“Kid Gorgeous,” John Mulaney Knocks Out Radio City Run
After selling out seven consecutive shows at the Radio City Music Hall, only sarcastic busboy-comedian John Mulaney can get away with accrediting this success to pure luck.
“I’m so glad to be here tonight, I’ve walked through so many cold spots in the theatre tonight,” Mulaney exclaimed his excitement, also dating Radio City’s potential for ghosts. Extending his “Kid Gorgeous” tour from July 2017 to April 2018, Mulaney added four show dates at the historic venue, performing Friday, Feb. 16, through Monday, Feb. 19. With two shows per night on the weekend, it was rumored Mulaney was filming for his new special.
Audiences of the first Feb. 16 show were introduced to the surrealism through composer Jon Brion’s covering the Psychedelic Furs’ “Love My Way” and
David Bowie’s “Life on Mars?” on Radio City’s massive theatre organ.
“Kid Gorgeous” and Mulaney’s previous two specials demonstrate similar material pertaining to transitioning into adulthood, his father’s nonsensical outburst, and obscure references.
“There is way too much to unpack here,” Mulaney said about his father’s choice to give him the sex-talk by comparing his son to composer Leonard Bernstein’s repressed lifestyle.
The comic also believes his father murdered a Victorian-era ghost after refusing to talk about their haunted childhood home at dinner. Mulaney’s common theme between all his specials- and possibly his life mantra- is that absurdity lies at the heart of maturity. At 35, he is walking proof.
The stories are new, but their coherent- rapid-fire-punchline delivery bring a
sense of familiarity to them. When talking about school assemblies- where people with “no expertise...[would] for some
reason be allowed to talk”- of course, Mulaney would go back and the insult homicide of Detective J.J. Bittenbinder’s appearance, who sometimes wore a cowboy hat. When his friend’s college emails were subpoenaed for a lawsuit with a landlord, of course, Mulaney finds a way to self-deprecatingly find the worst of two evils
“The worst thing to read in court is an email saying ‘see you at improv practice tonight,’” said Mulaney, after sarcastically offering to kill his friend’s landlord in the same email.
After marrying his longtime girlfriend in 2014, Mulaney began incorporating the topic into his act. The absurdity of Mulaney’s career stands strong within the maturity his age provides- “I had to ask my wife whether it was okay to talk about her [in my act] ...”
Even Mulaney’s observational humor is not impervious to the influence of today’s politics. Repeating a riff from his June 9 interview with Stephen Colbert, the “Oh, Hello” star likens the president to a “a horse loose in a hospital.”
“There are some days we don’t hear from the horse, but then it’s like ‘wait, the horse used the elevator?’” Mulaney said, “and then the horse is like ‘I have fired the horse catcher.’”
Without naming either President Trump or North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, Mulaney goes on to describe the horse’s Twitter-war with a “pig somewhere else withnuclearmissiles.”
Overall, the development and year spent on the road for “Kid Gorgeous” shows in Mulaney’s performance. There are no empty gaps of time between jokes in his ironed-out act. If Mulaney wore his routine like the suits he performs in, there would be no wrinkles.