Could John Mulaney have dreamed of hosting Saturday Night Live for the fifth time back when he was scribbling down jokes to crack up Bill Hader on air? Probably not, as the former SNL writer turned stand-up superstar and sometime animated rodent wandered timidly into Saturday Night Live’s vaunted Five Timers Club on Saturday.
Greeted by five-time (or more) hosting legends like Steve Martin, Candice Bergen, Elliott Gould, Tina Fey, and other new Five Timer Paul Rudd (pissy that his own ceremonial sketch was scuttled by Omicron), Mulaney reassured these show business icons that he doesn’t get why he’s there, either. After being greeted by Martin with a hearty, “Megan Mullally!,” Mulaney explained to Bergen that she should ask a stray niece or “son who’s bad at sports” to fill her in on the club’s newest member. Gould, who played a wacky neighbor of Mulaney’s infamously short-lived sitcom, also professed not to remember Mulaney, although he may have just blocked that out.
With Fey downing the club’s signature cocktail, the Five Timer Fizz (made from multiple hosts’ signature vanity liquors and Tracy Morgan’s aquarium-derived mixer), Mulaney sheepishly accepted Rudd’s embroidered smoking jacket as his own, since Rudd just can’t catch a break. And channeling those who might suggest that what was a one-shot goof has become slightly played-out over the years, Martin, chewing on the wrong end of his fancy-guy pipe, mused that allowing people like Mulaney in the doors might be devaluing the Five Timers concept a bit.
“Did somebody say ‘not special?,’” boomed out Conan O’Brien on cue, as the late-night institution (turned podcaster, as O’Brien mumbled under his breath) arrived to buck up his fellow lowly former writer. Fey tired to assert that she was a writer, but Conan exploded that she was in the cast, too, so she can zip it. As for Mulaney, Conan soothed the unlikely Five Timer’s imposter syndrome, noting that it’s the writers at SNL who (despite being too “hideous” for TV as a rule), are really the power behind these preening, velour-jacketed phonies. Showing Mulaney their true powers, Conan then shouted, “Live, from New York, it’s Saturday Night!,” even though the sketch aired well into the body of the show. Take that, snobs.