was about 16 the first CD juke boxes appeared in local bars. It was 50p a song, or 3 for a pound. My friend Neil put in a pound, selected side 1 of Tubular Bells three times, and left.
posted by YoungStencil at 8:35 AM on May 13 [3 favorites]


I have always loved the "My wife's a bitch and I like her SO MUCH" bit (for all the reasons kitten kaboodle and others describe above). I think it the reason it works is that you as the audience are super bought in and really trust him that he does sincerely like her SO MUCH. The second thing I thought of after I heard he was getting divorced (the first thing being, "that is terrible and I am sad for them" etc.) was that joke. Obviously, it's literally none of my business at all how a celebrity's relationship is going (and also I'm not saying that getting divorced means that you didn't sincerely like someone so much at the time, or even that you don't still sincerely like them so much now). I'm just thinking about how difficult and scary it must be to make any form of art that is premised (to any degree) on inviting strangers into intimate, authentic parts of your life, because once you do, it becomes very hard to keep them out.
posted by naoko at 9:03 AM on May 13 [10 favorites]


I was in a breakfast diner outside of Gaffney SC, trying my first fried livermush breakfast sandwich with Duke's mayonnaise on the side (natch) and the crowd of regulars around the counter were recounting that earlier in the week some OTHER regular came in and hit $500 on scratch tickets and put $100 in the digital jukebox to play Joe Walsh's "Life's Been Good" on endless repeat...and I apparently said "Jesus Christ" a bit too loudly under my breath because half the room stopped to look at me.

"Sorry folks, out of towner who's not a Joe Walsh fan. Great livermush, though."
posted by hearthpig at 9:05 AM on May 13 [3 favorites]


someone upthread mentioned the 95% of standup they can do without, and I agree.. but the remaining percent or two of memorably good stuff is so, so, good. Indispensable. I find some of it on Netflix, and from recent memory: Hannah Gadsby, Maria Bamford, Mike Birbiglia, John Mulaney, Sam Jay (the bit about luggage with her girlfriend is worth the annual subscription).. What else is good? Because there are times, casually surfing for comedy, you can hit a ton of sub-mediocre stuff plus some outright awful stuff, and it wears you down.

on Jerry Seinfeld, there is any number of things to criticize I suppose. but (again upthread) I get a sense of someone so single-minded in how they've pursued their career and sure he probably got some lucky breaks, but I think he worked his ass off regardless, and with Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee I just appreciate some of the conversations, I really do. The one with Obama was kind of nice. For indefensibly mean laughs that make me feel guilty, I can't help myself with some of Larry David's stuff. The "thank you for your service" and the truly juvenile pee-spatters on the Christ image, he gets to do things in comedy that ultimately seem valuable.
posted by elkevelvet at 9:30 AM on May 13 [1 favorite]


On the theme of drinking and jukeboxes...

Back in grad school in Los Angeles, a friend and I would go to the bar every day after working in the labs. The jukebox had a lot of poppy stuff that we weren’t into much. So we’d always drop 50 cents and pick two songs off of the Doors greatest hits album: L.A. Woman and This is the End. Because these two songs gave us almost 20 minutes of respite without having to listen to I’m a Barbie Girl or The Macarena while we had our first beer of the night.

We did this fairly regularly, until one day when we came in, the bartender only half-jokingly muttered to his assistant “Oh god, the Doors guys...”

What I’m saying is we drank a lot in grad school.
posted by darkstar at 9:33 AM on May 13 [6 favorites]


I will love John Mulaney forever for bringing Mr. Music into my life and I wish him nothing but good things.
posted by maddieD at 10:01 AM on May 13 [6 favorites]


This thread makes me want to read accounts of people dissecting other jokes and reacting to them as if it were the nucleus of an entire being, a whole and comprehensive look into the nature of the comedian, their character, their moral value, as well as examining if the things in the joke (taken at a deliberately obtuse face value) are okay behavior, or, if in fact they are Deadly Sins and any who show any mirth towards them are themselves necessarily despicable and cruel people for having found any amusement in such an inhumane course of action.
posted by GoblinHoney at 10:42 AM on May 13 [15 favorites]


"That's a helluva comment! What do you call it?"
"The Aristocrats!"
posted by Drastic at 10:43 AM on May 13 [3 favorites]


as a writer, I just want to say that this line in the "bitch" joke:

running for mayor of nothing.

is brilliant.
- posted by martin q blank

Agreed; this routine is called "The Mayor of Nothing" (YT) on the Kid Gorgeous at Radio City album.
posted by Iris Gambol at 10:44 AM on May 13 [2 favorites]


yeah, MeFi puts out a Spanish Inquisition vibe at times and it's totally a cool and fun thing to experience
posted by elkevelvet at 10:50 AM on May 13 [9 favorites]


” someone upthread mentioned the 95% of standup they can do without, and I agree.. but the remaining percent or two of memorably good stuff is so, so, good. Indispensable. I find some of it on Netflix, and from recent memory: Hannah Gadsby, Maria Bamford, Mike Birbiglia, John Mulaney, Sam Jay (the bit about luggage with her girlfriend is worth the annual subscription).. What else is good? Because there are times, casually surfing for comedy, you can hit a ton of sub-mediocre stuff plus some outright awful stuff, and it wears you down.”
My metric for comedy—and I’ll confess to being a joyless snob who cares far too much about capital A Art—is this, “What are you giving away?” I think more than any other artform, comedy is dependent on giving enough away to feel intimate. Musicians hide behind the veil of poetic interpretation, writers revise and trap their intimacy in amber, who the hell knows what happens with painters and sculpters, and on and on. So, with comedy, for me, it’s always, “What are you giving up to be here now?” That’s always true in art, but it’s never so immediate as when you’re standing in front of a bunch of strangers. Unfortunately this is why I can’t recommend anything because most of it falls short for me.

But that’s what makes this article and Mulaney’s journey so fascinating. Even when he’s failing, he’s succeeding. It’s eminently human.

Was up far too late checking out New In Town and the other one from ‘09 whose name I can’t recall. I’m an idiot. He’s hilarious.
posted by Ephelump Jockey at 10:51 AM on May 13 [3 favorites]


I worry about the amount of Old Man Yelling At Clouds I do in the NYMAG comments. When I saw this article yesterday, that was the first one where I remembered to just say thanks to the author for a great piece.

I've been unhappy with where a lot of things have been moving at NYM but Jesse David Fox is really growing. He's been tasked with covering comedy at a very uncomfortable time for its main audience, and he's getting quite good at it. Not a simple task.
posted by svenni at 11:05 AM on May 13


Sam Jay (the bit about luggage with her girlfriend is worth the annual subscription)

"...you totally forget the lesson you just learned with Gervais and Chapelle. You’re like, Yeah, but the past is the past. Big-ass trans jokes. Surely calling trans women x-men won't be a problem."
posted by i used to be someone else at 11:10 AM on May 13 [3 favorites]


(it's okay to enjoy sam jay's work, just putting that last bit out there if anyone wants a bit of a warning before watching it.)
posted by i used to be someone else at 11:20 AM on May 13 [1 favorite]


What else is good?

There are really very, very few comedians who can pull off the mix of serious topics and honest-to-god hilarity of most of the comedians you mention. But I really love Fortune Feimster and Ali Wong, both of whom have Netflix specials. Someone desperately needs to give Rhea Butcher a special, but in the meantime their XOXO speech/set is great.
posted by lunasol at 11:25 AM on May 13


I am honestly surprised how much attention the Salt and Pepper Diner bit is getting here! I take a lot more issue with some of the not-great stuff in his earlier acts that edged into ableism, sexism, etc. Certainly nowhere near as bad as some other comedians of the time, but that's not really an excuse.

However, one thing I really appreciate about Mulaney is that stuff is not really in his act anymore. He never got "cancelled" over any of it, AFAIK, he wasn't forced to change his act due to twitter hordes or whatever - I think he probably just grew up and realized punching down isn't cool, and it's kind of lazy. So many people (especially white men, tbh) just double down on that shit as they grow older, where Mulaney did the opposite. It just makes me root for him - he's always trying to be better.
posted by lunasol at 11:31 AM on May 13 [16 favorites]


Someone desperately needs to give Rhea Butcher a special, but in the meantime their XOXO speech/set is great.

Rhea has a couple comedy albums out (including one from this year) if you have Spotify or similar music service.

Taylor Tomlinson's Quarter-Life Crisis and Mulaney's Kid Gorgeous special are my Netflix fallbacks if I'm too lazy to pick something new.
posted by Gary at 12:10 PM on May 13 [1 favorite]


One thing I love John Mulaney for is standing up to sexist gross Jerry Seinfeld at 3:09 and 3:32 of this Youtube Video. It was classy and awesome.
posted by Dressed to Kill at 12:12 PM on May 13 [5 favorites]


What else is good?

