“John Mulaney and the Sack Lunch Bunch” Creates a Nostalgic and Hilarious World in New Netflix Special

Katerina Gebhardt, Entertainment Editor

Take a world famous comedian, add 15 child actors, multiple guest stars, some existential crises, lots of singing and some morbid humor: welcome to the Netflix comedy special “John Mulaney and the Sack Lunch Bunch.” In a little over an hour, John Mulaney takes his audience through an experience of nostalgia through children’s shows such as “Sesame Street” and “Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood,” all while tackling issues such as loss, fear and other problems that children face. 

“John Mulaney and the Sack Lunch Bunch” takes place in New York City, and features a whole host of guest actors alongside Mulaney and the Sack Lunch Bunch, including Broadway star André De Shields, actor Richard Kind, singer David Byrne and actor Jake Gyllenhall. The special follows no true plot, which gives the impression of the randomness of a children’s show, but it creates a lack of clarity that can leave the viewer occasionally confused as to what is going on. However, not everything in the special needs exposition, as it represents the randomness of life and childhood.

The Sack Lunch Bunch themselves are a very talented group of kids, whose talents range from singing to dancing to acting. Several of the songs are performed by the kids themselves, and they reflect the problems kids face in everyday life. For example, in “Pay Attention,” sung by Lexi Perkel and David Byrne, Lexi sings about how the adults in her life will not pay attention to what she has to say. Combining humor and music, “John Mulaney and the Sack Lunch Bunch” truly understands today’s youth. 

“John Mulaney and the Sack Lunch Bunch” features a lot of dark humor and many jokes that only adults and teenagers will understand, such as mental health issues, death and references to actors and politicians that children would not be able to understand. Because of this, the special definitely seems geared towards older audiences, as many of the jokes and references would go right over kids’ heads. 

The comedy special is full of strange and wacky characters and skits, and the absurdity of it all makes it all the more hilarious. For instance, De Shields’s cameo features him as a math tutor who sings about the relationship between algebra and his missing eye. In a different scene, Gyllenhall plays a musician who tries to show how music is in everyday objects, but who only seems to make soft or silent sounds. Nonsensical and uproarious, “John Mulaney and the Sack Lunch Bunch” will have audiences in stitches.

At the beginning of the special, one of the kids asks Mulaney, “Isn’t it ironic or do you like doing a children’s show?” For someone who does not have kids and claims he has no musical ability, Mulaney and director Rhys Thomas have created a funny, deep and crazy comedy special that all viewers will relate to and enjoy.