SNL: John Mulaney is back in the game – but he doesn’t owe us an explanation

Wtalking about telling jokes, John Mulaney is a diamond. There are few comedians in the world to be trusted with his groundbreaking acting, assuring in their deliveries, as well as an innate warmth in front of the audience. Tonight, he’s back as the host of Saturday night live, after one of the most tumultuous periods of his life. It must be said that Mulaney – an unlikely candidate for tabloid sensationalism – received a wave of media attention last year, when it was revealed that he had entered rehab. addiction after relapse to cocaine, alcohol, and prescription drugs. (Mulaney has been very sober from an early age.) After leaving rehab, Mulaney faced more public scrutiny when it was reported that he was divorced from his wife and had children with the actor. pellets. Olivia Munn. All of this is within the secrecy of his private life, aka nobody’s business. But it pushed him into the thick of a PR storm.

Mulaney tackled the headlines during a late-night TV appearance in September and more recently on stage, as part of his new touring indie show. From Scratch. His SNL Tonight’s spot comes more than a year after his last appearance on NBC’s popular sketch series, which came shortly before his relapse. It’s unclear exactly what he’ll say on the Studio 8H stage, but he’s proven himself more than willing to make jokes about his struggles. From Scratch There are segments in which he describes his addiction and recovery, at times depicting his interference in comic detail. Despite the stupid criticism from some corners of the Internet, Mulaney’s welcome back into the limelight sends a positive message: that addiction is not something to be stigmatized or scandalized with. It’s good to be open about it. But there’s a difference between being open about something and voicing it on a live national TV show.

The power to decide is a privilege rarely granted to comedians. Such is the superficially self-confident nature of modern standing art, which they are expected to endure on stage. Old fashioned sassy men like Rodney Dangerfield can run away without having to reveal anything about his life other than a few memorized settings. Today, comic books – mainstream observational comics – have to include themselves in their material. If those comics are celebrities too, there’s no need to hide this on stage. Pete Davidson had to tell jokes about his breakup with Ariana Grande and go public. It would probably feel weird that he didn’t deal with that. Dave Chappelle has faced public backlash for anti-transgender jokes on his Netflix special – so he’s decided to tackle the backlash in the sequel. me. But being in recovery from a drug addiction isn’t the same as surviving a bit of bad PR. It is not an incident that can be laughed at. Sobriety is an ongoing and deeply personal process; No one is obligated to share it with millions of viewers.

Of course, art can be a constructive means to deal with personal trauma. Standing up can bring catharsis to a performer; it is a vehicle for self-analysis, self-discovery and self-expression. Hannah Gadsby’s Emmy Award-Winning Special Nanette is one of the most recent examples of this – a routine of candid discussions about her own life, social issues, and her relationship with the stand-up comedy itself, seek closure rather than bursting with laughter. Many popular movies have made shows that focus on the grief or death of a loved one (usually in the case of male comics, the death of a father). This trend has also been imitated and embraced by absurdist comedian John-Luke Roberts, who donned his late father’s oversized suit, filled with balloons, and spent an entire show impersonating him as one. routine work in 2015.

However, when you talk about a comedian as big as Mulaney, there’s more to it than just art. Mulaney’s 2018 Netflix Special Gorgeous Kid put him in the high profile of the contemporary comedy scene. He’s a rising star. The fact that he left rehab and returned, almost immediately, to comedy and SNL the performances can demonstrate his diligent work ethic. But it also corroborates what is expected, even required, of a comedian with Mulaney’s profile. Everyone is excited for his next show; a new Netflix special that can’t be left out. This train does not stop. When you are not only an independent business, but also a content business, can you ever really work on your own terms?

In any case, getting Mulaney back on TV, delivering jokes; the airwaves are grayer without him. However, we should remember that he owes us nothing – explanations; confide; home truth. All that matters is that he gets on stage and laughs. And he always does.

‘Saturday Night Live’ airs at 11:30pm ET / 8:30pm Pacific Time on February 25. It airs in the UK on Sky Comedy the following day.

https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/tv/features/snl-john-mulaney-saturday-night-live-b2024279.html SNL: John Mulaney is back in the game – but he doesn’t owe us an explanation

Tom Vazquez

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