John Mulaney And Stephen Colbert Explore Each Other’s Deepest Anxieties

John Mulaney And Stephen Colbert Explore Each Other’s Deepest Anxieties


MY FIRST GUEST IS A VERY FUNNY
COMEDIAN WHOSE NEW SPECIAL IS “JOHN MULANEY AND THE SACK LUNCH
BUNCH.” PLEASE WELCOME BACK TO
“THE LATE SHOW,” JOHN MULANEY! ♪ ♪ ♪
( APPLAUSE )
( CHEERS )
>>THEY PLAYED THE LITTLE THEME SONG, YES.>>Stephen: THAT’S NICE. NICE TO SEE YOU AGAIN.>>NICE TO SEE YOU, STEPHEN. HOW HAVE YOU BEEN.>>Stephen: IT’S BEEN TOO DAMN
LONG.>>IT’S BEEN A LITTLE BIT.>>Stephen: YOU KNOW WHAT I
LIKE ABOUT YOU, BESIDES THE FACT YOU’RE FUNNY AND YOU SEEM LIKE A
NICE GUY, EVERYBODY LOVES YOUR STAND-UP SPECIALS. YOU CAN WATCH THEM WITH THE
WHOLE FAMILY.>>THAT’S NICE.>>Stephen: CAN’T YOU? I’M NOT MISSING ANYTHING.>>PEOPLE THAT SAY. THEY GO, “YOU’RE VERY CLEAN.”>>Stephen: YES.>>AND I’M NOT, BUT —
>>Stephen: SOMETIMES DARK.>>DARK, YEAH, THE DARKER RECESS
OF HUMANITY. I TRY NOT TO SWEAR, BUT I DO
SOMETIMES.>>Stephen: OKAY.>>AND I FOUND YOU CAN SWEAR IF
YOU QUOTE SOMEONE.( LAUGHTER )
IF YOU SAY, “A GUY SAID TO ME,” AND THEN SAY THE FILTHIEST THING
YOU EVER THOUGHT OF, PEOPLE GO, “OH, HE SAID THAT TO YOU?”
THEY NEVER ASSIGN THAT TO THE SPEAKER.>>Stephen: YEAH, YEAH.>>THAT IS HOW I’VE BECOME THE
SEMIDIRTY CLEANEST COMIC IN THE UNITED STATES.>>Stephen: “JOHN MULANEY AND
THE SACK LUNCH BUNCH” IS A NETFLIX SPECIAL. CAN PEOPLE SEE IT NOW OR DO THEY
HAVE TO WAIT?>>THEY CAN SEE IT NOW ON
NETFLIX. IT PREMIERED DECEMBER 24. IT’S A COMEDY SPECIAL, STARRING
ME AND 15 CHILDREN.>>Stephen: YOU ALMOST NAMED
IT “LATCH KEY KIDS.”>>YES, JOHN MULANEY AND THE
LATCH KEY KIDS.>>Stephen: ARE YOU SURPRISED
I KNEW THAT.>>A LOT OF PEOPLE THINK OF THAT
AS A PEJORATIVE TERM, A BAD THING. I WAS A LATCH KEY KID. AND THAT MEANT YOU CAME HOME AND
YOUR PARENTS WERE AT WORK AND YOU HAD FUN, FREEDOM.>>Stephen: IS THIS PERSON?”
>>OH!>>Stephen: IS THIS WHO WE’RE
TALKING?>>YES.>>Stephen: THERE YOU GO.>>REAL QUICK, THE HAIRCUT, THE
FRONT BANGS, I WOKE UP WITH GUM IN MY HAIR, AND THEN I TOOK A
PAIR OF SCISSORS, AND THAT’S MY WORK RIGHT THERE, SNAPPED IT
OFF.>>Stephen: YOU DID THIS?>>YEAH, DIMY OWN HAIR FOR THAT
PHOTO.>>Stephen: IT’S NICE.>>I LOOKED REALLY CONFIDENT.>>Stephen: IT’S VERY GOOD. SHUUSE THIS AS YOUR HEAD SHOT.>>YEAH. THAT’S A COOL SHIRT, HONESTLY.>>Stephen: SO WHAT WAS YOUR–
