John Mulaney Looks Back on the Cancellation of His Fox Sitcom

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It’s been nearly six months since Fox officially announced that John Mulaney’s sitcom Mulaney was canceled, and yesterday Vulture posted a lengthy interview with Mulaney that covers everything from where the show went wrong and whether he’d do anything differently as well as standup, SNL, his upcoming Oh, Hello show with Nick Kroll, and some great encouragement and advice he’s received from Jerry Seinfeld and Mulaney cast members Martin Short and Elliott Gould. Here’s an excerpt:

What do you think was miscommunicated? One thing that was helpful — and one thing I learned running a show — was figuring out what wasn’t my job. There are so many things you can take on. You could say, “I don’t love the props. I’m going to start coming in earlier and making sure all of the props are whatever.” But one thing I do have to say is it’s not my job is to critique it. I wouldn’t presume to know. I could go on for hours, but when people don’t like something, they don’t like it. Sometimes I — with comedy, it’s like someone liking you in high school. They either do or they don’t. And when they don’t, they don’t. And that’s it. There are no appeals. You show up, and you’re like, “Hi! I’m —” and you stumble and they’re like, “It’s over.” I know that’s part of it. People turned it on, and if they didn’t like it, they didn’t like it. Do you think the multi-camera sitcom is just a format that can’t be pushed to something weirder? No, no, no, no. When I said it’s not my job to critique the show, there are things — tonal things — that I know, if I did it again, I would adjust. They’re not huge, and they’re not all that interesting. But, no, you can totally do it, and I think The Carmichael Show is an example of, like, a really smart comic and smart writers, and setting up a show that can live that way. It’s slower and kind of Norman Lear–y. I saw it and thought it was really funny. I love Jerrod [Carmichael]. I recognize it’s being received well. And that’s great. One thing that was a bummer about my own show’s reception was that I did feel like, Oh I hope people keep making multi-cams. Would you have done something different if you could do it again? If I had to go back, I would have made the show I made because I wanted to make that show. I wanted to get it out of my system. It wasn’t like if I could go back in time I’d do a single-cam.