On the five hour drive home from Pittsburgh, Meghan and I listened to three straight stand up sets by John Mulaney. Then, on Monday we watched his most recent Netflix Special.

My exposure to Mulaney has been limited. I know who he is, I know he had some drug issues a few years ago, but not much beyond that.

I also have a natural inclination to like him because he’s comes off as meek, self deprecating, and reasonably outgoing – a lot of traits I feel I share with him.

After listening to about four hours of Mulaney in the last few days, here’s what I concluded:


  • Stories are solid
  • Very good delivery
  • Good entertainer
  • Likeable as a person and self aware


  • Pace is a little too drawn out
  • Jokes are a little too predictable
  • Audience is too ready to laugh even when what he’s saying isn’t actually funny
  • Actual punchline content is just… not that funny?

I WANT to like him more. But when I watch, I feel underwhelmed throughout. He has everything a great comedian should have, but the content is just missing for me. Most of the time you can see it coming from a mile away and although they’re delivered like a knockout punch, literally what he’s saying just isn’t that funny.

I’m entertained when I listen to him and I do like him, but overall he’s just not that funny. That’s my take.

I’m not a stand up die hard, and everyone has different tastes, but as an example, Tim Dillon‘s most recent “negotiator” podcast had five instances of making me laugh harder than any point during Mulaney’s shows. I know it’s not apples to apples, but he’s someone that I find hilarious.

Mulaney, best of luck, you’ll probably be okay without me, but just not for me.