The Secret Service investigated comedian John Mulaney over an Saturday Night Live joke he made about Julius Caesar being “stabbed to death.” While Mulaney maintains that the joke “had nothing to do with Donald Trump,” the comedian also admitted to Jimmy Kimmel that the joke was “an elliptical reference” to President Trump.
“In February, I did a joke that was not about Donald Trump, the joke was about how it was a leap year, and leap year had been started by Julius Caesar to correct the calendar, and another thing that happened with Caesar was that he was stabbed to death by a bunch of senators because he went crazy,” explained Mulaney to Kimmel in an interview on Jimmy Kimmel Live! “And I said that that’s an interesting thing that can happen.”
“There’s a service that operates for the president, and they’re secret,” said Mulaney. “They’re a Secret Service, and they investigated me, and I guess they opened a file on me because of the joke.”
“And I have to say, am I stoked there’s a file open on me? Absolutely,” the Big Mouth star said. “Did I enjoy it in the moment? Not so much.”
Mulaney said the individual vetting him on behalf of the Secret Service “was very understanding that the joke had nothing to do with Donald Trump,” but acknowledged that the joke was nonetheless still “an elliptical reference” to the president.
“It was an elliptical reference to him,” said Mulaney. “I didn’t say anything about him.”
In 2017, Shakespeare in the Park began its summer season in New York City’s Central Park with a “contemporary” take on the playwright’s Julius Caesar, in which the title character resembled President Trump, and was later stabbed to death during the performance.
Mulaney’s joke about Julius Caesar was not the only time the comedian had fallen under scrutiny for his skits. In October, Mulaney fund himself under fire by people on the left as well — after making a joke about how “some things will never change,” despite who wins the 2020 presidential election.
“I had a joke about how we had the election coming up. The intention of the joke was that some things will never change, despite the winner, and that the poor will still suffer, the rich will continue to prosper,” Mulaney said. “In the setup, I said, basically, like, no matter who wins — which I really didn’t even agree with,” he continued. “I often say things on TV in front of 10 million people that I’m just kind of floating as ideas.”
“I should have said, ‘I very much want one to win over the other, and there will be improvements if one wins,'” said Mulaney. “And I flat out, like, I deserved the backlash.”