Saturday Night Live Helped Get John Mulaney on Secret Service's Radar

With only days to go until Jason Bateman and musical guest Morgan Wallen take to Studio 8H to mark the return of NBC's Saturday Night Live for the first of three new episodes, we're actually going to take a moment to look back on one of the season's earlier hosts- one who ended up being questioned by Secret Service and called out by supporters of President-Elect Joe Biden and Vice-President-Elect Kamala Harris. Yes, that's right: the biggest threat to our national security is none other than John Mulaney.

Saturday Night Live Helped Get John Mulaney on Secret Service's Radar
John Mulaney Returns to Host Saturday Night Live

So do you remember when Mulaney hosted SNL and made that joke about Leap Year, Julius Caesar, and the interesting correlation he made to today's political world? Just in case you don't… "Leap Year began in the year 45 B.C. under Julius Caesar. This is true. He started the Leap Year in order to correct the calendar and we still do it to this day. Another thing that happened under Julius Caesar was he was such a powerful maniac that all the senators grabbed knives and they stabbed him to death. That'd be an interesting thing if we brought that back now. I asked my lawyer if I could make that joke and he said, 'Lemme call another lawyer.' And that lawyer said yes."

Turns out, the Secret Service took a bit of an interest in that joke- so much so that they even opened a file for a formal investigation. Speaking with Jimmy Kimmel during Kimmel's late-night talk show, Mulaney explained that it was pretty cool knowing he had a file with the feds- now. "I guess they opened a file on me because of the joke, and I have to say, am I stoked there's a file open on me? Absolutely. Did I enjoy it in the moment? Not so much," he explained. Thankfully, things worked out for the actor/comedian. "The person vetting me was very understanding that the joke had nothing to do with Donald Trump. It was an elliptical reference to him. I didn't say anything about him."

While not exactly involving a formal investigation, Mulaney took some social media heat after he said ('promised") during his recent SNL monologue that the country won't be any different no matter who wins. Needless to say, a number of Biden and Harris supporters took issue with what they believe was a serious case of false equivalency. Interestingly enough, it appears it's not a position Mulaney himself supports- saying the line was something "I really didn't even agree with. I often say things on TV in front of 10 million people that I'm just kinda floatin' as ideas." Mulaney feels he is deserving of the backlash, and explained where he went wrong with the approach. "I should have said, 'I very much want one to win over the other and there will be improvements if one wins.' I flat out forgot, I just forgot to do it. I ran the joke in like a field in Connecticut and I was like, 'OK, let's rock 'n' roll.' And I never was like, 'Hey, don't you mean that one guy's worse than the other.'"

Saturday Night Live's 46th season includes Beck Bennett, Aidy Bryant, Michael Che, Pete Davidson, Mikey Day, Chloe Fineman, Heidi Gardner, Colin Jost, Kate McKinnon, Alex Moffat, Kyle Mooney, Ego Nwodim, Chris Redd, Cecily Strong, Kenan Thompson, Melissa Villaseñor, and Bowen Yang. Che and Jost serve as head writers, with Bryan Tucker serving as senior writer. Lauren Holt (The Filth), Punkie Johnson (Space Force), and Andrew Dismukes (Comedy Central's Colossal ClusterFest, New York Comedy Festival) are joining the cast as feature players. Alec Baldwin returned as Donald Trump, with Maya Rudolph joining them as Kamala Harris, and Jim Carrey as Joe Biden (Bennett will continue as Michael Pence).

Not including specials and digital series, Saturday Night Live has won over 70 Emmy Awards, the most for any show in television history. SNL also holds the title for the most nominated television show in Emmy history with over 275 nominations (once again, not including specials and digital series). The long-running sketch comedy and musical series is executive produced by Lorne Michaels, produced by Steve Higgins and Erik Kenward, and directed by Don Roy King. Ken Aymong serves as a supervising producer, with Lindsay Shookus, Erin Doyle, and Tom Broecker producing. The series is produced by SNL Studios in association with Universal Television and Broadway Video.

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About Ray Flook

Serving as Television Editor since 2018, Ray began five years earlier as a contributing writer/photographer before being brought onto the core BC team in 2017.
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