MULANEY, S1E5 RECAP: ‘It’s a slam dunk day’


By David Kramer

In most relationships, there comes a time to meet the parents. It can be a daunting task. In John Mulaney’s stand-up cold open from last week’s episode, he discussed the absurdity of it all. And in this week’s episode, we meet Mulaney’s mom.

The cast of “Mulaney,” photo courtesy

She is a devout Catholic, and still believes that Mulaney is as well (“nobody swear, and nobody mention that weekend we all did coke”). So he hangs up the prayer she gave him, and tells her about the non-existent Father Trey with whom he spends a lot of time. But when his mother, Patty (Nora Dunn) meets Lou Cannon, they fall for each other. It’s about as troubling as one would expect. He wants to take her to the Yankees game with David Letterman (for some reason), extending her trip to Monday – time to meet Father Trey!

Desperate to get out of the situation, Mulaney asks a priest to lie to cover his tracks. When he refuses (though he does bless Mulaney’s “Tonight Show” jokes), Mulaney begrudgingly prays at 2 a.m., and is caught by Jane: “Ew, are you praying?” “What? No, I’m just masturbating.”

John Mulaney, “SNL,” GIF courtesy

Mulaney’s prayers are answered, along with my own, in the form of Father Trey (Pete Holmes). I love Pete Holmes. Pete Holmes is fantastic. And Pete Holmes is the perfect person to play an enthusiastic pastor. It turns out that Father Trey is there because Father Ed passed away (at 2:01 a.m., of course), and he knows Mulaney “from VH1” (on which real-life John Mulaney has appeared). Lou and Patty’s brief romance is quickly dismissed, and she leaves town none the wiser. It’s a rushed and fairly unsatisfying ending.

In the secondary plot, Jane is dating a “lawyer and a feminist,” and is on a new birth control that makes her look and act like annoying neighbor Andre (“annoying voice and cartoonishness…inability to know when to leave the room”). Andre realizes his acne medicine is actually birth control, and stops using it. He gets a job, changes his look and suddenly becomes much more handsome. Jane’s boyfriend gets upset that she’s off birth control, because he doesn’t like condoms. She realizes she wasn’t as lucky as Hillary Clinton after all, sends him to her bedroom and calls the police on him. Well done, Jane.

Side Notes:

– Motif is present in the episode, but not as much as he should be. We do learn that his real name is Gerald. In general I want to see much more Motif/Gerald; he’s a funny but underutilized character.

– As much as I love and respect Martin Short, Lou Cannon is easily my least favorite main character on the show.

– More Pete Holmes and Nora Dunn please.

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