WHAT WAS YOUR FREEDOM LIKE WHEN UPPER A LATCH KEY KID? A FREE-RANGE CHICKEN? WHAT WERE YOU DOING?>>I WOULD COME HOME, I’D WATCH,
LIKE, “MAURY.”>>Stephen: FOUND OUT WHO THE
FATHER WAS.>>AND THE DRILL SERGEANT WITH
THE TEENS. THAT GUY WOULD COME OUT AND YOU
WERE LIKE, “IS HE IN THE ARMY FOR REAL?”
A BAD TEEN WOULD BE ON, AND THEY’D BE LIKE, “I DON’T CARE
WHAT MY MOM SAID.” AND A DRILL SERGEANT CAME OUT
AND WOULD BE LIKE, “YOU’RE GOING TO BE NICE TO YOUR MOTHER!”
AND THEY WOULD CRY. AND YOU’RE LIKE, IS THIS A
MEMBER OF THE ARMED FORCE S.>>Stephen: DID YOU GET A
LESSON FROM THAT, I SHOULD BE NICE TO MY MOM?>>I’M STILL NICE TO MY PARENTS.>>Stephen: I’M GLAD TO HEAR
IT. THEY ASKED ME TO ASK YOU THAT.>>I ALWAYS– I KNEW IT WAS GOOD
FOR BUSINESS TO BE– ALWAYS KEEP– BE NICE TO THEM.>>Stephen: AND DID YOU SEE
THAT BY LOOKING AT YOUR OLDER BROTHERS AND SISTERS AND GOING,
“OKAY, I’M NOT GOING TO MAKE THOSE MISTAKES?>>NO, MY BROTHER AND SISTER
WERE LESS DRAWN TO TROUBLE THAN I WAS. I LIKE THE FLAME OF TROUBLE.( LAUGHTER ).>>Stephen: AND YOU WERE THE
MOTH OF…>>I WAS THE MOTH OF THE FAMILY.( LAUGHTER )
AND I WENT TOWARDS THE LIGHT BULB THAT WAS THE ALLURE OF
DANGER.>>Stephen: THE GLAMOUR OF
EVIL.>>THE GLAMOUR OF EVIL. AND I WAS THE MOTH THAT WENT
TOWARDS IT. AS THEY– AS THEY SAY IN THE
LETTER TO THE POLITICALLIANS. SO I WOULD SEE MY FRIENDS GET IN
TROUBLE, AND I WAS LIKE, YOU CAN’T GET BUSTED. THAT’S BAD FOR BUSINESS.>>Stephen: OH, SURE.>>SO I COME IN AND SAY– I
STILL AM VERY OVERLY POLITE WITH MY PARENTS TO A DEGREE. I’M KIND OF LIKE A WAITER WHEN I
SEE THEM.( LAUGHTER )
I’LL BE LIKE, “AND HOW ARE WE THIS EVENING? YES, ALL RIGHT? YI KNOW. THANK YOU, I’M GLAD. OKAY. I WILL BE BACK WITH SOME BREAD
RIGHT NOW.( LAUGHTER )
I WAS ON VACATION– MY WIFE AND I TOOK OUR MOMS ON A TRIP FOR
MOTHER’S DAY. YOU MIGHT HAVE HEARD ABOUT IT
BECAUSE WE WERE PULLED OVER PER HAVING TOO MANY PASHMEANIAS IN
ONE CAR. THIRD DAY OF MY TRIP MY WIFE
SAID, “YOU ACT FAKE AROUND YOUR MOM.” AND I SAID, “YEAH.” AND SHE SAID, “WHY DO YOU DO
THAT?” AND I SAID, “YOU’RE SUPPOSED
TO.” I SAID, “YOU’RE SUPPOSED TO ACT
FAKE AROUND ADULTS.” AND MY WIFE SAID, “YOU’RE 36
YEARS OLD.” AND THEN SHE SAID, “SO THERE’S A
FAKE YOU WITH YOUR PARENTS.” AND I SAID, “YES.” “AND THERE’S A FAKE YOU ON
STAGE.” AND I SAID, “YES.” SEE ANNA SAID, “HOW I DO KNOW
WHEN I’M WITH YOU IT’S THE REAL YOU.” AND I SAID, “YOU DON’T.” (LAUGHTER).>>Stephen: HOW DID THAT GO
OVER?>>SO– LET ME TELL YOU. SHE– SHE THOUGHT– SHE LOOKED
AT ME AND SHE THOUGHT A LITTLE BIT AND SHE SAID, “YOU KNOW,
WE’VE BEEN TOGETHER FOR NINE YEARS. AND I THINK WE’LL BE TOGETHER
FOR A LONG TIME. BUT YOU WILL NEVER REALLY KNOW
WHAT I THINK OF YOU.” AND THEN SHE– NO, BUT I LIKE
THIS– “AND I WILL NEVER KNOW WHAT YOU THINK OF ME.” AND I SAID, “YEAH, IT’S KIND OF
BEAUTIFUL.” AND I SAID, YOU KNOW, IF THERE’S
A HELL, IF THERE’S AN AFTERLIFE, IF THERE’S A HELL, I THINK IT’S
AN ENCYCLOPEDIA, AND YOU CAN JUST LOOK UP WHAT NERVE YOUR
LIFE THOUGHT OF YOU. AND IF THERE’S A HEAVEN IT’S A
WIKIPEDIA, AND YOU CAN JUST CHANGE THAT.”( LAUGHTER )
( APPLAUSE )
>>Stephen: THAT’S BEAUTIFUL. THAT’S BEAUTIFUL AND SAD AT THE
SAME TIME. DID YOU WANT TO GET SOMETHING?>>IMENTED WATER. IS THIS YOURS?>>Stephen: NO, THAT IS
ABSOLUTELY YOURS. I HAVE COFFEE OVER HERE.>>YOU’RE DRINKING STRAIGHT-UP
COFFEE.>>Stephen: BLACK COFFEE, BABY
DOLL. FRESH CUP EVERY ACT.>>A WHOLE CUP OF COFFEE EVERY
ACT?>>Stephen: JUST A COUPLE OF
SIPS. IT CLEANSES THE PAL AT AND
LIGHTENS THE MIND. JUST WATER?>>JUST WATER FOR ME AND
TREMENDOUS ANXIETY, YEAH.( LAUGHTER )
ALWAYS –>>Stephen: DO YOU HAVE A LOT
OF ANXIETY?>>I DO HAVE A LOT OF ANXIETY.>>Stephen: AND THAT’S WHY YOU
DON’T WANT ANYONE TO ACTUALLY EVER TRULY KNOW YOU.>>OH!( LAUGHTER )
AHHH… THAT’S A REALLY GOOD QUESTION.>>Stephen: THANK YOU.>>IS IT OKAY IF I TAKE TIME– I
KNOW WE’RE ON A NETWORK –>>Stephen: I HAVE A CUP OF
COFFEE RIGHT HERE. JUST GIVE ME 15 SECONDS ON THE
CLOCK, JIMMY.>>OKAY.( LAUGHTER )
( APPLAUSE )
>>Stephen: WHILE WE WAIT FOR
AN ANSWER, A REMINDER TO OUR AUDIENCE, JOHN MULANEY HAS BEEN
ASKED THE QUESTION, “IS YOUR ANXIETY WHY YOU DON’T WANT
ANYONE TO KNOW YOU?”( LAUGHTER )
>>FROM AN EARLY AGE, I TRIED TO BE FUNNY FOR THE ADULTS. I MEAN, MY MOM SAID, “WHEN YOU
WERE A BABY, YOU USED TO POKE YOUR HEAD OUT OF BLANKETS.” AND SHE SAID, “IT WAS LIKE YOU
KNEW HOW TO BE CUTE.” SHE DID SAY IT FLAITERRINGLY. SHE SAID, “IT’S WEIRD, IT’S LIKE
YOU KNEW WHAT YOU WERE DOING.” I THINK I FEEL I HAVE TO PROVIDE
THAT IN ORDER FOR PEOPLE TO LIKE ME. THEN, YOU KNOW, LIKE THE IDEA OF
WOULD THEY LIKE ME JUST AS ME WITHOUT POKING OUT OF THE
BLANKET, METAPHORICALLY, IS A REAL THOUGHT OR CONCERN.>>Stephen: FOLLOW-UP
QUESTION, MR. MULLANEY.( LAUGHTER )
FOLLOW-UP QUESTION, MR. MULLANEY. AT THE CRUX OF YOUR ANSWER IS
THE NEED TO BE LIKED.>>RIGHT.>>Stephen: DO YOU THINK
YOU’LL EVER GET TO A STAGE WHERE YOU CAN BE YOURSELF BECAUSE YOU
DON’T CARE WHETHER THEY LIKE YOU OR NOT?>>UM, I DON’T MEAN TO TURN IT
ON YOU, BUT –>>Stephen: BUT.>>HOW– MAY I– HOW DO YOU FEEL
ABOUT THAT? LIKE, WHERE ARE YOU AT IN YOUR
PROCESS IN– OR DO YOU HAVE A PROCESS IN TERMS OF BEING IN THE
PUBLIC EYE, BEING VERY FUNNY, AND COMING HOME AND FACING
STEPHEN IN THE MIRROR?( LAUGHTER )
( APPLAUSE ).
( CHEERS )
THOSE 4:00 A.M. MOMENTS, YOU KNOW. ( SIGHS )
>>Stephen: I HAVE GOTTEN TO A PLACE WHERE I DON’T WANT A LOT
FROM THE AUDIENCE OTHER THAN TO MAKE THEM LAUGH AND TO MAKE A
CONNECTION THAT MY INTERNAL ANXIETIES, AS I EXPRESS THEM
EXTERNALLY THROUGH THE JOKE, WHEN IT MAKES THEM LAUGH, I HAVE
THE SENSE OF CAMARADERIE AND COMMUNITY THAT I’M NOT CRAZY TO
FEEL THIS WAY, BECAUSE THEY WOULDN’T LAUGH UNLESS THEY
RECOGNIZED IT IT IN SOMEBODY ELSE.>>OKAY.>>Stephen: IT MIGHT BE
ANXIETY ABOUT LIFE OR DEATH OR ABOUT WHAT HAPPENED TODAY IN THE
NEWS. AND SO THERE ARE A LOT OF PEOPLE
OUT THERE WHO I KNOW DON’T LIKE ME. BECAUSE OF THE
SOMETIMES-DIVISIVE NATURE OF THE JOKES THEY MAKE.>>OH, OKAY.>>Stephen: YOU KNOW WHAT I
MEAN?>>RIGHT. THAT FEELS PERSONAL.>>Stephen: WILL IF YOU KNOW
THAT’S HAPPENING– NO, WHAT FEELS PERSONAL IS THE CONNECTION
I MAKE WITH THE PEOPLE WHO DO APPRECIATE THE JOKES. AND BEYOND, THAT I’M JUST DOING
MY JOB, AND I WISH NO ONE HARM. AND IF SOME PEOPLE DON’T LIKE
WHAT I DO, I DON’T LIKE THAT, BUT IT’S NOT MY PROBLEM.>>WOW, THAT’S REALLY GREAT. ( CHEERS AND APPLAUSE )
THAT’S A– THAT SOUNDS LIKE A GREAT STATE TO BE IN.>>Stephen: IT’S PRETTY GOOD.>>THAT’S VERY GOOD, YEAH. I THINK I AM COMING OUT OF A
FAZE WHERE– DO YOU KNOW THE VELVET UNDERGROUND SONG “I’LL BE
YOUR MIRROR”?>>Stephen: YEAH.>>I THINK IT’S A BEAUTIFUL
SONG. I REALIZED LISTENING TO IT, NO
ONE ELSE CAN BE YOUR MIRROR. YOU JUST HAVE TO NOT GO OFF WHAT
