No one was as sad as me when John Mulaney's sitcom was, let's face it, pretty fucking awful. As one of my favourite comedians of late (his special New in Town, his appearances on Comedy Bang Bang! and Kroll Show are all notable and well worth digesting), it was a damn shame that he just wasn't able to translate his unique style of comedy into a TV show.
Mainly, since he's not an actor.
Anyway, I hadn't lost hope for Mulaney and scurried over to Netflix once The Comeback Kid, Mulaney's new comedy special, come online.
He is back baby.
Though not quite as delightful as New in Town (Mulaney's fresh-faced charm in his previous special was just the slightest bit rawer and less polished, in a great way), Comeback Kid works in traditional self-effacing Mulaney-style. He's not a political comedian, or a mean comedian (there's a small bit of picking on an audience member that sort of rubbed me the wrong way but it didn't last long), he's just a sincerely funny, funny man.
Comeback Kid picks up where New in Town left off, telling personal stories of Mulaney's now-wife (previous girlfriend in the first special), his family, why he's not a fan of babies and good ol' Bill Clinton. This special is still laugh-out-loud funny, but it didn't seem as exciting as New in Town. I've now watched New in Town 3 times, and I can honestly say that I've laughed hysterically throughout each viewing. Comeback Kid, though it has it's great moments, was a bit more subdued.
I can only guess as to why this is. There was a definite gap in the special as Mulaney didn't once touch upon his failed sitcom, something that might still bring more pain than pleasure, but I, and I assume others, had been waiting for some kind of discussion about it. Yes it was nice to hear about Bill Clinton walking Mulaney's mother home to her dorm room one night, but that story, and a few others, were repeats from Mulaney's appearances on Comedy Bang Bang! and Kroll Show (his Back to the Future bit was first done on a BTS bit on Kroll Show, though now it's expanded in his special). That was also an issue with the sitcom. Whole bits were taken verbatim from New in Town and plopped into a "real-life" scenario on Mulaney, but to far less success.
Don't get me wrong, Comeback Kid is a lot of fun, and definitely worth seeing. Mulaney's energy is infectious and his jokes aren't base or elementary. He brings a wit that is incredible to see in someone so young and he's just darn likeable. I remain a fan with this special.