Bit of a curveball in the comedy world as one of its biggest stars, John Mulaney, just took a staff writing job on Late Night with Seth Meyers:
This will sound like a bit but it’s not: John Mulaney, one of the most famous and talented stand-up comedians working right now, has joined Late Night with Seth Meyers as a staff writer. The news was announced last night by Late Night EP Mike Shoemaker and was confirmed by NBCUniversal, as Mulaney appeared on the show last night to talk to Seth about the role ghosts played in the recent presidential election.
Nothing against Seth Meyers or his show at all, but John Mulaney going back to write for a late night show feels like Stephon Marbury going to play in China. The dude just hosted SNL for his fourth time. He produces and voices a lead on Big Mouth. He puts out highly-touted specials every year or so on Netflix. He’s in that rarified air of comedy where it’s simply a question of what he wants to do. Whatever he can dream up, people rush to make it happen.
This move feels like a biproduct of COVID. Mulaney can’t really tour. He’s a theater/arena comic. Guy sells out 10 shows at Radio City Music Hall. Obviously, packing 4,000-10,000 people into an indoor space is pretty… frowned upon right now. As a result, he’s taking a little temp job. For most comics, that’s bartending or cleaning up the Gmail inbox for a marketing firm. For John Mulaney, it’s writing for his good pal Seth Meyers.
If standup stages stay dark for a while, and comedians grow tired of playing drive-in shows for honking horns instead of laughter, we may see more of this. If John Mulaney is willing to jump into a writers’ room, good luck to the unknown comedy writers looking for work.
Imagine if Bill Burr started writing for Fallon? Sarah Silverman linked back up with her old boo Jimmy Kimmel? Would really add some firepower to these late night shows.