OTHER PEOPLE THINK OF YOU TO BE WHAT YOU ARE. AND THIS– I DON’T MEAN TO WEDGE
IN TO THE THING I JUST WORKED ON, BUT I WAS WORKING WITH THESE
KIDS AGES 8-13, AND I THOUGHT OH, I REMEMBER BEING THAT AGE,
AND THAT IS THE STATE I WOULD LIKE TO BE IN. BECAUSE THEY WERE VERY KIND. THEY WERE VERY THOUGHTFUL. AND THEY ALSO KNEW THAT THEY HAD
NO CONTROL OVER THEIR LIVES AT ALL BECAUSE THEY WERE CHILDREN. AND THEY WOULD SAY– ONE KID
SAID TO ME, “YOU KNOW, MY MOM GETS REALLY MAD WHEN I GET BELOW
A 90 ON A TEST.” I SAID A 90 IS GREAT. WHY DON’T YOU TELL HER TO BACK
OFF?” YOU KNOW. AND HE SAID, “BECAUSE IF I DID
THAT, I’D BE TOAST.” AND I THOUGHT, RIGHT. YOU’RE A PERSON, LIKE ME, YOUR
FEELINGS ARE THE SAME. THEY HAVE THE SAME VALIDITY. BUT YOU KNOW THAT PEOPLE GO,
“YOU’RE GOING TO KARATE CLASS NOW!”
AND THEN YOU’RE IN KARATE ALL OF A SUDDEN.>>Stephen: RIGHT.>>RIGHT? I THOUGHT FOR A COUPLE OF YEARS
I COULD CONTROL THE KARATE CLASSES OF MY LIFE. BUT YOU CANNOT, NOT EVEN AS AN
ADULT, NOT EVEN AT AGE 37 IF YOU’RE ME.>>Stephen: THAT’S TRUE.>>YOU STILL WILL SOMETIMES BE
SHOVED INTO A CAR AND TOLD THAT YOU’RE TAKING BALLROOM DANCING.( LAUGHTER )
>>Stephen: DID YOU TAKE BALLROOM DANCING?>>I TOOK– I TOOK BALLROOM
DANCING FOR MY WEDDING. BOTH MY BROTHER AND SISTER TOOK
IT WHEN THEY WERE 10 AND 11, I BELIEVE. DID YOU GO TOICA TILLIONS AND
THINGS LIKE THAT.>>Stephen: I DID.>>AND DID YOU LEARN BALLROOM
DANCING FOR THEM.>>Stephen: I DID.>>AND DO YOU STILL KNOW IT.>>Stephen: I DO.>>I WOULD SAY IF I GAVE A
SPEECH TO HOOLERS– AND NO ONE IS ASKING FOR THIS– I WOULD
SAY, “YOUNG MEN, LEARN HOW TO DANCE.” BECAUSE I DIDN’T KNOW HOW TO
DANCE UNTIL– I DIDN’T KNOW HOW TO BALLROOM DANCE UNTIL I WAS
33. AND THE WORST DANCER AT A
WEDDING IS THE ONE WHO’S NOT DANCING. SO LEARN HOW TO BALLROOM DANCE. THAT WOULD BE MY WHOLE SPEECH TO
GRADUATES, IF I GAVE ONE.( LAUGHTER ).>>Stephen: THE WORST DANCER
AT A WEDDING IS THE ONE WHO IS NOT DANCING. YOU MIS100% OF THE SHOTS YOU
DON’T TAKE.>>THAT’S RIGHT. THE GUY WHO SAYS, “I’M GOING TO
DRINK COFFEE FOR AN HOUR WHILE EVERYONE IS DANCING.” JUST LEARN A BOX STEP AND GET
OUT THERE.>>Stephen: WE HAVE TO TAKE A
BREAK. I HOPE YOU’LL STICK AROUND. I’D LIKE TO BE BACK WITH MORE
JOHN MULANEY.

