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The detective from John Mulaney’s new special is real, insane

Photo: Tommaso Boddi (Getty Images)

One of the more memorable bits from John Mulaney’s laugh-packed new stand up special is his description of child homicide detective and public speaker J.J. Bittenbinder. With his signature cowboy hat, handlebar mustache, thick Chicago accent, and graphic descriptions of ways children could fend off their would-be attackers, most people watching the special would think Bittenbinder was a work of pure fiction, or at least an exaggerated version of a less-insane real person. He’s just too wacky to possibly be real. But it turns out Bittenbinder is not only extremely real but seems to look and act exactly how Mulaney says he did.


Even without the cowboy hat, Bittenbinder manages to look like a ticket taker at an Old West theme park on this VHS cover of Street Smarts, which is both the name of his series of lectures and the exclamation he uses to punctuate his “hard-hitting strategies.” Street Smarts! There are still a few copies of this tape available on Amazon, so if you’re a kid, teen, or parent that wants to learn to fight off kidnappers with, as Mulaney says, “weird, psych-out Chicago violence,” be sure to snatch one up.

Not convinced this practical, no-nonsense advice can save your life? Just watch some clips from “How To Avoid Being A Victim,” which, as far as we can tell, teaches you all the different ways to flail around and scream when someone is trying to murder you.

Street Smarts!

[via Vulture]

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About the author

Dan Neilan

Contributor, The A.V. Club. Have Fun — Will Travel.