John Mulaney Could Be Emmy-Nominated For Three Different Projects This Year

John Mulaney still understands the assignment.

The “street smarts” comedian is having quite the year. In January, he took home an Emmy Award for his special Baby J. Now there’s a very real chance that Mulaney could be nominated for Emmy Awards for three separate projects: My Next Guest Needs No Introduction With David Letterman, FX’s The Bear, and the gloriously chaotic, unconventional talk show series John Mulaney Presents: Everybody’s in LA.

Everybody’s in LA, which aired live on Netflix for six nights in May, was the ultimate experiment for both Mulaney and the streamer. The series was sort of like Twin Peaks: deeply weird, surreal, and difficult to explain. And yet somehow, it just worked (ironically, David Lynch turned down a guest spot because he “didn’t understand” the premise).

“The original concept was Netflix saying, ‘Would you like to do six live nights of a show?’ It was that open,” Mulaney told The Hollywood Reporter. “I love assignments! I think it’s why I did well at a show like Saturday Night Live.”

YouTube player

Just about every aspect of Everybody’s in LA was unpredictable, including its place in this year’s Emmys race. It had been widely assumed that if the program was strong enough for awards consideration, it would fall under Outstanding Scripted Variety Series with the likes of SNL and Last Week Tonight With John Oliver. Things took an unexpected turn when Variety reported that the series would be submitting the episode “Earthquakes” for the Outstanding Talk Series category, joining seasoned competition like The Daily Show, Late Night with Seth Meyers, and The Late Show With Stephen Colbert.

Of course, that’s hardly Mulaney’s only shot at taking home another Emmy this year. His stellar performance on The Bear Season 2 episode “Fishes” is also a strong contender for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series. His character Stevie was a bright spot amid the incredibly stressful dinner party; it’s hard to imagine anyone but Mulaney pulling off such an awkward, yet oddly comforting toast.

YouTube player

While “Fishes” wasn’t Mulaney’s first brush with acting—outside of SNL sketches and the short-lived Fox sitcom Mulaney, he has also held voice roles on Big Mouth, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, and Puss in Boots: The Last Wish—being asked to guest star on one of the most acclaimed shows of the decade speaks volumes.

“When you look at him on stage, he’s one of our finest storytellers,” The Bear creator Chris Storer told IndieWire of Mulaney. “To do that every night in front of thousands of people, you have to be a pretty damn good actor, you know? You have to really be able to not only time out your set and craft your jokes. … You’re naturally going to become a hell of a performer.”

YouTube player

And lest we forget, there’s also Mulaney’s appearance on My Next Guest Needs No Introduction to consider. Mulaney’s moving conversation with David Letterman just might earn him an Emmy for Outstanding Hosted Nonfiction Series or Special. 

While Letterman also guested on Everybody’s in LA, the vibes between him and Mulaney here couldn’t be more different. The comedians found common ground in fatherhood, their battles with addiction, and recovery. 

“I wouldn’t have even thought I was addicted,” Mulaney, who checked into rehab in December 2020, reflected candidly. “It’s just how I lived every day. You wake up, take a couple of Adderall, feel there’s too much of an edge, take half a Klonopin, get a little too sleepy, have to finish a script and then get on the phone, take another Adderall.”

The episode felt incredibly real and raw; it showcased a rare, vulnerable side to Mulaney while simultaneously striking an impressive balance between playful and poignant. Essentially, it was a group therapy session for us all.

Ultimately, that’s the true beauty of Mulaney: he’s not just one thing. He may have initially won over the hearts of viewers as the guy with “feminine hips” who loved his (now former) wife, but his recent fare proves that he’s so much more than that. Baby J took a risk by peeling back the “likable” facade we’d grown accustomed to and introducing a more honest, flawed, and layered Mulaney. 

Instead of hiding from controversy or desperately clinging to his former reputation, Mulaney boldly embraced a new chapter. His career has only evolved since then, and that’s a remarkable achievement in itself—his ability to pivot and adapt as a comedian while still coming across as genuine is no small feat.

No matter what happens when the Emmy nominations are announced this month, or awards handed out this fall, Mulaney has already had an incredible 2024. And really, we shouldn’t be surprised: he’s called the “Comeback Kid” for a reason.

Get stories like this in your inbox: Sign up for LateNighter’s free daily newsletter.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *