There is a reason comedian John Mulaney sold out the University of Kentucky’s Singletary Center for the Arts in a matter of days.
He might not have quite the widespread name recognition of comics Nick Offerman and Seth Meyers, who have been booked for this spring by the university’s Student Activities Board, but he has developed a distinct style that registers with students.
“I’m really excited for Mulaney coming to campus,” said Joe Luken, a senior studying secondary education at UK. “I’m a big fan.”
Luken bought his ticket to Monday night’s show the day they were available to students.
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“He thinks about new situations in new ways,” Luken said. “That’s what I think being a good comic is about; thinking about something in a way no one has before.”
Mulaney is known for sharing stories about his lawyer parents, his favorite TV crime dramas and the best restaurants in Chicago, and he does it with a confident delivery, close attention to details and a swift story-telling elegance that keeps his audience entertained and on track.
Mulaney’s first stand-up special, “The Top Part,” was released in 2009. “New In Town” followed in 2012, with his most recent, “The Comeback Kid,” in 2015.
The Chicago native got his start as an office assistant at Comedy Central in New York, after college, and then he auditioned for “Saturday Night Live” in 2008, where he worked six seasons as a writer. During his time at “SNL,” Mulaney won an Emmy Award for outstanding original music and lyrics for co-writing Justin Timberlake’s opening monologue for the 2011 season finale with Timberlake, Meyers and composer Katreese Barnes.
Mulaney also wrote, directed, produced and acted in a semi-autobiographical sitcom, “Mulaney” that aired on Fox for one season in 2014-15. The show portrayed a younger Mulaney and how his life changed when he was hired by a big-shot game show host to write his jokes.
This past year, Mulaney has been on the road preforming the show “Oh, Hello” on Broadway with fellow comedian Nick Kroll. The production has been a long-term project between Mulaney and Kroll about two zany old men they saw in a bookstore in 2000. He also has been in several episodes of the most recent season of the IFC series “Documentary Now!” by fellow “SNL” veterans Bill Hader and Fred Armisen.
That’s a busy schedule, but on Monday night, there will be about 1,500 Lexington folks happy he made the time to come to UK.