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  • Writer's pictureStand-Up Comedy Historian

John Mulaney and Bo Burnham: A thread published on Twitter on 5/18/22

Updated: Jan 10

Since we were gifted with video of the two comics conversing (still reeling from it to be honest), I thought this would be a great time to discuss interactions between the two over the years.

Here is the video in question, in which we see Bo converse enthusiastically with John for a few seconds (the thumbnail was clearly chosen to appeal to Bo fans lol).

1. Both John and Bo started out around the same time (late 2000s)

Despite John being 8 years older, the two comedians came to fame at approximately the same point, and their CC Presents episodes aired right next to each other (Season 13 is available on Paramount+)!

2. Vanity Fair Photoshoot

The next time I can find Bo and John together was for the "Murder in Funnytown" shoot (Bo as the photographer and John as the victim).

Here's a video that includes both of them goofing around on set:

And here's Judd Apatow's description from that issue:

"Tons of people are funny, but here are six truly inspired comics doing great work right now: Bo Burnham (as the photographer), Amy Schumer (as the widow), Chelsea Peretti (as the other woman), Reggie Watts (as the reporter), Hannibal Buress (as the laughing cop), and John Mulaney (as the murderee). I was going to explain what their acts are like, but invariably I would get it wrong and make them sound awful. They all have comedy albums available for download on iTunes. Give them your money. They have earned it."

3. Twitter exchanges/mentions

While neither comic is very interactive online, they have both tweeted support for each other's projects.

Bo complimented John's Comeback Kid special, specifically mentioning one of my favorite lines...could be a nursery!

And John expressed his love and admiration for Eighth Grade (Bo didn't reply, but Elsie Fisher did!)

Finally, John mentioned Bo in this tweet about the Sack Lunch Bunch.

Which is a reference to this scene in his special where the kids say Bo is in their group chat but not John lol.

4. PYW interview

Speaking of the Sack Lunch Bunch, Bo expressed his admiration for the show in this wonderful Uproxx interview about PYW when the interviewer asked about that in relation to Bo writing songs for Sesame Street.

So you’re still doing the Sesame Street movie?

Yeah. They’re shooting in April. There was a bit of a delay but they’re shooting in April. But I’m just writing songs. I just wrote the songs.

Oh, yeah, I know. But that’s still interesting.

I’m excited. And it’s a better director than me. Jonathan Krisel is the perfect Sesame director. He’s just such a magical, fun, funny person. He’s right out of the Muppet verse.

Writing music for kids, did you watch The Sack Lunch Bunch and go, “dammit.”

No, no. I mean, I cheer him on. That’s great. It’s amazing.

Because you’re writing songs in a similar space.

Yeah. But that’s great. We can’t get enough of that stuff in the world. And they were able to do something a little more sardonic and fun.

That’s true. It’s still Sesame Street.

But I want the whole world to be full of that. And I’m a huge fan of John, so John can do no wrong in my mind.

5. Brunch

And, most recently before the video, the two were amongst the enormous group of talented comics that attended Ted's Brunch!

6. Mutual friends

Bo and John also have a number of shared friends.

The biggest being Nick Kroll, of course!

In fact, both Bo and John were on the same episode of the Kroll Show together: Season 3, episode 8, "The Commonwealth Games" (but in different segments—Bo as Diz and John as George St. Geegland).

They are also both friends with Pete Davidson (although John and his ex-wife took Pete in, so John and Pete are definitely closer than Bo and Pete).

Finally, Mulaney's girlfriend and mother of his son Malcolm has actually interacted with Bo in the past.

It's true! Bo had attended a female empowerment luncheon called Girl Up with Elsie Fisher in 2018 for Eighth Grade, and Olivia Munn was there as well. There is a photo with Bo standing next to Olivia too!

Hope you enjoyed this deep-dive thread of two of my favorite comedians—I love them both way TOO much and have seen each of them in person (with John specifically mentioning Bo during the From Scratch tour and in the Emmy-winning Baby J: "The kids like Bo Burnham more now because he's less problematic")!

Oh, and I totally called this likely scenario on 7/3 when I was interviewed by Stucks, nine days before the official nominations came out on 7/12/23! 🤓


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