6:00am PT by Lacey Rose
John Mulaney Inks Comedy Central Deal for More 'Sack Lunch Bunch' Specials
John Mulaney is bringing his lunch bunch to Comedy Central.
The network announced Tuesday that it would be the new home to two upcoming Sack Lunch Bunch comedy specials, including a holiday-themed one that will reunite Mulaney's original cast.
The news comes as something of a shock given that the first Sack Lunch Bunch special premiered to raves late last year on Netflix, though the cable network is said to have bid far more aggressively for the sequels — to say nothing of the opportunity to be back in business with a major comedy player at a time when the streamer has spent lavishly to lock up so much of the market.
For Mulaney, a 16-time Emmy nominee and two-time winner, it's a homecoming of sorts, as he was once an intern at Comedy Central at the start of his career. The pact marks his first time working with the network in 10 years and should bring with it a much-needed PR boost for a network eager for renewed relevance and stability. In the past six months or so, many of Comedy Central's top executives have been let go; more recently, much of the development team was pushed out, too. The new direction at the network is said to be in favor of animation, reboots and one-off movies rather than more traditional scripted fare.
“I was an intern at Comedy Central when I was barely older than the kids in the Sack Lunch Bunch. I wasn’t a very good intern, so I am psyched they hired me again. We are thrilled to bring these specials to Comedy Central, a place where I have had so many good times," Mulaney said in a statement.
Added Chris McCarthy, who's been tasked with overseeing Comedy Central in addition to MTV, VH1, CMT and TV Land as ViacomCBS' Entertainment and Youth Brands president: “We couldn’t be more excited about John’s return to Comedy Central and hope this is just the beginning of a long-standing partnership.”
The former Saturday Night Live writer (and now three-time host) has been one of comedy's fastest-rising stars in recent years, with specials including Kid Gorgeous, Comeback Kid and New in Town. He's also written for IFC's Documentary Now and Netflix's Big Mouth and starred on Broadway's Oh, Hello opposite pal Nick Kroll. During the press tour for his first Sack Lunch Bunch special, he often described it as a passion project that was easier to execute than to explain. The result was widely praised. Its latest move to Comedy Central was first reported by Vulture.