‘Everybody’s In LA’ Host John Mulaney Says “We Can’t Get Renewed” As Comedian Reveals Who Didn’t Want To Appear On Live Netflix Show

John Mulaney’s wildly chaotic six-episode run of Everybody’s In LA featured old punks, phone-ins and just about every top comedian in the states.

But the show, which ran for six episodes around the Netflix Is A Joke Festival between May 3 and May 10, was originally designed as a variety show. “I wanted everyone to go make what they wanted and I will put it on. We can’t get renewed. We should actually be a variety show,” he said.

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Mulaney was asked why he wanted to make a show that was largely difficult? He said that Netflix approached him as they wanted to do something live across the comedy festival but weren’t entirely sure what. “One idea they had was stand-up at the Geffen Theater. Only with only David doing stand-up, just Laura Nyro stories. He had a tight hour,” Mulaney joked. “I liked that it was an assignment and that it had a start date and an end date like a summer job. I really liked the idea of that you can make it whatever you want.”

He said that one of the benefits was that so many top comedians were in LA for the festival, a rarity about touring stand-ups. “What’s great about the Netflix festival is everyone’s in town at the same time, and we get to see each other and we get to go to each other’s shows. There’s that brunch where we all eat salty waffles. That doesn’t happen a lot, we’re not in the same place at the same time. I thought what’s cool is that the place we’re in is the weirdest, most interesting city in the world, just the strangest place I’ve ever been. I’ve always wanted to do something about LA,” he added.

He joked that he only wanted to do it if he can cover the festival “like it’s the Rodney King uprising”.

In the show itself, Mulaney said that given its run, a “British six”, it would never find it’s groove.

But the comedian dodged the question as to whether he would do it again, potentially in another city. He and moderator Nick Kroll joked about doing it in Las Vegas, or even in Montreal, around the Just For Laughs festival, but that event went bankrupt.

He said that his inspirations included Glenn O’Brien’s New York public access series TV Party, which ran between 1978 and 1982, which was co-hosted by Blondie’s Chris Stein and featured guests including Mick Jones and Jean-Michel Basquiat, Larry King Live, particularly for the phone-in sections, early MTV and The McLaughlin Group, a syndicated public affairs show that discussed politics in a round table format.

“I eventized local talk television,” he said.

As Jerry Seinfeld said on the show, “This is the weirdest show I have ever been on in my life”.

Seinfeld was among a slew of comedians who appeared on the show. Others included Will Ferrell, Jon Stewart, Gabriel Iglesias, Earthquake, Nate Bargatze, Sarah Silverman, Tom Seguara, Ronny Chieng, Bill Hader, Pete Davidson, Hannah Gadsby and Mike Birbiglia.

There were experts such as wildlife advocate Tony Tucci, TreePeople, activist Amanda Begley, lawyer Marcia Clark, hypnotherapist Kerry Gaynor, seismologist Dr. Lucy Jones and Dr. Emily Lindsey, associate curator at the La Brea Tar Pits.

John Mulaney Presents: Everybody’s in LA with Flea (Ryan West/Netflix)
John Mulaney Presents: Everybody’s in LA with Flea (Ryan West/Netflix)

There were plenty of pre-taped sketches including a Fred Arminsen-hosted focus group for old punks including Fear’s Lee Ving, Minutemen’s Mike Watt, The Gun Club’s Kid Congo Powers, Germs’ Don Bolles, X’s Exene Cervenka and Linda Ramone as well as musical performances from the likes of Weezer, Beck and Warren G.

But Mulaney revealed that some of the guests he had wanted passed including David Lynch and Werner Herzog.

“David Lynch passed. He said ‘I don’t understand what this is. I’m working on new art and I have to keep my eye on the donut’, which was the best pass. Everyone did pass in a nice way. Werner Herzog passed. He said, ‘I have to keep away from the comedians’,” he said.

Mulaney added that he wanted M. Emmet Walsh, who starred in The Jerk and Blade Runner, but died in March, and Jane’s Addiction passed only to later to reunite, again.

The series also featured Richard Kind as the announcer.

Produced by Mulaney’s Multiple Camera Productions, Mulaney was co-showrunner alongside Ashley Edens. The pair also exec produced. Dave Ferguson was the head writer and co-exec producer. Brook Linder was the segment director and writers included Anna Drezen, Fran Gillespie, Langston Kerman, and Alex Scordeli

Mulaney said he was most self-conscious by the appearance of David Letterman, who appeared alongside Luenell. “I worried that he’d be like ‘Oh, you think you know how to run a weird show? I certainly wasn’t, but then again, I don’t think he nor I were trying to run a weird show. We’re trying to do a good show and those were the ideas we had and yeah, they’re weird,” he said.

“I did actually have the thought a few times that it might be too mainstream. People will think I sold out,” he joked.

The late-night talk show world is slightly concerned that Everybody’s In LA will nudge them out of the Emmy nominations.

Given that there are likely to be only three nominated shows in the Outstanding Talk Series category at the awards in general, Mulaney has entered the conversation by bringing old punks together with the energy of public access television and a DIY version of Larry King Live.

John Mulaney Presents: Everybody’s In LA is being submitted in the Outstanding Talk Series category after the TV Academy decided it shouldn’t be included in the Outstanding Scripted Series category, where it would compete with shows such as SNL and Last Week Tonight with John Oliver.

“I covet more awards. It’s validation,” Mulaney said at an FYC event. “It’s really nice. But if I don’t win, I love being nominated and going. Not equally. I love winning more. All kidding aside, I love all things entertainment. I love showbusiness.”

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