John Mulaney returns to Saturday Night Live at just the right time

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - APRIL 25: John Mulaney attends "Beetlejuice" Broadway opening night at Winter Garden Theatre on April 25, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Santiago Felipe/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - APRIL 25: John Mulaney attends "Beetlejuice" Broadway opening night at Winter Garden Theatre on April 25, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Santiago Felipe/Getty Images) /

John Mulaney’s hosts Saturday Night live this weekend for the third time.

It will be another homecoming this weekend at Saturday Night Live as John Mulaney returns to host for the third time in as many seasons. For fans, the cast, and the show, it couldn’t have come at a better time.

In fairness, there isn’t really a bad time to have John Mulaney around. The former SNL writer is currently one of the best and most popular comics in the world. He recently released another special on Netflix, John Mulaney and the Sack Lunch Bunch, an out-of-left-field children’s variety show that works on a number of levels.

Look no further than the fact that Mulaney is hosting for the third time in three seasons, something that is unprecedented in modern Saturday Night Live history. Mulaney is entering territory occupied by Steve Martin, who hosted eight times between 1976 and 1980, and  the late great Buck Henry who hosted 10 times over the same stretch of ’76-’80.

It is difficult to imagine anyone pulling off a feat like Martin or Henry these days. But if anyone could do it and not wear out SNL audiences, it is John Mulaney. In the meantime, Mulaney should help the show and season get back on track this weekend.

Fan favorite

When you help create Stefon, one of Saturday Night Live‘s most popular characters, you’re going to have a special place in the hearts of fans forever. Mulaney has earned the right to be considered one of SNL’s best writers and anytime he’s back in Studio 8h, fans get excited.

Saturday Night Live deserves credit for continuing to bring in hosts from all corners of entertainment. The last two hosts, RuPaul and J.J. Watt, are evidence of the show trying to appeal to as many viewers as possible that perhaps would otherwise skip out on watching SNL.

But going back to Mulaney is a clear appeal to comedy and SNL fans. The general public still isn’t all that familiar with Mulaney as the comic isn’t exactly a household name yet. So while viewers won’t get to see their favorite pop star or action movie hero on stage, they will get one of the funniest people in the world who knows the ins and outs of SNL better than anyone.

The Pete Davidson whisperer

Cast member Pete Davidson made headlines this week with an interview suggesting life isn’t all that good for him at Studio 8H. He said he may have outgrown SNL at this point and has done all he can at the sketch show. Not helping things is that he feels he is portrayed as dumb by the writers.

It will be worth keeping an eye out to see if SNL addresses the interview or the subsequent report claiming Davidson gets “star treatment” that has alienated him from the rest of the cast. Hopefully everyone leaves the story alone and doesn’t make Davidson’s personal life the source of any more comedy on the show.

The last time Davidson was in the news, it resulted in a stronger bond between him and John Mulaney. The two performed a number of stand-up shows together and Mulaney spoke fondly of Davidson whenever he had the chance. It culminated in Mulaney making a surprise appearance during “Weekend Update” to review the movie The Mule with Davidson.

And while Saturday Night Live may not make mention of Davidson’s interview during this weekend’s show, they did hint at it in the promos. The comedy duo of Mulaney and Davidson was back at it again with this clip released earlier in the week, suggesting that Davidson is back to being “in” on the joke, if not writing them himself.

Mulaney can help calm things down and put the focus back on the comedy and sketches rather than what is going on behind the scenes at SNL. His friendship with Davidson should ensure that things go smoothly as season 45 heads for the finish line.

Back to basics

Whether you are a John Mulaney fan or not, or care about cast member drama, there is one thing you can be sure of this weekend: Saturday Night Live will be funny and sketch comedy will be the focus.

Yes, another Democratic debate happened since SNL was last on the air. So there is a good chance that Jason Sudeikis, Larry David, and Fred Armisen could be back. But unlike past episodes, these cameos shouldn’t be the only thing to talk about the next day.

Mulaney has proven through his last two hosting gigs that audiences will get new, original sketches. “Lobster Diner” was a viral hit and came directly from the mind of Mulaney. The comedian previously hinted that he has an idea to complete his New York City musical trilogy so fans will no doubt be eager to see that come to life.

If Armisen is already in the building then there is a chance he could team-up with his frequent collaborator in Mulaney for another sketch. Regardless, it should be a big week for the cast to show off their talents as they work with, and from, Mulaney’s input.

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What do you expect to see from John Mulaney this weekend? Let us know in the comment section below. Saturday Night Live airs on Feb. 29 at 11:30 PM ET on NBC.