Before they were charming the world, I’m sure, John Mulaney and Nick Kroll auditioned for SNL. (It was on “August 7, 2008,” he once said in an interview. “What? Like I don’t know the date?”) He wasn’t asked to join the cast, like Kroll, but unlike Kroll, he snagged a writing job. Mulaney stayed on SNL until 2013; since then, he’s gone on to multiple high-level projects, like Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, Big Mouth, Oh, Hello on Broadway, Documentary Now!, and numerous stand-up specials, including 2018’s Kid Gorgeous at Radio City.
Not bad for the guy who did a John Travolta impression during his audition.
Okay, none of the 44 SNL auditions in the video above, meant to hype Mulaney’s hosting gig this weekend, are real. But they could be! He does a really good Barbra Streisand-as-Jaws, after all. The promo cuts between fake footage from 2004, 1986, and 1975, complete with era-appropriate attire and references (from 1986: “This is my take on The Breakfast Club, it’s called The Brunch Club“). To excuse the Paul Rudd-esque Mulaney looking the same in every decade, Kenan Thompson explains, “He never seems to age. He’s either a fresh 31, or a stale 76.” Also consistent throughout the years: Mulaney’s would-be breakout character, Guy Who Doesn’t Want to Get a Divorce.
John Mulaney hosts SNL this Saturday, with musical guest Thomas Rhett.