For John Mulaney, who grew up on “I Love Lucy,” “The Cosby Show,” “Family Ties” and “The Golden Girls,” having his own sitcom is somewhere between wonderful and surreal.
On “Mulaney” premiering on FOX Sunday, Oct. 5, he plays an aspiring stand-up. It’s not a huge stretch for the recently married Chicago native.
Mulaney has two of his icons on the show, Elliott Gould as his indulgent neighbor, and Martin Short as his boss, a game show host on a perpetual quest for laughs.
“I have a high standard for what I thought adult life would be,” Mulaney tells Zap2it of his character. “And I get disappointed at every turn.”
Like all standups, Mulaney has bombed on stage. Once, in Tennessee, he recalls, an audience member’s heckle: “I would appreciate silence more than the sound of your voice.”
Mulaney was performing outside, next to a beer truck, standing on 2-by-4s. And that memory helps explain why he seems to be drinking in the opulent lobby of the Beverly Hilton, after introducing his show.
Mulaney is one of those people who always knew what he wanted to be — a comedian.
“My mom says even in baby pictures, I was hamming it up,” he says.
Yet, the first time he was supposed to be on stage, in a preschool Christmas pageant, he chickened out. Still, by the time he hit fifth grade, Mulaney was doing Burns and Allen routines for whomever would watch.
As he watches the machine, which is a network show, fire up, Mulaney reveals his hopes for it.
“I would love to see each character have scenes together,” Mulaney says. “With Marty and Elliott, we have a rival with who is a bigger mentor to me and they have an anecdote-off. It is one of my favorite things.”
Check out a sneak peek clip of the show:
“Mulaney” airs at 9:30 p.m. ET/PT on FOX.