I like stand-up enough that I wrote a little trivia contest about it. I'm also kinda touchy about certain kinds of jokes, for whatever reason. I am a huge fan of Hari Kondabolu and W. Kamau Bell for talking a lot about what it means for them to be people of color in America at this time. I also like James Acaster (a LOT of stuff on Netflix right now) for being able to talk about the weird aspects of living in a waning empire (example). Also really like Paul Chowdhry but, like other UK comedians I really like, part of what is funny to me is their edginess which may not be at all funny to you. Kinda feel the same about Natasha Leggero and her husband Moshe Kasher.
posted by jessamyn at 12:39 PM on May 13 [5 favorites]


^ I appreciate the suggestions. I'll be following up on all of them!
posted by elkevelvet at 1:29 PM on May 13


"Metafilter: Not only does your favorite band suck but your favorite comedian sucks, too."
posted by Lynsey at 1:48 PM on May 13 [5 favorites]


I have no idea where we are in the thread or what the rules are since I live on the green and this place is like Narnia. I just wanted to recommend watching the Documentary Now episode "Original Cast Album: Co-Op". John wrote it with Seth Meyers. Possibly the best mockumentary ever written. And Richard fucking Kind is in it.
posted by ihaveyourfoot at 2:43 PM on May 13 [10 favorites]


Who Should John Mulaney Be Now?

A famous guy dating Olivia Munn, after meeting her (again) at a Los Angeles church?
posted by Iris Gambol at 2:47 PM on May 13


....and there's several dubious things about that last sentence there :/
posted by jenfullmoon at 3:22 PM on May 13


This is a great article of a type I'm not sure I've seen before. It respects Mulaney's process and where he's at in his life right now, and gives him a break to not be his usual polished self. This is a much better option than when someone posts a crappy iphone video of a comedian working on a new bit and everybody attacks them because it's either not very good or it's offensive or both.

I hope he finds some balance and peace and is able to do work that he's proud of and not relapse again for a while.
posted by wabbittwax at 4:00 PM on May 13 [1 favorite]


On the subject of other comedians worth watching, Neal Brennan's "3 Mics" on Netflix is a great show if you haven't seen it yet. Somebody else mentioned Taylor Tomlinson and I think she's got a lot going for her. I also love Iliza Schlesinger, and Tiffany Haddish.
posted by wabbittwax at 4:04 PM on May 13


nthing Ali Wong, Iliza Schleshinger (particularly Freezing Hot and Confirmed Kills), W. Kamau Bell, Taylor Tomlinson, and the Neal Brennan one.

I have also really enjoyed (from netflix, and besides JM who I generally ADORE) Chris Rock's Tambourine, a couple of different shows by Tom Papa, Katherine Ryan (but I am canadian so there's a bit of obligation there) Trevor Noah and (just lately) Nate Bargatze.

outside of netflix and on the british spectrum am a huge fan of Jon Richardson, Sarah Millican, and Danny Bhoy. (Jimmy Carr and Sean Locke are free to spit on one another in the Studio 4 parking lot, or whatever they do for fun).
posted by hearthpig at 4:56 PM on May 13


A famous guy dating Olivia Munn, after meeting her (again) at a Los Angeles church?

I've been trying to figure out what 'met at church' means? Is it AA? An Eyes Wide Shut masked orgy? One of the churches in this article? This is one of those things where I don't care, but I'm still curious.
posted by betweenthebars at 5:14 PM on May 13


I am only aware of Mulaney through the diner bit linked above, which strikes me as classic stand-up comedian "story time, folks!" fodder, and was quite an amusing listen. I guess if I considered it in the light of whatever-else-is-going-on-here I might feel different, but in and of itself it's a fun bit.
posted by turbid dahlia at 5:16 PM on May 13


Celebrity megachurches are A Thing these days. They're...dubious. Hillsong has REALLY gone downhill in the last few years.
posted by jenfullmoon at 5:45 PM on May 13 [1 favorite]


So this is someone who was drinking so much to the extent that he realized he needed help, which is a lot, then he tries getting a job, then he went to rehab, then he divorced his wife, then he started dating a fellow celebrity he met at Hollywood mega church celebrity con game. I hope he pulls out of this because he seems like a decent person to me & he's made me laugh a lot over the years.
posted by bleep at 6:20 PM on May 13 [2 favorites]


Hmm, met at church during Covid?
posted by naoko at 6:30 PM on May 13


Hoping that “church” does not mean “Scientology,” the original celebrity megachurch.
posted by corey flood at 7:42 PM on May 13


Church as in they met at a wedding years ago. Seriously.

