John Mulaney got himself into some hot water with the Secret Service. The Emmy-winning comedian hosted Saturday Night Live twice in 2020—once in February and once on Halloween, just before the presidential election.
In an interview with Jimmy Kimmel on Dec. 1, the Big Mouth star revealed the Secret Service opened an investigation into him because of a joke he made during his SNL opening monologue in February.
Mulaney joked about Julius Caesar in his ‘SNL’ opening monologue
During the Feb. 29 episode, Mulaney talked about the fact that the episode was on a Leap Year. He noted that Julius Caesar is to thank for Leap Years, and then he said, “and another thing that happened with Caesar is that he was stabbed to death by a bunch of senators because he went crazy.”
Although Mulaney didn’t mention Donald Trump by name with this Julius Caesar joke, Trump supporters reportedly felt the comparison was implied and said it was threatening towards the President.
The Spider-Man: Into The Spider Verse star has joked about Trump plenty of times in his stand-up, but he rarely actually mentions Trump by name. (He noted on Jimmy Kimmel Live on Dec. 1 that he’s actually been making fun of the President in his stand-up since 2007.) In his Netflix special filmed at Radio City, for example, the 38-year-old alluded to Trump in the hilarious “horse loose in a hospital” bit, which he later used in another SNL opening monologue.
Mulaney told Kimmel that the Caesar joke prompted a call from the Secret Service.
“I guess they opened a file on me because of the joke,” he said. “Am I stoked there’s a file open on me? Absolutely. Did I enjoy it in the moment? Not so much.”
Did John Mulaney get in trouble with the Secret Service?
The star assured that the Secret Service agent he spoke to was “understanding that the joke had nothing to do with Donald Trump.”
“In terms of risk assessment, no one who’s ever looked at me has thought I registered above a one,” he quipped, then sharing that the interviewer asked if he had any “manifestos” online about Trump. Other than 13 years worth of jokes about him, the answer was no.
“I said, ‘No. I have bad writing habits. I could never pound out a manifesto,’” Mulaney teased.
Don’t worry: Mulaney isn’t being investigated anymore. As the comedian continued, “I was cleared by the Secret Service—I’ve been told.”
He did, however, eventually understand why he probably seemed like a potential threat.
“At the same time, my wife [Annamarie Tendler Mulaney] was working on a project for the Smithsonian down in D.C.,” he said. “So, we had an apartment down there, and I was living in D.C. It’s where we ended up quarantining. I failed to realize that after telling the Secret Service that they had nothing to worry about, that I had leased an apartment for one year in Washington, D.C. And that that apartment was across the street from the Secret Service building. So, it had a planned vibe to it.”
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