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Stephen Colbert surprises John Mulaney with one of his Sack Lunch Bunch

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Tyler Bourke, John Mulaney, Stephen Colbert
Tyler Bourke, John Mulaney, Stephen Colbert
Screenshot: The Late Show

John Mulaney & The Sack Lunch Bunch is one of those unclassifiable, delightful projects that makes you almost forgive Netflix for giving up on One Day At A Time. Or Tuca & Bertie. Or GLOW, Dear White People, or the Mystery Science Theater 3000 reboot. You know what—screw you, Netflix. But, anyway, John Mulaney & The Sack Lunch Bunch is hilarious and adorable—and a one-off, so we don’t have to worry about getting attached and then having a soulless streaming concern yank the rug out. Starting over one more time, Mulaney himself was on The Late Show on Wednesday, talking about his oddball sort-of children’s variety special with Stephen Colbert, and basically being his drolly funny self, talking about his misspent childhood watching Maury after school, and ultimately getting into some fairly deep psychological waters with Colbert about their shared anxieties possibly being at the root of their show biz personae. (They’re fine.)

After the break, though, Colbert whipped out a surprise guest on his announced guest, as one of the Sack Lunch Bunch (the 8-13-year-olds from Mulaney’s special) came out to say hi and be even more adorable, somehow. That’s Tyler Bourke, the precociously bespectacled little dude who had a memorable, philosophical chess match with the comic in the special and is, as Colbert revealed to Mulaney, a frequent Late Show fixture in his own right. (On one of running the “Kids Pitch” Late Show movie segments, the A.V. Club noted that “There’s a little kid named Tyler who’s going to run a movie studio one day.” That’s Tyler Bourke.)

Plopping down next to the delighted Mulaney, the two played catch-up, with Bourke reminding Mulaney of the time that he forgot who he was working with and dropped a curse word on-set. (Tyler didn’t fink to his mom—then.) Tyler did say that Mulaney got him a cake for his birthday, which sort of took the sting of that, and while the young actor was diplomatic when put on the spot about which comedian he liked working with best—Mulaney or Colbert—he eventually had to admit that it was his First Reformed co-star Ethan Hawke that really impressed the prolific young actor the most. “He was the best,” Bourke said of the Oscar-nominated thespian, leaving his two comedic collaborators to admit that, yeah, that’s pretty cool. So’s Tyler.