100 comments

  1. This is why I love Colbert. He brings out the humor in his guests, he makes them comfortable and creates a safe space for them to talk about whatever they want to talk about, and he’s never afraid to go where his guests go, and get down in the muck and mire with them. His show goes beyond just what’s funny or what’s trending. Love it.

  2. Visited New York and watched a Colbert show. Really enjoyed it, but if Mulaney has been a guest I would have been in heaven. The two together have a great chemistry.

  3. Colbert has an interview with Charlie Rose in which they also talk about the futility of attempting to share yourself completely with another person. Give it a watch.

  4. I know everyone is commenting about the transfixing conversation, and it was! But I really want to know about John's bumblebee theme; the tie pin, the black and yellow theme with the socks… Did I miss something, like an inside joke?

  5. I definitely feel what he said about a time in adulthood trying to fight off going to karate, and now knowing sometimes, you'll just be thrown in a car and forced to go. But how do know when you should be saying back off and when you should just accept it?

  6. You can always count on Stephen to take an interview to a whole new and awesome level by being super deep and serious. Love this guy

  7. I love when conversations like these make the air. We face life in our own unique way and it's beautiful to know that no matter how different we are, we are still the same, human.

  8. I wish we would use Facebook in a way, where we share mostly what we think about others, in a constructive criticism kinda way… We could be using that info while we are alive! To see where & how to change ourselves, for the better (if applicable). Not when we are dead!

  9. My Sky! I saw the thumbnail and thought, man, Mulaney is coming out of the tap already — envy, I suppose, I admit. Anywho, I do like his art, so I click… and the depths they went with the self-worth bit turnwd out to be priceless! Wish Steven would've made John expand more upon his own side =D. Why can't we have way more of this kind of talk on these shows?!

  10. I love that so much. effortless, relatable conversation. I always forget how people I look up to, are oftentimes trying to get it right just as much as me. I am anxious about almost everything, and I often do try to control things that happened in my life because I think it is my job as an adult, and when I do fail to control them I am extremely harsh on myself. I am learning to let go and source my energy into dealing with what is happening to me rather than controlling it.

  11. “There are a lot of people out there who don’t like me”, Mr Colbert “there are a lot of people out there who” do like you a lot.

    I keep coming back and rewatching this interview!!

  12. I don't know if it's just me, but the theme song to the John Mulaney and The Sack Lack Bunch is eerily similar to the The Rum Tum Tugger song from Cats, and I can't unhear it.

  13. This was one of the best interviews ever because at this point in both of their careers, their fan bases are so interested in hearing about their lives and who these people are as people. And we got a little glimpse of that, which was extremely rare and super special. And even for people who aren't particularly fans, this was a moment on TV where two friends got candid and eloquently and intelligently spoke about deep anxieties and introspections like no one was watching. And it was relatable and interesting and entertaining all at once. Beautiful moment right here.

  14. Colbert's political jokes are mean to me. He's okay with that because it's not personal. He's just making a buck.

  15. That tie and watch combo are hard af John Mulaney.

    They are both super eloquent when addressing first time questions. No stuttering, for the most part; and when they maneuver through pretty intricately worded questions, they repeat the same questions pretty accurately as well. If it’s not a bit, they were truly paying attention to each other, pretty cool.

  16. This got deep lol I love them both so much. Regardless of how much we truly know about either of them, you can tell that they’re both obviously funny, but amazing people.

  17. Proffer farmer ….tea farmer …. me farmer partner or boyfriend ?
    Could we both cross the road to meet you and offer ( ourself to serve you maybe farmer for you? So we don’t need to sell cracks anymore…:) u like that ? Let other new victim do that for another decade ?

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