Former Saturday Night Live writer and stand-up comedian, John Mulaney, performed at the Altira Theatre Nov. 2 to a sold-out audience, titillating the crowd with his biting internet humor and stage presence.
Mulaney’s show, titled “Kid Gorgeous,” is his fourth stand-up show after “The Top Part,” “New in Town” and “The Comeback Kid.” He’s most known for writing SNL’s segment “The Weekend Update” and co-creating the character “Stefon,” played by Bill Hader.
“Kid Gorgeous,” opened with The Daily Show writer David Angelo, who performed his own stand-up set for 15 minutes. His set was solid though some of his jokes were lackluster. However, his monotone voice made his delivery much more engaging, as it created an ironic and nonchalant approach to his set.
Mulaney came on right after Angelo finished his set. Mulaney had a presence resembling an excited child, throwing the audience into a fit of laughter right off the bat. Compared to Angelo’s monotone voice, Mulaney’s intentionally obnoxious voice made the audience light up and many couldn’t help but laugh when he spoke.
Most comedians have a bar stool and water as their set pieces. Compared to the standard theatre performances, in stand-up there’s not much to look at besides the performer, but Mulaney knows how to make the open space seem full.
Mulaney utilized the stage to make grand gestures, act out the scenes that were part of his jokes and ran around to interact with the audience. Using voices to differentiate other people in his conversations, Mulaney made his set feel more like a theatrical production.
Mulaney transitioned from joke to joke seamlessly as if he were in a normal conversation. He often made call-backs to jokes made earlier in the show, adding to the immersive, casual audience experience.
Another unique element Mulaney had in his routine was his ability to be relatable to a younger crowd. His style of comedy reflects the often dry, satirical nature of internet humor.
Included in his set was his comparison of Trump’s presidency to a horse being loose in a hospital, saying, “You never know what’s gonna happen next.”
Overall, Mulaney knows how entertain a crowd. He relates to people with his self-deprecating jokes, strange though relatable stories from his childhood and all the random internet thoughts he thinks of, which all comes together to create a coherent, funny, entertaining night of comedy.
Emiley Bagalawis, Staff Writer