John Mulaney Quotes
1. I was always the squarest person in the cool room, and alternatively, sometimes the weirder person at the mainstream table.
2. I have a lot of stories about being a kid because it was the last time I was interesting.
3. I never knew you were supposed to push off of your feet when you walked. And I tried it, and I walked much faster.
4. I’m a very lucky person. I’m an idiot, and I’ve shoveled through life rather nicely so far, so I don’t feel like I deserve good treatment.
5. I’ll keep all my emotions right here. And then one day I’ll die.
6. In terms of, like, instant relief, canceling plans is like heroin.
7. You can do good work simply staying up all night and eating nothing but junk food, but probably not in the long term.
8. I like when things are crazy. Something good comes out of exhaustion.
9. It’s nice when you’re nervous and everybody’s like, “Yeah, you should be nervous.” Because a lot of times you’re anxious and people say, “Relax. Shut up.” And that just feels like, Well, I guess I’m also crazy.
10. I just watched a ton of comedy and saw a ton of different styles, and eventually you think, ‘Oh, yeah, I could be like that.
11. If you’re comparing the badness of two words and you won’t even say one of them [the n-word], that’s the worse word.
12. I think for many of us – speaking for just a pocket of the country – we trusted Obama. So when you leave your baby with your mom to watch, you don’t run home and check the nanny cam. But now we’ve left the baby with Gary Busey, so we’re going to be a lot more on it.
13. My childhood was completely dominated by Bill Clinton and the OJ trial. I don’t think we had a family dinner where one didn’t come up.
14. Things don’t exist until they exist.
15. Comfort is everything. You start doing something and you want it to be perfect right away, but most babies are born ugly and then they shake it out and you get beautiful toddlers.
16. I like making fun of myself a lot. I like being made fun of, too. I’ve always enjoyed it. There’s just something really, really funny about someone tearing into me.
17. I like to turn on the TV and watch whatever’s on. Nick Kroll does that a lot. He doesn’t watch important shows. He’ll just turn on a documentary on Mia Hamm and watch it for an hour. Whatever’s on, we watch.
18. I plan to join the ‘SNL’ band as a maraca player and stand behind saxophonist Lenny Pickett. That way they will at least cut to me before commercial breaks. I’ll be sure to look right into camera.
19. Things have to be funny first, and if they want to have a point, that’s awesome.
20. I stopped drinking when I was 23. I kind of started when I was 13, so it was a 10-year run. But I just became a bad, annoying drunk child, so when I stopped, I’d done a lot of things I wasn’t proud of.
21. I kind of thought, wouldn’t it be funny to take a swing at being on the weird side of mainstream?
22. You can’t always see both sides of the story. Eventually, you have to pick a side and stick with it. No more equivocating. You have to commit.
23. People having expectations maybe means they’ve enjoyed what I’ve done.
24. Occasionally you get that one person that says “I really like that one part of this joke” and you go, “Oh thank you that’s my favorite part too.” But no, in order for it to be authentic hopefully you have jokes that everyone can just get on board with and then you have a few things for yourself.
25. I was new to acting on a stage in a narrative as opposed to acting on a stage as a stand-up. And like everything else it’s just like comfort level. The first time I did stand-up I was at a place called the B3 in New York on Third and Avenue B and I not only didn’t take the mic out of the stand, but I clutched the stand of the entire time.
26. You all have a relative who is an expert even though they really don’t know what they’re talking about.
27. Being president looks like the worst job in the world.
28. I’ve always believed that you often need less. You don’t need to hear why people are friends, you don’t need to hear why people are roommates, you don’t need to hear why someone would help a friend to do something.
29. Stand-up for me is just my opinions on things, so it wouldn’t be as fun translated into a sketch. Nor would a sketch be as fun if it were me standing there saying it.
30. There are a lot of great jokes you can sit down and write, but that’s just a written joke, versus the comedy of the situation. Ideally, you’re pulling as much comedy out of the situation as you can.
31. Maybe I just have high self-esteem, but I have a lot that I really enjoy.
32. I definitely look like a toddler. I feel comfortable and I have a lot of fun out there [John Mulaney Show]. And if I were to be extremely egotistical, I’d say I got a tiny bit better.
