John Mulaney wasn't joking around about being investigated by the Secret Service. The Associated Press reported Thursday that through a Freedom of Information Act request, it obtained a file on the investigation, which was opened last March and concluded in December after Mulaney made a joke during a monologue on Saturday Night Live about Julius Caesar's demise on the Ides of March.
The file said that Mulaney, 38, "made inappropriate statements regarding President Trump" on the Feb. 29, 2020, SNL episode. Though the file noted that "no direct threats were made," it reportedly said it was likely "concerned citizens" would report Mulaney because of popular media reports about the monologue. Mulaney piqued the interest of the Secret Service when he said, "Another thing that happened under Julius Caesar, he was such a powerful maniac that all the senators grabbed knives, and they stabbed him to death. That would be an interesting thing if we brought that back now."
The AP reports that the file also pointed out Mulaney's quote: "I asked my lawyer if I could make that joke, he said, 'Let me call another lawyer,' and that lawyer said yes. I don't dwell on politics, but I dislike the Founding Fathers immensely. ... I hate when people are like, 'God has never created such a great group of men than the Founding Fathers.' Yeah, that '92 Bulls. ... That's a perfect metaphor for the United States. When I was a boy, the United States was like Michael Jordan in 1992. Now the United States is like Michael Jordan now."
Mulaney discussed the Secret Service drama with Jimmy Kimmel on his eponymous late-night show in December, telling him that the joke was not about Donald Trump, but "about how it was a leap year and leap year had been started by Julius Caesar to correct the calendar and another thing that happened with Caesar was that he was stabbed to death by a bunch of senators 'cause he went crazy. And I said, 'That's an interesting thing that could happen.'"
It was apparent enough to the Secret Service, who contacted NBC that it was a joke, the AP reported. "They investigated me. I guess they opened a file on me because of the joke," Mulaney said in December. "Am I stoked there's a file opened on me? Absolutely. Did I enjoy it in the moment? Not so much."
He said the investigator "was very understanding that the joke had nothing to do with Donald Trump" and that it was "an elliptical reference to him." He added, "They were very nice in the interview. In terms of risk assessment, no one who's ever looked at me has thought I'd registered above a one."
"I said I have been making jokes about him since 2007, so I have been making fun of him for 13 years," Mulaney said. "They said if it’s a joke, then I am cleared by the Secret Service."