The One Joke From John Mulaney’s New Netflix Special That You HAVE To Hear

John Mulaney has solidified his spot as a comedy icon time and time again. From his years writing on Saturday Night Live — he’s the one who concocted the character of Stefan with Bill Hader — to his endlessly referenced stand-up acts, he never fails to deliver a laugh. John Mulaney’s Netflix special Kid Gorgeous, which dropped on May 1, is no different. And, though the entire thing is saturated with quotable lines and stories, there’s one standout joke you can’t miss from Kid Gorgeous.

About two-thirds of the way through the performance, filmed at Radio City Music Hall in New York City during his most recent tour, Mulaney delves into politics. If you’re at all familiar with the work he’s done over the years, you know he’s not exactly a "political comedian." He acknowledges that, saying he’s never really cared much about politics, but that’s changed since "last November, the strangest thing happened!" Without mentioning President Trump by name, Mulaney offers his hilarious take on the current chaos of America’s political situation:



But beyond that, these jokes don’t trap you into a negative head space. Your heart doesn’t get any heavier listening to Mulaney riff. You aren’t groaning in genuine disappointment when certain policies or real-life quotes are brought up. You aren’t laughing through some measure of hesitation over whether or not some specifics are really OK to be laughed about.

Mulaney doesn’t pretend that this bizarre presidency isn’t happening, but he also doesn’t ask you to think too deeply about it in that moment, either. He’s not trying to be overtly edgy or deliver any scorching takes. He’s just trying to make you laugh at the absurdity of it all. Sure, those serious, real world issues are still going to be there when the end credits roll, but for a little bit, the audience can just bask in its collective exasperation with the help of a silly metaphor.

The rest of Kid Gorgeous offers what longtime fans have come to expect from Mulaney — ridiculous stories about his dad, his Catholic upbringing, and of course, his French bulldog Petunia. All of these elements would already lend to another characteristically great Mulaney special, but the unexpected political bit shows just how skillful he is at bringing people together to laugh over a universal experience, even when it’s one many of them would typically like to forget.

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