You couldn’t blame John Mulaney if he ultimately decided to follow in his father’s footsteps, becoming the kind of adult male role model who likens his kids to Nazis (and morally bankrupt chocolate eclairs!) and taunts them with the promise of McDonald’s only to come away from the drive-thru window with a single black coffee. But Mulaney has quite different plans for the world he aims to present to the youth of today. The superstar stand-up comedian will be treating the current generation of kids to a comedy variety show just for them, and is even enlisting a handful of talented tots to bring the project to life.
On December 24, John Mulaney will treat Netflix subscribers of all ages to a Christmas special of sorts titled John Mulaney & The Sack Lunch Bunch, as was announced by the streaming service on Wednesday morning. The special will take form as an array of comedic and musical performances, and will feature the talents of the headlining comic and a few of his A-list chums and regular collaborators, as well as those of a few preteen stars-in-the-making. The following description of the project comes per Mulaney himself:
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 papier mache volcano. It’s funny, musical, joyous, anxious, and surprisingly profound.
It might be said that John Mulaney as we know him has never targeted his entertainment towards children before, and that the likes of Richard Kind, Natasha Lyonne, and Jake Gyllenhaal aren’t exactly the sort you’d expect to enlist for such a younger-skewing project. But perhaps that apprehension articulates an issue not in this collective’s capacity to entertain kids, but in our understanding of kids and what they find entertaining.
For, when were we at our most eye-poppingly intense than between the ages of 8 and 13, and who better to represent such intensity than Mysterio/Nightcrawler (not that Nightcrawler)/the lunatic from Okja himself, Jake Gyllenhaal? And in those same years, were we not so enamored with the promise of coarseness and risque-ity that lines even the most innocuous of Natasha Lyonne’s line deliveries? And Richard Kind! He’s a treasure trove of funny voices! No brainer!
But of course, let’s not overlook the supposed true stars of this production: the kids that Mulaney and company are bringing to the spotlight to show off their knack for laughs, tunes, and, apparently, volcanery. Any means of encouraging kids at large to explore their own creative sides is a noble venture, and we’re hoping The Sack Lunch Bunch does just that for every youngster who watches at home this holiday season. So check it out this December 24 with whatever kids you may have at your disposal! It’ll be far more inspiring than demanding they not talk about the creepy Victorian ghost living upstairs.
Featured Image: Netflix