Last night, James Corden hosted both Zooey Deschanel and John Mulaney in a double interview, and the two guests were able to generate some unforced banter despite the intensity of the format. Deschanel gets in a good anecdote about being part of a creepy “youth pageant,” but Mulaney gets a lot of the best bits, saying he’d never go to her upcoming performance because he is afraid of outdoor concerts thanks to some particularly intense drug experiences as a younger, much less straitlaced man. “I watched a woman eat a hot dog over a garbage can, and I looked at her like she was the Mona Lisa,” he says of a mushroom-addled trip through an all-day music festival.
But things really heat up when the topic turns to J.J. Bittenbinder, the “street smart” cop who forms the core of one of the best bits in Mulaney’s new Netflix special. Since Kid Gorgeous At Radio City’s release, Bittenbinder has become something of a minor celebrity, first via the surprise uncovering of vintage appearances that confirmed how on-point Mulaney’s impression of the grizzled Chicago cop were. Then, the Chicago Tribune found Bittenbinder, who took umbrage at a whole bunch of Mulaney’s points, particularly the notion that he would ever wear a cowboy hat with a three-piece suit. In the Corden interview, Mulaney takes umbrage with the logic of Bittenbinder’s defense, but the whole thing’s really worth watching for the moment when Corden jokes that they have Bittenbinder on-hand ready to join the interview. The look of absolute terror that plays across Mulaney’s face is, well:
Now there’s a double interview that needs to happen.