John Mulaney and The Sack Lunch Bunch

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John Mulaney and The Sack Lunch Bunch#1
Posted: 12/24/19 at 10:54pm
Did anybody else see this? Lots of theatre people such as Andr de Shields and Annaleigh Ashford and a few of the kids had professional theatre experience too. I found it to be hilarious and fun and I'm curious what everybody else thought. My highlights were Plain Plate of Noodles With a Little Bit of Butter and the focus group bit.
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John Mulaney and The Sack Lunch Bunch#2
Posted: 12/25/19 at 1:34am

what an insane bit of nonsense that really grows on you, I have been listening to the David Byrne song all night, but boy could the noodle song go, it was painful as a concept, also give Jake Gyllenhaal a guest star emmy freaking NOW!  

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John Mulaney and The Sack Lunch Bunch#3
Posted: 12/25/19 at 1:47am
I liked grandma's boyfriend Paul, that's one catchy song. All the kids were terrific.
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John Mulaney and The Sack Lunch Bunch#4
Posted: 12/25/19 at 2:56am

This was a total delight!

Behind the fake tinsel of Broadway is real tinsel.
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John Mulaney and The Sack Lunch Bunch#5
Posted: 12/25/19 at 5:15am

The song about Grandma’s Boyfriend, Paul was funny and then it got a little sad at times and I was really feeling for the poor guy.

I LOVED Andre De Shields in this. Honestly, his character was every bit as flamboyant as him and I definitely got flavors of his Hermès from HADESTOWN. His interview segments were also insightful and very good, especially him at the ending

This special also speaks to how deft and versatile Mulaney is with his comedy, and he could honestly probably be a great book writer and/or lyricist for a Broadway musical.

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Updated On: 12/25/19 at 05:15 AM
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John Mulaney and The Sack Lunch Bunch#6
Posted: 12/25/19 at 8:35am

quizking101 said: "The song about Grandma’s Boyfriend, Paul was funny and then it got a little sad at times and I was really feeling for the poor guy.

I LOVED Andre De Shields in this. Honestly, his character was every bit as flamboyant as him and I definitely got flavors of his Hermès from HADESTOWN. His interview segments were also insightful and very good, especially him at the ending

This special also speaks to how deft and versatile Mulaney is with his comedy, and he could honestly probably be a great book writer and/or lyricist for a Broadway musical.
"

The focus on Andre's umbrella definitely gave me Hadestown vibes!  I loved his final interview segment - it was such a perfect way to end the special.

"It's you." "It's me. Orpheus." "Eurydice..." *crying*
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John Mulaney and The Sack Lunch Bunch#7
Posted: 12/26/19 at 3:21pm

SO happy to see a thread on this here.  I was underwhelmed by the whole production, although there were parts that were excellent, and they have pretty much all been called out here already.

 

I am a Huge Mulaney fan, saw him on a recent concert tour with Pete Davidson, and love everything he's done, but this was a bit too surreal in general for me. 

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John Mulaney and The Sack Lunch Bunch#8
Posted: 12/26/19 at 3:29pm

Pure brilliance all around.  Jake certainly deserves an award for his guest appearance.

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John Mulaney and The Sack Lunch Bunch#9
Posted: 12/26/19 at 10:14pm

To me, anyway, it seems Mr. Mulaney can do no wrong.

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John Mulaney and The Sack Lunch Bunch#10
Posted: 12/26/19 at 10:24pm

quizking101 said: "This special also speaks to how deft and versatile Mulaney is with his comedy, and he could honestly probably be a great book writer and/or lyricist for a Broadway musical."

With the Co-Op mockumentary, it's almost inevitable for him to write for a musical. 

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John Mulaney and The Sack Lunch Bunch#11
Posted: 12/26/19 at 10:39pm
Have you seen his sitcom...
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John Mulaney and The Sack Lunch Bunch#12
Posted: 12/26/19 at 11:10pm

SouthernCakes said: "Have you seen his sitcom..."

Yes. It was undoubtedly awful. However, the sitcom came before he was truly established as a popular comic (At that point, all he had was two standup specials and his SNL writing gig). Writing the book of a musical seems like it would be an easier task for him than writing 13 half-hour episodes of content, especially given that he has a solid crew that he works with successfully.

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John Mulaney and The Sack Lunch Bunch#13
Posted: 12/27/19 at 10:43am
People who keep mentioning his sitcom have clearly been dead since 2014.

This special only cemented my dream for a John Mulaney written musical.
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John Mulaney and The Sack Lunch Bunch#14
Posted: 12/27/19 at 10:49am

Even Mulaney trashes the sitcom and knows it was a failure. It's a dismal aberration in a career that is otherwise sterling. 

I loved everything about this special. 

"...everyone finally shut up, and the audience could enjoy the beginning of the Anatevka Pogram in peace."
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John Mulaney and The Sack Lunch Bunch#15
Posted: 12/27/19 at 11:24am

I'm a huge John Mulaney fan - like, seriously a HUGE fan. I've seen every one of his specials at least 8-10 times, and can quote large portions of them word for word, beat for beat, tone for tone. I absolutely think he's the greatest comedian working today, and for my personally, my favorite of all time. 

HOWEVER, I'm not so sure he'd be good at writing a book to a musical. I could see him doing lyrics, but not the book.

The thing is, because I know his specials so intimately, I also have a sense of what he's NOT so good at. You may not notice it the first, or even second time watching his specials, but he's not all that good at structure, and he's especially awkward with segues and transitions. He has a hard time coming up with ways to go from one topic to another, and so he often comes up with really awkward ways of linking them. And his shows, unlike someone like, say, Mike Birbiglia or Hannah Gadsby, don't have much of a cohesive arc or structure to them. Even "Oh, Hello" which I think is hilarious, is a bit haphazard and messy from a structural point.

