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Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

John Mulaney reflects on his SNL journey and complex relationship with Lorne Michaels

Illustration for article titled John Mulaney reflects on his iSNL/i journey and complex relationship with Lorne Michaels
Photo: Roy Rochlin (Getty Images)

As part of Saturday Night Live’s new “Stories From The Show” series on YouTube, comedian John Mulaney sat down recently to reflect on his time spent as a writer and very occasional performer on the late night institution. Beginning with his audition alongside future comedy stars Donald Glover, Ellie Kemper, and Bobby Moynihan, Mulaney traces his trajectory from nervous freshman writer to returning veteran and host in April of 2018. It’s a ride with many ups and downs that would undoubtedly be envied by any aspiring comedian.

Like many talented people who have spent time in the halls of 30 Rockefeller Center, Mulaney has also had an important and complicated relationship with producer Lorne Michaels. Throughout his SNL story, Michaels looms large both as an intimidating authority figure and a nurturing influence. After spending countless sleepless nights trying to write the funniest show possible and occasionally butting heads with the notoriously prickly showrunner, one can only imagine the surreal relief Mulaney felt when Michaels asked him to return to the show as a host.

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“It’s very comforting being here and there’s great comfort in working for someone who you respect,” says Mulaney, who, since leaving the show, has gone on to great success as a stand-up and recently released a critically acclaimed children’s special on Netflix. “This has been an extraordinary thing to be a part of.”

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Contributor, The A.V. Club. Pay me to write for you, you coward.

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