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John Mulaney Brings Hilarious New Material To Eisenhower Auditorium

Former SNL writer and comedian John Mulaney returned to Penn State on Monday for the Student Programming Association’s annual Comedy Month, and brought with him a hilarious set seemingly tailored for college students. Mulaney was joined by Seaton Smith, who opened the show at 8 p.m.

Mulaney took the stage and immediately documented the auditorium on Snapchat before delivering a killer performance to the sold-out Eisenhower crowd. Mulaney first made it clear how much he appreciated the venue after traveling to odd places like Murfreesboro, Tennessee and being heckled by some surprisingly eloquent attendees. He also poked fun at the University Park Airport and its convenient location close to Cracker Barrel.

Mulaney appealed to the college-age crowd with plenty of jokes about his own college experiences, performances at other universities, and today’s pop hits. He joked that he wanted to write pop songs for an older audience that veered away from the clichéd “tonight is the night” theme. “I want to write pop songs for, like, 30-year-olds,” he said. “They’d be like ‘Tonight is the night! No? How about Wednesday?'”


The most exciting part of the evening was Mulaney’s constant engagement with students in the crowd. He connected with one student in the front row who he later invited up onto the stage. The student, an actor in last year’s performance of “Dogfight,” fed the comedian a line from the show to test his improvisational skills — and the results were hysterical. Mulaney, still unsure if “Dogfight” was a real show or a wild cage match, affectionately named himself “Captain Dogfight” and created a ridiculous and hilarious scene that left the audience in an uproar.


After talking about his wedding, his wife, and his adorable dog, Mulaney invited another student on stage to translate one of his jokes into sign language. He started his bit about the Blue Angels and Group 2 for the student to sign before sending her back to her seat. Then, he immediately turned around and said, “I wanted to send her off before I started this joke. So I was masturbating on my knees the other day…”

After going through a few more stories, he told the crowd his thoughts on the Republican presidential candidates. He said Marco Rubio looked like “an adult altar boy,” that Ted Cruz looked like “every Family Guy character all rolled into one,” and that Donald Trump deserved an Emmy because he’s “good at being on TV,” comparing him to OJ Simpson in the ways he dominates the news cycles.”

Mulaney proved on Wednesday why he’s one of the best comedians out there. His gracious attitude, funny jokes, and always-improving improv skills, combined with more confidence and experience, may lead him to a bigger stage when he returns to State College next time.

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About the Author

Gabriela Stevenson

Gabriela is a senior majoring in print and digital journalism and Onward State's student life editor. She is from Norristown, PA, which she normally refers to as "30 minutes outside of Philadelphia" (she looked up the exact driving time). She enjoys Broadway musicals, neck pillows, and eating cereal at night. To contact Gabriela, e-mail her at [email protected], or follow her on Twitter @GabiStevenson if you want to feel young again.


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