Mulaney was born in Chicago, Illinois on August 26, 1982. His mother, Ellen, taught at the Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law, and his father, Charles, was a lawyer and partner at Skadden Arps.
Growing up, John served as an altar boy. His parents are of Irish Catholic descent. He is the third kid of five. Mulaney recognized from a young age that he wanted to work in the entertainment industry.
At the age of seven, he joined “The Rugrats,” a Chicago-based children’s sketch club. John was offered an audition for the role of Kevin in the film “Home Alone,” but his parents rejected the opportunity.
Mulaney attended middle school at St. Clement School in Chicago, where he and his best buddy acted out what they had learned in lieu of writing reports. John portrayed Wally Webb in the production of “Our Town” when he was 14 years old.
Mulaney attended St. Ignatius College Prep before enrolling at Georgetown University as an English major with a theology minor. John met Nick Kroll and Mike Birbiglia through the school’s improve group, which he joined while attending college.
Following his 2004 graduation from Georgetown, Mulaney relocated to New York City to pursue a career in comedy. He was quickly employed as a secretary at Comedy Central.
John unsuccessfully pitched a parody of “I Love the ’80s” titled “I Love the ’30s” that he co-wrote with fellow comic Nick Kroll after a year with the television firm. Mulaney understood that his work was impeding his ability to be a comedian, so he quit to focus on his career.
John continued to write and perform throughout the next four years, and in 2008 he finally earned attention after appearing on numerous prominent late-night television programs.
After his performance on “Late Night with Conan O’Brien,” “Saturday Night Live” offered Mulaney an audition. He gave a peculiar audition with no impressions, opting instead to perform character-based stand-up.
John entered the room with low expectations, yet he was awarded a position on the show’s writing staff, where he remained for four seasons. During this time, Mulaney released “The Top Part,” a stand-up comedy album, and “New in Town,” a stand-up comedy spectacular.
Together with actor Bill Hader, he co-created the recurrent SNL character “Stefon,” who is portrayed by Hader. John was nominated among the rest of SNL’s writing staff for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing for a Variety Series during his tenure with the show.
After leaving “Saturday Night Live,” Mulaney wrote for a number of different television shows, including “Maya & Marty,” “Oh, Hello on Broadway,” “Documentary Now!” and James Franco’s “Comedy Central Roast.”
In 2015, Mulaney released “The Comeback Kid,” his third stand-up comedy special. The special, which gained critical acclaim, was shown on Netflix. David Sims of “The Atlantic” referred to it as “a reminder of everything that makes Mulaney so unique.
Storytelling replete with well-observed minutiae, delivered with the assurance of a person decades older than 33.” “The Comeback Kid” earned John a nomination for the 2016 Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing for a Variety Special.
In May of 2017, Mulaney launched his “Kid Gorgeous” stand-up comedy tour, which lasted two months. One of his performances at Radio City Music Hall in New York City was taped for a Netflix special entitled “John Mulaney: Kid Gorgeous at Radio City.”
The film received praise from critics, with Steve Greene of IndieWire calling it “one of the year’s best works of writing.” John got the Emmy for Outstanding Writing for a Variety Special for “Kid Gorgeous” at the 70th Primetime Emmy Awards.
In 2017, Mulaney appeared alongside Steve Martin, Jimmy Kimmel, Bill Murray, and Norm MacDonald at The Kennedy Center to celebrate David Letterman, who was receiving The Mark Twain Prize for American Humor.
When Letterman won his award, he praised John by saying, “John Mulaney, ladies and gents, this is the future of comedy. In 2019, Mulaney embarked on a comedy tour with Pete Davidson dubbed “Sundays with Pete & John” for a limited number of sold-out performances.
Later that year, John released “John Mulaney & the Sack Lunch Bunch,” a children’s musical comedy special that got great reviews. Mulaney has hosted “Saturday Night Live” four times over the years, making him the fourth writer to host the show despite never being a cast member.
Annamarie Tendler, a cosmetics artist and lampshade craftsman, and Mulaney wed in 2014. Their ceremony took place in Boiceville, New York, and their friend Dan Levy officiated. They divorced in 2021, following John’s rehab stay the previous year.
After their breakup, John began dating Olivia Munn. John and Olivia revealed they were expecting a child in September 2021. In December of 2021, they had a son.
In 2016, Mulaney participated in “A Celebration of Service” at Joint Base Andrews, which was organized by the USO to commemorate the Armed Forces.
Alongside Jon Stewart, Hasan Minhaj, Mike Birbiglia, Kristen Schaal, and David Letterman, Mulaney performed stand-up comedy. President Barack Obama, Michelle Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, and Jill Biden were also there.
Mulaney, when hosting Saturday Night Live on February 29, 2020, mentioned that Julius Caesar was stabbed by the Senate for being a maniac and joked, “It would be funny if we did that to Donald Trump now!” This joke prompted the United States Secret Service to investigate him.
On March 2, a Secret Service agent phoned NBC in an attempt to get in touch with Mulaney’s attorneys. However, he was unable to reach Mulaney and recommended no action, therefore the file was closed on March 5.
Awards and nominations
Mulaney has been nominated and won multiple accolades for his television work. In 2009, Mulaney and the writers of Saturday Night Live won a Peabody Award for their satirical work on the 2008 United States presidential election.
He has been nominated for a number of Primetime Emmy Awards for his work on Saturday Night Live and Documentary Now! In 2011, he earned his first Emmy Award for co-writing the Saturday Night Live song “Justin Timberlake Monologue” alongside Seth Meyers and Justin Timberlake.
Mulaney has been an avid collector of stand-up records for many years. He has praised Bring the Pain (1996) and Bigger & Blacker (1999) by Chris Rock, as well as Comedian (1965) by Woody Allen.
Mike Nichols and Elaine May’s Mike Nichols & Elaine May Examine Doctors (1961), and Comedy Minus One by Albert Brooks (1973). In addition, he frequently listens to Jerry Seinfeld, Dave Chappelle, George Carlin, Richard Pryor, Conan O’Brien, and Bob Newhart.
Net Worth and Salary
American actor and comedian John Mulaney has a net worth of $10 million. As a writer for “Saturday Night Live” and as a stand-up comedian, he is well-known. John has been nominated for multiple Emmy Awards and has won two.
He won the 2018 Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing for a Variety Special for his film “John Mulaney: Kid Gorgeous at Radio City.”