John Mulaney Once Said He Worried Fans Would Not Like His Real Personality
On May 10, comedian John Mulaney began a residency at City Winery in New York City. After the initial shows sold out, more dates were added to extend the residency. Mulaney’s new comedy show is titled From Scratch, and with the show, fans see a different side of the celebrity as he tries out new material.
In an appearance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert in January 2020, Mulaney discussed why he became a comedian and shared that he worried fans might not like him if he did not work to make them laugh.
Some fans were shocked by John Mulaney’s personal life
Mulaney is most known for his Netflix comedy specials, New in Town, The Comeback Kid, and Kid Gorgeous. He also worked as a writer on Saturday Night Live and has hosted the show multiple times.
As he rose to fame, many began to perceive Mulaney as a wholesome comedian and put him on a pedestal. Before his residency at City Winery began, it was announced that Mulaney and his wife, Anna Marie Tendler, were divorcing.
This, coupled with rumors that Mulaney is dating Olivia Munn, caused some backlash as fans were stunned by the news. Fans’ reactions led to discussions about the dangers of parasocial relationships with celebrities.
John Mulaney admitted to using a persona while performing comedy
While Mulaney’s comedy style might make fans feel like they personally know him, the comedian has always been honest that his comedy sets are not an accurate representation of who he is as a person.
On The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Mulaney recounted a story of how Tendler once called him out for using a “fake” personality around his mother.
“… my wife said, ‘You act fake around your mom,'” Mulaney shared. “I said, ‘You’re supposed to act fake around adults.’ And my wife said, ‘You’re 36 years old.'”
He continued, “And then she said, ‘So there’s a fake you with your parents,’ and I said, ‘Yes.’ And she said, ‘And there’s a fake you onstage.’ And I said, ‘Yes.'”
The comedian worried people might not like his real personality
Later on in his interview with Colbert, Mulaney was asked about his need to be liked as an entertainer, anxiety, and not letting people know his true self. After some deliberation, Mulaney gave a thoughtful answer.
“From an early age, I tried to be funny for the adults,” Mulaney said. “I mean, my mom said, ‘When you were a baby, you used to poke your head out of blankets.’ And she said, ‘It was like you knew how to be cute.’ She didn’t say it like flatteringly, she was like ‘It was weird. It’s like you knew what you were doing.'”
Mulaney connected this anecdote from his childhood to his profession as a comedian and actor.
“I think I thought, and feel still, that I have to provide that in order for people to like me,” he said on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. “… you know, like the idea of would they like me just as me without poking out of the blanket, metaphorically, is a real thought or concern.”
Mulaney will continue to perform his From Scratch show at City Winery from May 23 until May 31.