"I knew I wanted to do comedy from a young age," recalls 29-year-old Saturday Night Live writer John Mulaney. "As a kid, I wrote a sketch where women were the bosses and men were the secretaries. It was hilarious." Fellow SNL writer Mike O'Brien, 35, also remembers his first sketch: "A guy is taking a girl on a date to a stand-up show, but it's clear they're just watching a guy talking in his living room."
Though it's tough to deny the hilarity of both, it's safe to say the two have come a long way--and not just as evidenced by their fancy comedy-writing jobs. Both comics' outside-of- the-writers-room projects are garnering just as much attention as their work on SNL.
Mulaney started at SNL in 2008 and pens the laugh-so-hard-you-cry Stefon bits with cast member Bill Hader. He also happens to be one of the most buzzed about young comedians on the circuit, and when the show is on break, he's back to being a full-time stand-up. (Google his name and "Law & Order" and you'll see why. Your face will hurt.)
O'Brien co-writes the "Kickspit Underground Rock Festival" SNL sketches with Colin Jost and is the brains behind 7 Minutes in Heaven, a ridiculously funny web series in which O'Brien interviews--and, yes, kisses--celebrities like Ellen DeGeneres, Patricia Clarkson and Elijah Wood in the confines of a real closet. (Yahoo just bought the series.)
As for where they want to go from here, both were fairly vague. "In ten years," O'Brien says, "as long as I'm doing something that's got the feel of what I'm getting to do now I'll be super happy."
Mulaney has a different plan: "I'd like to do a couple more projects I'm proud of, and then become a total recluse."
"With a big beard?" O'Brien asks. "You know, one of those people who's so patriotic they actually hate America." "I just wish," O'Brien tells me, "you had asked John a question that was insanely private and sexual but also a plug for his Comedy Central special [New in Town] so he felt compelled to answer it." Consider Mulaney's special, and the rest of both comedians' work, plugged.
Photo above: (l-r) Mike wears a suit by Marc by Marc Jacobs, shirt by Gant by Michael Bastian and shoes by Calvin Klein Collection. John wears a suit by Marc by Marc Jacobs, shirt by Band of Outsiders and shoes by Converse.
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