John Mulaney’s Children Special is Coming Home for the Holidays

Published on December 13, 2019

Netflix has been good to comedian John Mulaney. His first big special, “New in Town,” caught on like wildfire on the streaming platform and amassed him a large legion of passionate fans.

Mulaney followed up his debut special with “The Comeback,” “Kid Gorgeous at Radio City,” and Fox’s short-lived sitcom, Mulaney, which wasn’t as sharp and finely tuned as his standup material. Not to mention, he voiced Spider-Ham in Into the Spider-Verse.

The former SNL writer has many accomplishments to his name, including an upcoming spin on an old TV variety show for Netflix called John Mulaney & The Sack Lunch Bunch. A new ad was just released for it.

The Ad 

The special has jokes, musical numbers, and Mulaney joking around and talking about the wonders of life with a group of kids between the ages of 8-13. It’s comedy for kids and adults.

Mulaney, who’s not a clean comic, can craft the most perfect innocent jokes that’ll probably play great to children. He doesn’t need to swear much or tell a raunchy story to get huge laughs. Mulaney is a remarkable craftsman as a standup comic, writer, performer, and speaker. Everything feels just right in his specials, especially his dapper suits.

He’s a comedian with style, both on the stage and on the streets. 

It’s Got Freaking David Byrne

Isn’t that reason enough to watch John Mulaney & The Sack Lunch Brunch?

The Talking Heads frontman and solo artist, who recently completed his mind-blowing American Utopia tour on Broadway, appears in the special to sing a tune for the kids. Mulaney, like a lot of artists, has looked up to David Byrne for a long time.

Ironically, there’s one great similarity between the two artists that makes them working together exciting — they’re both very structured performers on stage, hitting every mark and comma, yet making it feel natural, sometimes even spontaneous, and entirely in-the-moment. It’s a rare gift for a performer to have, but both Byrne and Mulaney have it.

Know what else is wonderful about Byrne appearing in the special?

It’s going to introduce a whole new audience to the musician, specifically the youngsters. They’re in for a treat. Byrne is like the “Willy Wonka” of music. Those lucky kids are about to experience Byrne’s magic for the very first time, and hopefully, it sticks with them.

Jake Gyllenhaal (Nightcrawler) and Natasha Lyonne (Russian Doll) are guest stars as well.

Stevie Nicks is Not Impressed

The special hasn’t even come out yet and already has one critic in musician Stevie Nicks, the rock legend of Fleetwood Mac fame.

Mulaney wrote a song for her to sing in the special, but she wasn’t impressed. Nick’s representatives give Mulaney a hard pass, to put it lightly. Mulaney recently visited The Late Night Show with Jimmy Fallon and retold the very funny and surreal experience.

Whenever Mulaney is on a late show, he’s on his game as always, almost to the point where it’s impossible not to imagine a future in which he hosts a late show. Watch how he once interacted with Cardi B. on Fallon’s show, and see that the potential and talent is all there for the job. 


I’m John Mulaney and I am a 37 year old man. The Sack Lunch Bunch is a group of children ages 8-13 who are more talented than me. In this special, we are joined by celebrity guests like David Byrne, Tony Award Winner Andre De Shields, Natasha Lyonne, Annaleigh Ashford, Shereen Pimentel, Richard Kind, and Jake Gyllenhaal from the movie Zodiac. The result is a collage of Broadway caliber showstoppers, comedy sketches for all ages, meditations on the unknown from children and adults, and a paper mache volcano. It’s funny, musical, joyous, anxious, and surprisingly profound.

John Mulaney & The Sack Lunch Bunch is available to stream on Netflix December 24th.

Jack Giroux is a Staff Writer at Grit Daily. Based in Los Angeles, he is an entertainment journalist who's previously written for Thrillist, Slash Film, Film School Rejects, and The Film Stage.

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