John Mulaney’s new Netflix special marks a delightful end to the decade


John Mulaney’s unconventional mixture of children’s musical theatre and modern comedy in the Netflix special, “John Mulaney and the Sack Lunch Bunch,” proves to be a wonderfully entertaining end to the decade. By reconnecting gapped generational senses of humor, this special is entertaining and memorable for adults and children. 

Cute quipped segments feature children sharing their favorite stories, their fears, and even their favorite New York moments. John Mulaney manages to successfully incorporate a nostalgic rendition of our favorite childhood programs into an hour-long comedy special –– far better quality of sensible comedy than the trash that is currently tailored to children and tweens today. 

The special strongly matches John Mulaney’s dry humor through old-timey references and oddly descriptive anecdotes. The subtle jokes share a laughable absurdity in regard to their timing and unrelatability to modern day interests. 

The sketches include a song soulfully sung by André De Shields about the importance of algebra and the not so related story of losing his eye. One sketch featured a silly and heartwarming song about one of the cast kids’ love for noodles. Some of the smaller segments showcased hilarious parasocial interaction-styled games where viewers at home are meant to respond to the narrator. Some of the games include “Guess the Celebrity” or “Put the NYC Mayors in Order” where the answers were celebrities or pictures you wouldn’t think kids recognize. One of my favorite sketches debuted Jake Gyllenhaal’s character, Mr. Music, a frustrated music man who didn’t prepare for the sketch and struggles to make music from mundane objects that don’t usually produce large sounds. 

Last but not least, De Shields delivers a special message for viewers about being yourself. It drives home the true intention of the special and leaves the end of the year with a positive note about keeping in touch with the playful and nonsensical parts of one’s childhood.