I’ve seen Mulaney perform several times. The last time was when he toured with Pete Davidson. (I couldn’t stand Davidson then, and now I’m in a bizarro world where I’m mad at Mulaney and utterly charmed by Davidson.) In retrospect, something that happened at that show hits a lot differently now. At the end of the show (before Surprise!Machine Gun Kelly, it was a weird gig) Mulaney and Davidson did a Q&A with the audience. Someone in the crowd did some genuinely good-natured heckling and Mulaney dropped character for a second. I remember this because I was startled by the sudden rage. Like a switch was flipped. And in his real voice, not the stage affectation, Mulaney yelled “You don’t know me, I’m a monster.” Pete Davidson stepped in and de-escalated the situation. I was never quite sure if it was part of the act, but it raised my hackles, as male anger does, and I kinda get it now.

I’m a recovering addict, too, FWIW, and I’m mad at him for making bad choices and hurting the people who love him. And maybe a little for manifesting his self-loathing as a simmering rage.
posted by Ruki at 8:14 PM on May 13 [13 favorites]


I believe Pete Davidson is a good person, and those two need each other and their friendship has helped both through dark times.
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 9:01 PM on May 13 [1 favorite]


My two comedian suggestions are Emily Heller and Shalewa Sharpe. I know they each have stuff on youtube and I have also bought a couple of their albums on iTunes. They're not a duo or anything, these are two separate suggestions.
posted by Emmy Rae at 2:19 PM on May 14


re: the whole "bitch" thing -

100% he cleared that joke with his wife before it was codified in the act. Come on. Some of you are working overtime in your hate. Re-read Iris Gambol's spot-on comment above. An excellent example of explaining a joke without ruining it.

(And seriously re: Salt & Pepper--he was eleven. It's a funny story about something that he did when he was eleven.)
posted by tzikeh at 12:37 PM on May 15 [2 favorites]


Some of you are working overtime in your hate.

Hey it's me, you know, from MetaFilter? We've been on this site together for over 15 years. I don't hate John Mulaney, or even bitch jokes, necessarily. This one didn't work for me. When I am "working overtime in my hate" you will surely know it.
posted by jessamyn at 1:21 PM on May 15 [10 favorites]


“I think he's very funny in general and a great performer, but historically he has several jokes that "punch down" and not enough that "punch up."

This is exactly how I feel about the title joke from the album “New in Town.”
posted by Selena777 at 4:15 PM on May 15


Jessamyn, you're not the only person to comment about that line and you're certainly not among those who tried to make it sound like Mulaney is a raging misogynist. My comment wasn't directed to you - hence "some of you".
posted by tzikeh at 7:40 PM on May 15


Jessamyn, thanks to you I'm bingeing Hari Kondabolu.

I honestly don't mind these massive blind spots, I guess it means I'll come late to a well-established party? Kondabolu is magnificent, smart comedy, I really appreciate his delivery.. his command of his material.. the way he veers away from what comes across as a tight set, and just work with the vibe. Sharing him like mad with friends and family.
posted by elkevelvet at 10:26 AM on May 16 [1 favorite]


If anyone is still upset with Mulaney for playing a dumb prank when he was eleven, I encourage you to listen to the bit.

He's clearly exaggerating things for comedic effect. Comedians do this all the time – they take a real event from their lives, and embellish it to make it funnier.

No one was traumatized by this incident. Mildly annoyed? Yeah, probably. Mulaney's telling the story from the perspective of a child. His delighted sense of power over such an innocent prank is part of the humor.

If this kind of elementary-school mischief makes you a terrible person, then I have a lot to answer for.
posted by escape from the potato planet at 4:26 AM on May 17 [4 favorites]


I think the difference is that some people are seeing it as:

a funny story about a thing he did when he was eleven

and others are seeing it as

a story about a funny thing he did when he was 11
posted by We put our faith in Blast Hardcheese at 11:55 AM on May 17 [2 favorites]


Tragedy is when I cut my finger; comedy is when you fall into an open sewer and die hear the intro to What's New Pussycat for the eleventh time.
posted by Klipspringer at 11:15 AM on May 18 [8 favorites]


Man, I've been to the Salt and Pepper Diner, and 20 plays of "What's New Pussycat" with one random play of "It's Not Unusual" would have improved the experience.

The L is right next to it and it is a particularly loud section of track. The dinner has been closed for at several years now and nothing has replaced it. Nothing is new pussycat.
posted by srboisvert at 3:30 AM on May 19




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