John Mulaney was actually — truly — investigated by the U.S. Secret Service after he made an edgy joke on Saturday Night Live in early 2020.
The comedian referenced such an investigation in December, 10 months after he'd hosted SNL. In the episode, he made a joke about the assassination of Julius Caesar after referencing traits about the historical dictator that could match Donald Trump. Now, the AP has confirmed that the Secret Service really did investigate Mulaney for "inappropriate jokes about President Trump" after the episode.
John Mulaney's SNL Trump joke led Secret Service to investigate
On Tuesday, the AP published details from a Secret Service file on Mulaney, obtained via a Freedom of Information Act request. An investigation did take place, beginning in the days following the Feb. 29 episode and lasting for 10 months. The investigation ultimately concluded that there was "no wrongdoing" and no risk of threat to the President.
Mulaney's joke went: "Another thing that happened under Julius Caesar: He was such a powerful maniac that all the senators grabbed knives, and they stabbed him to death. That would be an interesting thing if we brought that back now."
The monologue then self-consciously discussed the legal nature of the joke, with Mulaney adding: "I asked my lawyer if I could make that joke, he said, let me call another lawyer, and that lawyer said yes."
John Mulaney discussed SNL investigation last month
Mulaney had discussed the investigation in a December interview with Jimmy Kimmel, during which he said, "the joke had nothing to do with Donald Trump because it was an elliptical reference to him" — seeing as Trump's name wasn't actually used.
The AP file notes add that Mulaney was not personally interviewed in the investigation, but the bureau did contact NBC (SNL's broadcaster) and the comedian's attorneys. The case closed in December 2020.
If Mulaney's comedic stylings match your taste, check out his and other best stand-up specials you can stream right now here.