How John Mulaney’s SNL monologue triggered a Secret Service investigation

John Mulaney (Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Georgetown University)
John Mulaney (Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Georgetown University) /

John Mulaney’s monologue on Saturday Night Livecaught the attention of the Secret Service

John Mulaney probably isn’t on anyone’s list of the most controversial or edgy comedians working today. But a recent joke about the president did land Mulaney on the Secret Service’s radar, who opened up a file on the stand-up star.

Since 2004, Mulaney has been telling jokes about everyday life and pop culture in his own unique way. It has led to a writing gig with Saturday Night Live, multiple Netflix specials, voiceover roles, a Broadway show, and most recently a job with Late Night with Seth Meyers.

At no point during his career has Mulaney found himself at the center of a controversy or facing any major backlash. By all accounts, he’s one of the most popular and well-liked comedians in the business.

But like most comedians working today, and especially those with ties to late night television, Mulaney has material on President Donald Trump. Fans are probably familiar with Mulaney’s “horse loose in a hospital” comparison.

Appearing on Jimmy Kimmel Live! last night, Mulaney revealed that one of those jokes resulted in an interview with the Secret Service. It came during Mulaney’s Saturday Night Live monologue last season. Hosting on Leap Day, Mulaney explained how Julius Caeser implemented leap year to correct the calendar. The comedian then remarked how the Roman emperor was killed by senators after going mad. You can watch the monologue joke below:

John Mulaney handled the investigation in typical John Mulaney fashion

While the comment didn’t directly reference President Trump, Mulaney told Jimmy Kimmel that the agency opened a file on him after Mulaney made a comment that didn’t even directly reference President Trump:

"[The Secret Service] investigated me. 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. The person vetting me understood that the joke had nothing to do with Donald Trump. It was an elliptical reference to him. I didn’t say anything about him."

Mulaney went on to say that when asked if there was anything else the Secret Service should know about, he was prepared to confess to every bad thing he’s ever done. Anyone familiar with Mulaney’s bits on his anxiety and confrontation can imagine how that went. But in the end, the comedian was determined to not be a threat.

Mulaney’s monologue earlier this season covered the presidential election but steered clear of mentioning or referencing the current president. Maybe that was by design considering how the last one went. But with President Trump on his way out, the comedian may not have to worry about making those jokes for much longer.

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