NPR 4 THE DEAF: We Hear It Even When U Can’t



FRESH AIR: After working for five years as a writer and producer on Saturday Night Live, comic John Mulaney thought he knew everything there was to know about the show. “I was like a busboy,” Mulaney says of his SNL tenure. “I was like, ‘I know all the secrets, and I know all the ins and outs, and I know how to sneak out of the kitchen and I know where we get the meat delivered from.’ ” Though Mulaney left SNL in 2012 to pursue other comedic projects, he returned in 2018 and again in 2019 — this time as show host. That’s when he learned that stepping in front of the camera at SNL is a whole different experience from working behind the scenes. “I was absolutely terrified,” Mulaney says. “To be performing something you’ve written and trying to listen to the jokes while making sure you’re on your mark and looking into the right camera and then being pulled around to do costume fittings — it was scary.” Mulaney had previously written for SNL cast members Andy Samberg, Fred Armisen and Bill Hader — and he called them with a confession: “I said, ‘I just want you to know, I never said this before, but I always thought we [writers] had the harder job, and I’m so sorry. I had no idea how hard this was.’ ” Mulaney is an actor, with Nick Kroll, on Big Mouth, an animated Netflix series about adolescence and puberty. He recently completed a comedy tour with SNL cast member Pete Davidson. In 2018, he won an Emmy for writing for his comedy special Kid Gorgeous, which was recorded live at Radio City Music Hall. MORE