My worry is that if he were to write a full book to a musical, it would have dialogue that's absolutely hilarious, but it would come at the expense of the cohesiveness, the structure, the logical scene order, etc. 

Still, if he does write one, I'll be first in line for tix! 

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John Mulaney and The Sack Lunch Bunch#16
Posted: 12/27/19 at 1:49pm
Finally got around to watching the special! Loved every single second of it! I would love to see Mulaney host the tonys with a special appearance by the sack lunch bunch!
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John Mulaney and The Sack Lunch Bunch#17
Posted: 12/29/19 at 12:57pm

Rewatched it and liked it better the second time.  Still too long, sorry to David Byrne and Natasha Lyonne, but the show would be better 15 minutes shorter, and their contributions could go.

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John Mulaney and The Sack Lunch Bunch#18
Posted: 12/29/19 at 1:56pm

Excellent point, JBroadway! Writing the book to a musical in this day and age is more about understanding structure than writing gags. There's no doubt in my mind that Mulaney can do the latter; but does he understand dramaturgical structure well enough to structure the right mix of plot, character, dialogue and song? Maybe, maybe not. We won't know until he tries.

As for the Sack Lunch Bunch being "too long", just how short have our attention spans become? I'll buy a round of ritalin for the entire board!

As for his sitcom, I never saw it. But artists often learn more from their failures and anyway, structuring a sitcom and structuring a musical comedy are entirely different skill sets.

 

Updated On: 12/29/19 at 01:56 PM
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John Mulaney and The Sack Lunch Bunch#19
Posted: 12/29/19 at 6:06pm

Let me rephrase the "too long" comment.

 

As currently constructed, the show is too long, as the David Byrne and Natasha Lyonne bits just don't work.  If they could replace them with segments that work as well as the rest of the show, it could be 2 hours or more and I'd be fine with it.

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John Mulaney and The Sack Lunch Bunch#20
Posted: 12/29/19 at 9:48pm

The breakout from this will be Jacob Laval. His cold opening monologue at the start of the special is a thing of legends. I’ve watched it about 20 times.

John Mulaney and The Sack Lunch Bunch

 

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John Mulaney and The Sack Lunch Bunch#21
Posted: 12/30/19 at 11:22am

Natasha Lyonne's contribution is, like, two minutes. I find her totally and immediately compelling as a personality and could probably just listen to her talk about whatever all day, though. 

"...everyone finally shut up, and the audience could enjoy the beginning of the Anatevka Pogram in peace."
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John Mulaney and The Sack Lunch Bunch#22
Posted: 12/30/19 at 12:10pm

Kad said: "Natasha Lyonne's contribution is, like, two minutes. I find her totally and immediately compelling as a personality and could probably just listen to her talk about whatever all day, though."

I was surprised she was only on as a talking head, and I wondered if they had something else planned for her that wound up getting cut. I also find her so compelling as a personality and could listen to her talk all day.

I've watched the special three times already and have been listening to the soundtrack quite a bit. It hit exactly the right notes for me, and I hope Mulaney and company do a follow-up.

When I see the phrase "the ____ estate", I imagine a vast mansion in the country full of monocled men and high-collared women receiving letters about productions across the country and doing spit-takes at whatever they contain. -Kad
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John Mulaney and The Sack Lunch Bunch#23
Posted: 12/30/19 at 4:11pm

givesmevoice said: "Kad said: "Natasha Lyonne's contribution is, like, two minutes. I find her totally and immediately compelling as a personality and could probably just listen to her talk about whatever all day, though."

I was surprised she was only on as a talking head, and I wondered if they had something else planned for her that wound up getting cut. I also find her so compelling as a personality and could listen to her talk all day.
"

Some publicity shots show her in what looks like a cooking segment (as well as more of Richard Kind, in some sort of science segment). I imagine stuff got cut! 

The original songs are extremely enjoyable! It's a fun soundtrack. I think "Grandma's Boyfriend Paul" is the best of the bunch. 

 

"...everyone finally shut up, and the audience could enjoy the beginning of the Anatevka Pogram in peace."
Updated On: 12/30/19 at 04:11 PM
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John Mulaney and The Sack Lunch Bunch#24
Posted: 12/30/19 at 4:20pm

John Mulaney and The Sack Lunch Bunch

John Mulaney and The Sack Lunch Bunch

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John Mulaney and The Sack Lunch Bunch#25
Posted: 12/30/19 at 4:31pm

Kad said: "givesmevoice said: "Kad said: "Natasha Lyonne's contribution is, like, two minutes. I find her totally and immediately compelling as a personality and could probably just listen to her talk about whatever all day, though."

I was surprised she was only on as a talking head, and I wondered if they had something else planned for her that wound up getting cut. I also find her so compelling as a personality and could listen to her talk all day.
"

Some publicity shots show her in what looks like a cooking segment (as well as more of Richard Kind, in some sort of science segment). I imagine stuff got cut!

The original songs are extremely enjoyable! It's a fun soundtrack. I think "Grandma's Boyfriend Paul" is the best of the bunch.
"

I actually kind of like that Richard Kind's only appearance was in Girl Talk, where he and the girls called each other Girl Talk.

When I see the phrase "the ____ estate", I imagine a vast mansion in the country full of monocled men and high-collared women receiving letters about productions across the country and doing spit-takes at whatever they contain. -Kad