John Mulaney Reveals He Turned Down One Of The Biggest Gigs In The Comedy World

john mulaney baby j neflix


Acclaimed stand-up comedian John Mulaney has been back in the news in recent days thanks to the release of his new Netflix comedy special, Baby J.

Mulaney, 40 years old, last released a proper stand-up special back in 2018 due to substance abuse issues, which is the topic that provides the backbones for Baby J.

During a recent interview to promote the release of the special, Mulaney actually revealed that he turned down the opportunity to host The Daily Show back when Jon Stewart walked away from the gig back in 2015.

Mulaney, however, says he turned down the massive opportunity because he was “gun shy” at the time.

“I was extremely flattered that y’all were asking me about it,” Mulaney said during an appearance on Doug Herzog and Jen Chaney’s Basic! podcast. “I sensed they would be big shoes to fill. I think I also was gun-shy from putting myself out there at that moment after the Fox run. And I sensed all eyes would be on whoever came after Mr. Stewart.”

“It wasn’t the right thing at that moment, but I remember saying to Kent, ‘I wish it was five years from now.’ And he went, ‘Yeah, but it’s not.’ I mean, I just remember Kent had a great tone of, ‘I hear you. I’m here to hear out anything you have to say, but it’s now, and we’re asking you about it, and we can’t talk hypothetically for that long at this dinner, John.’”

Ultimately, the role was taken over by South African comedian Trevor Noah, who served as host of The Daily Show from 2015 to 2023.

As for Mulaney, he’d go on to become one of the biggest names in stand-up comedy thanks to his Specials, The Comeback Kid (2015) and Kid Gorgeous at Radio City (2018). Those two specials, in addition to Baby J and the children’s musical comedy special John Mulaney & the Sack Lunch Bunch, are currently streaming on Netflix.

Eric Italiano Avatar
Eric is a New York City-based writer who still isn’t quite sure how he’s allowed to have this much fun for a living and will tell anyone who listens that Gotham City is canonically in New Jersey. Contact him