On Saturday, John Mulaney returned to the institution that made him a star to host one of the more solid Saturday Night Live episodes in a minute.
After the obligatory political cold open, it was smooth sailing to the end credits. Mulaney’s unbridled love of Broadway got yet another masterfully unwieldy shoutout (with a surprise A-list cameo!) as did a sketch highlighting his friendship/mentorship of Pete Davidson. But it started with the opening monologue, and Mulaney may be the most naturally gifted standup comedian in the game right now. In an effortlessly funny tight eight, Mulaney waxed on dads, Lin-Manuel Miranda and — notably — Jesus.
“It’s hard to make friends when you’re an adult,” Mulaney said. “I think that’s the greatest miracle of Jesus. He has 12 best friends in his thirties, and they weren’t his wife’s best friends’ husbands.”
Nothing’s worse than someone trying to re-tell a comedian’s joke so let’s just watch it! (His Jesus jokes start at about the 2:30 mark.)
“Remember when your dad went fishing once? These guys went fishing every day! And they were all best friends and he’d do magic tricks for them and they loved it.”
Mulaney’s talked at length about growing up in a Catholic household, including an inspired bit on the biblical story of King Solomon trying to figure out which woman was the baby’s real mother. He’s implied that he’s not practicing anymore. In Kid Gorgeous, Mulaney quipped “I don’t know if you grew up going to church and now you don’t, but it can be a weird existence. Because I like to make fun of it all day long but then if someone like Bill Maher says ‘who would believe in a man up in the sky?’ I’m like ‘My mommy, so shut up!'”
Back on SNL, Mulaney welcomed the legendary David Byrne as the musical guest and he brought the house down so yeah, all told, this was pretty much a home run of an episode.