John Mulaney is moving his lively John Mulaney and the Sack Lunch Bunch to Comedy Central for two new specials. The first installment of the Emmy-winning actor and stand-up star’s Sack Lunch Bunch debuted back in December 2019. The initial special took a very cheeky approach to the Mister Rogers formula, with Mulaney as a more offbeat mentor to a group of elementary and middle-schoolers with celebs like Richard Kind, David Byrne, and Jake Gyllenhaal appearing to help impart some unusual life lessons.
It’s been nearly a decade since Mulaney’s work appeared at Comedy Central (His 2012 special New in Town, original aired on the network before moving to Netflix.), and it looks like he’s ready to come home. A Comedy Central press release announces Mulaney will star in and executive produce two new Sack Lunch Bunch specials. One of those specials will be a holiday-themed episode which will feature the reunion of the kid cast from the first special. In a comment on Mulaney’s move back to Comedy Central, his Sack Lunch Bunch special in hand, President of ViacomCBS Entertainment & Youth Brands Chris McCarthy remarked, “We couldn’t be more excited about John’s return to Comedy Central and hope this is just the beginning of a long-standing partnership.”
To this, Mulaney added his own comments on the big news, sharing, “I was an intern at Comedy Central when I was barely older than the kids in the Sack Lunch Bunch. I wasn’t a very good intern, so I am psyched they hired me again. We are thrilled to bring these specials to Comedy Central: a place where I have had so many good times.”
Mulaney’s decision to move the Sack Lunch Bunch project from Netflix to Comedy Central is both unusual and startling. Since 2015, Mulaney and Netflix have had what could be deemed a very successful creative partnership. Netflix has been home to two of Mulaney’s stand-up specials (2015’s The Comeback Kid and 2017’s Kid Gorgeous) in addition to hosting Mulaney’s 2012 special. He’s also appeared in multiple Netflix original projects, including co-starring in the animated series Big Mouth and contributing a stand-up set for Seth Rogen‘s Hilarity for Charity Netflix special. While I wouldn’t go so far as to say there’s something negative at work here, Mulaney’s move to Comedy Central from Netflix with one of his biggest original projects in hand is definitely noteworthy.