John Mulaney returned to SNL for his fourth hosting appearance on Saturday. Still, he didn't get through it without a little controversy. During his monologue, Mulaney took a moment to address Election Day on Tuesday and the decision people will be making.
During the opening monologue, Mulaney took a turn he usually doesn't take by targeting politics and saying that the 2020 Election was essentially an "elderly man contest." Folks did not take kindly from there.
"So there's two elderly men and you're supposed to pick your favorite of the elderly men," Mulaney said during his bit. "You can put it in the mail or you can go and write down which elderly man you like and we'll add them all up. Then we might have the same elderly man or we might have a new elderly man.
"But just rest assured, no matter what happens, nothing much will change in the United States," he continued. "The rich will continue to prosper while the poor languish. Families will be upended by mental illness and drug addiction. Jane Lynch will continue to book lots of projects."
John Mulaney’s monologue tonight on SNL: “On November 3rd there is an elderly man contest...But just rest assured, no matter what happens, nothing much will change in the United States.”
Mulaney supported Bernie in the primary’s, and is still completely based. pic.twitter.com/nXK3Bbowrs— ☭ New York Socialist ☭ (@TheNYSocialist) November 1, 2020
Plenty agree with Mulaney, there is no doubt about that. Still, saying there is little difference between Donald Trump and Joe Biden gives a lot of folks horrible flashbacks to 2016 when the same was said about Hillary Clinton. It shouldn't be like that, especially so close to an election that many have already voted in through the mail and early voting. Still, many decided to take to social media and slam the SNL host for the one time his standup takes a political turn.
"'Nothing will change' from the outcome of the election? Really, John Mulaney? Even as a joke? Okay then," activist Charlotte Clymer wrote on social media. Many disagreed with her, prompting plenty of debate in the replies.
No, we're right to be annoyed. You can't have it both ways. You can't claim that comedy is really smart and truth-telling and reflects society and then say "oh, chill the fuck out" when someone says something like that 48 hours before the most consequential election ever.— Charlotte Clymer 🏳️🌈 (@cmclymer) November 1, 2020
Between the Burr and the Mulaney monologues, word is SNL is now the leading cause of Xanax prescriptions among white women in the DC suburbs— Tony Simprano (@Tony_simp_rano) November 1, 2020
Many were quick to note that Joe Biden said the same thing to donors earlier in the year. Despite their party affiliations and demeanor, not much will actually changed under either candidates.
"All the time" is the right time to tell the truth.
Not for this new breed of Bush Doctrine Democrats, but for those of us who actually oppose America continuing to slip into fascism, the truth is kind of crucial.— Emperor Of Texas Y'all (@TexasEmperor) November 1, 2020
The full quote. John Mulaney gets it pic.twitter.com/gI1LeK42Nl— untitled goose name (@notallbhas) November 1, 2020
Others attempted to clarify Mulaney's comments from their point of view. They noted that it isn't so much that Biden and Trump are the same type of man. The pair are clearly not alike. But when it comes to the general policies and systems established in the U.S., there isn't too much change to be had.
when he said "things won't change" he meant the system as a whole. the system that was founded on bigotry and opression isn't going to suddenly magically fix itself because 1 person got elected.— olivia (@mckinleystaps) November 1, 2020
john mulaney after he said nothing much will change no matter who wins in the election: pic.twitter.com/gEHZA4iBk3— alex ⎊ (@anthotystark) November 1, 2020
There was also a lot of folks who were out to take in the folks online who were losing their calm over the SNL statement. Many focusing on how "liberals" missed the idea that Mulaney delivered a joke. It also wasn't too far off the mark.
Liberals getting upset at John Mulaney for pointing out, in a joke, that most people’s lives will still be shit under either scenario on Election Day - fuck off. Also it’s a joke. Get a personality— Spooky Alex Peter 🎃 (@LolOverruled) November 1, 2020
That was so unlike SNL that I thought he was gonna be interrupted by Kate McKinnon saying "guys, real talk, vote Biden" followed by the two of them dueting some sad piano song. But nope, he was just like "neither of these idiots will help the poor." Based Mulaney tonight!— Blacksheep (@blacksheep1982) November 1, 2020
Other folks made jokes at SNL's expense, sharing some faux outrage at Mulaney's stand-up performance and the show's insistence on focusing on politics. This response actually tries to improve the monologue.
Shocked and appalled at what John Mulaney said on his SNL monologue. I feel as though they should do away with the monologue all together. The celebrity guest should just stand on the stage and people clap for them, thats it.— Cloyd Rivers (@lunch_enjoyer) November 1, 2020
I can’t believe John Mulaney’s privilege when he said *checks notes* that the poor suffer and the rich don’t— Fairy Gothmother (@jenny2x4) November 1, 2020
Finally, there were some that were genuinely moved that Mulaney spoke out on the subject. While it is annoying, it is an example of how voting, while important, is also just the beginning of a longer process.
The whole controversy, like every SNL monologue controversy, only exists among about a thousand nobodies online. John Mulaney was obviously correct. I didn't expect it, given my general sense of him in the past. Good for him. Heartwarming.— Sridhar Ramesh (@RadishHarmers) November 1, 2020