Wanna See John Mulaney Silently Judge a Bunch of Dancing Kids? Of Course You Do

     December 12, 2019

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There’s something about seeing comedian John Mulaney in a tight-fitting black shirt being mean to people in a 1970s retro-feeling context that really does it for me. This particular combo worked like gangbusters in the peerless Documentary Now! episode skewering the Company cast album recording. Now, it’s working again in a new promo for the upcoming John Mulaney & The Sack Lunch Bunch Netflix special.

John Mulaney & The Sack Lunch Bunch looks to recreate those classic TV variety specials where celebrity guests would sing, dance, do light comedy sketches, and learn lessons with a crew of talented children — all with a modern, hilarious twist. But how did Mulaney cast his group of kids; his Sack Lunch Bunch? If you take this promo at face value, he did it quite ruthlessly.

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Image via Netflix

Aping the aesthetics, filmmaking style, and even font from Bob Fosse‘s masterpiece All That Jazz, the promo finds Mulaney stalking around in that damn tight-fitting black shirt watching the children sing and dance quite well. Er, “quite well” to my eyes. For Mulaney casually, quietly, judgmentally makes some decisions on who stays, and (more often) who goes. The promo is silly, dark, and ultra-committed to its wild aesthetic. It makes me very, very excited for the special. And if he’s wearing a tight-fitting black shirt in the special — I ain’t complaining.

John Mulaney & The Sack Lunch Bunch drops on Netflix Christmas Eve. Check out the new promo below, followed by the special’s Mulaney-penned official synopsis. For more on what Mulaney’s been up to, here’s our review of Big Mouth season 3. Plus, just a beautiful Spider-Ham-centered prequel short from the world of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.

I’m John Mulaney and I am a 37 year old man. The Sack Lunch Bunch is a group of children ages 8-13 who are more talented than me. In this special, we are joined by celebrity guests like David Byrne, Tony Award Winner Andre De Shields, Natasha Lyonne, Annaleigh Ashford, Shereen Pimentel, Richard Kind, and Jake Gyllenhaal from the movie Zodiac. The result is a collage of Broadway caliber showstoppers, comedy sketches for all ages, meditations on the unknown from children and adults, and a papier mache volcano. It’s funny, musical, joyous, anxious, and surprisingly profound.

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