33. As I got into high school and after puberty, I was a little more inward. I was a real extrovert when I was little, but I don’t know, I just got quieter… With my friends, I was still an extrovert.
34. It’s important to remember that life is a joke and that outlook grants a lot of perspective, but I don’t think comedy should change and become political due to other things. It should just laugh at that cosmic joke that life is all the time.
35. I really set out to do this traditional looking and traditional sounding multi-cam sitcom, but then make the world as elastic as an animated show could be. Make the world as surreal as we wanted it to be.
36. I remember writing standup jokes without having done sets. But as soon as I did my first set, it didn’t matter. Everything I thought would work didn’t work. And everything I was iffy on was funny.
37. I’m a very straightforward person. But that’s fine for a comedian. Because a lot of times you’re talking about everyone else.
38. It was funny to be an emcee, because you’re so at the mercy of the club. You can show up for the weekend hoping to get the $400 – and get fired. I had to prank whoever they told me to prank.
39. I also had Elliot Gould and Martin Short and Nasim Pedrad – let alone Zack Pearlman who is going to be a huge star, as is Seaton Smith – out there and I love writing for them and just sitting back and watching them be excellent. And when you are sitting across from Elliott Gould sharing a scene it just raises your game.
40. In every case, I find pre-planning noble, but not always that useful in comedy. You know comedy once you’re doing it.
41. “The Doula” was and is a very, very special episode to me because I think it’s very funny and very weird and it also is 100 percent based on my life, in that I fainted three times during Sex Ed in real life the three different years.
42. If I was at the Comedy Cellar at midnight you yelled at the back of the room. But you, for television, play it to the camera because yes you’re communicating to the people at home using the studio audience that’s right in front of you as a guide for that.
43. I wish I could go tell 12-year-old me like I don’t worry that you just fainted in front of all the girls, one day you’ll be able to make this into an episode of TV.
44. I am very small and I have no money. So you can imagine the kind of stress that I am under.
45. The best-case scenario is everything goes perfect and smooth, but we’re also a new and weird show. So all my conversations were, “Hey last night didn’t go perfect but we kind of know what we’ve got in store for everybody episode-wise.
46. I like that idea that what I do might be mainstream. Might be.
47. Understudies don’t normally get invited to openings.
48. I do longer runs on things, a lot stories. I really like one-liners, I like a lot of different kinds of standup but I’ve always been long-winded.
49. I’ve done festivals in the past where I’d be a guest, it was like, Wow, maybe someday I could play Town Hall – but that’ll be a long way off. So it’s very exciting.
50. An episode that is near and dear to my heart is the entire cast in one room for the night because we get bed bugs in our apartment building so we have to stay with Martin Short.
51. There’s [John Mulaney Show] jokes that I have in stand up that I wouldn’t try to put in, I would try to have someone just speak extemporaneously in the middle of a scene about an episode of “Law and Order” or something.
52. Going on the road for long stretches can seem daunting, and I certainly miss being home sometimes, but the chance to see so many different cities, let alone perform in them, is something I am really grateful for.
53. Having done stand-up on television and in stand-up specials for like Comedy Central, you learn quickly that for that type of performance you’re playing to the camera.
54. I quit drinking because I used to drink too much, then I would black out and I would ruin parties.
55. If you are a school student, your opinion does not matter.
56. Late at night, on the street, women will see me as a threat. That is funny, yeah! It’s kind of flattering in its own way, but at the same time, it’s weird because, like, I’m still afraid of being kidnapped.
57. I never turn on the crowd. Sometimes, you think it’s a terrible show, and then afterward, sometimes people say they really liked it. So turning on the crowd is only going to alienate the few people who might like it.
58. I had a lot of fun writing things that died during dress rehearsal. Sometimes I remember the crazy ones that died even more fondly than the ones that did really well.
59. It’s really fun to be writing and producing your own sketches. You almost have more control.
60. As I got into high school and after puberty, I was a little more inward. I was a real extrovert when I was little, but I don’t know, I just got quieter With my friends, I was still an extrovert.