John Mulaney Says He Was Investigated By The Secret Service After He Made A Joke About Trump On “SNL”
On October 31st, John Mulaney hosted Saturday Night Live for the fourth time. The episode was just three days before the 2020 American Presidential Election, so naturally, John gave his thoughts on the matter. It ended up that one particular joke in his pre-election monologue kind of pissed off the internet, which isn’t necessarily the best news for a host to discover when they wake up from their post-afterparty hangover on Sunday morning. But for John Mulaney, hearing that the internet was mad about his SNL joke was very likely not nearly as worrying as his previous hosting gig in February. Because he also made a joke that seemed to be at Donald Trump’s expense in that monologue, but the people he pissed off was the Secret Service, who paid a visit to John Mulaney’s house.
I remember John Mulaney’s monologue from Halloween night, in which John joked that it didn’t matter which “elderly man” won, because American people would still be poor, sick, and sad, and rich people would still be very, very rich. And generally, the internet agreed that maaaaaaybe it did sort of matter just a little bit about which elderly man should win (the elderly man who won was, of course, President-elect Joe Biden). John spoke to Jimmy Kimmel on last night’s episode of Jimmy Kimmel Live! about his monologue, and the online backlash he got from that joke and says he fumbled the joke. via AV Club:
Mulaney copped to uncharacteristically careless joke writing. “I forgot to make the joke good,” is how the forthrightly contrite Mulaney phrased it, explaining in signature Mulaney aside that, as a Joe Biden-voting Democrat type, “I like people, and I’m generally happy and not deeply angry.” Plus, as he put it, “My dad didn’t make me feel, like, not a man, so I’m, like, you know, trying to prove him right by voting for some psychopath.”
Now on to the joke that got John investigated by the Secret Service. When John Mulaney hosted SNL’s leap year episode on February 29, he made a crack about Julius Caesar getting stabbed to death, and Trump wasn’t named by name. After noting that Julius Caesar invented the leap year, John added:
“Another thing that happened under Julius Caesar was that he was such a powerful maniac, that all the senators grabbed knives and they stabbed him to death. That would be an interesting thing if we brought that back.”
John explained to Jimmy Kimmel that the joke wasn’t about Donald Trump, it was about Julius Caesar, but that a lot of random far-right journalists with questionable legitimacy started tweeting about how the joke was about Trump. Then he was approached by – and I’ll use John’s own words – a service that operates for the President, and they’re secret.
“They investigated me, and I guess they opened a file on me, because of the joke. Am I stoked there’s a file open on me? Absolutely. Did I enjoy it in the moment? Not so much.”
He added that the non-specific service that operates in secret was understanding about the joke, and got that it wasn’t explicitly a joke about Donald Trump. He also mentioned that after Donald Trump got COVID, there were a whole lot of people on television who made not-subtle comments about Trump getting worse, so it’s not like he’s the only one on television who deserved tea and interrogation with Trump’s people.
I’m not going to act like I wouldn’t be sweating through two layers if some Men in Black-looking types showed up at my door and asked to step inside for a word. But John was lucky because he was pretty clearly only talking about Julius Caesar. Any reasonable government official would understand that. And in the event Trump decided to send an unreasonable idiot, like one of his sons, for example. Well, John could have easily explained it to them too. “Look, the show happened on February 29th, and Don Jr, Eric – if you will recite 30 Days Has September – you’ll see that there is no February 29. So it never happened! Okay, thanks for stopping by.”
Here’s the video of John explaining how he got a visit from 45’s people (it begins around the 6:10 mark)