If you don’t already know who comedian John Mulaney is (how?), he’s a guy you’ve seen a bunch of places without realizing it. He’s the the co-creator of the Stefon character on SNL, the voice of Spider-Ham, and he’s shared the perfect analogy about Donald Trump and has strong feelings about the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He’s also the inspiration for a meme that can come in handy for describing so many fandoms, from music to movies to plays and even baseball players and professional wrestlers.
The origin of the meme came from Anja Reese last year, when she shared a Twitter thread of captioned screencaps of John Mulaney, describing famous musicals with Mulaney quotes from his stand up specials. Later in the year, YouTuber True Virgo made a nearly five minute-long version of Othello using John Mulaney clips. We’ll get to those examples in a moment, but first let’s talk about how the meme really took off this week.
Exactly one year after Reese’s original thread, Twitter user Ayrbee started a similar meme which then sparked several imitators over the past few days. Ayrbee’s thread summarized “pop punk bands of the 2000s as John Mulaney quotes,” and there were several fitting examples:
Several other Twitter users then applied John Mulaney quotes to their own favorite topics. James McKenna used them to describe professional wrestlers:
And a joke thread about professional wrestlers wouldn’t be complete without one for Vince McMahon:
Then Amanda Smith came along to describe the 2018 Dodgers as John Mulaney quotes:
It wasn’t only modern music getting parodied. Liora Strong applied John Mulaney quotes to classical composers: