new yorker festival 2018

John Mulaney Has Another Theory Why Famous Comedians Refuse to Perform at Colleges

Photo: Thos Robinson/Getty Images for The New Yorker

In recent years, two very high-profile comedians — Jerry Seinfeld and Chris Rock — have admitted they refuse to perform at college campuses anymore, owing to a certain level of political correctness that has seeped into modern undergraduate culture. “It was just like, This is not as much fun as it used to be,” Rock explained at the time, while Seinfeld added awhile later that young people “don’t know what the fuck they’re talking about” because they’re “so P.C.” John Mulaney was asked about such a topic at this year’s New Yorker Festival, specifically if he’s chosen to avoid college performances as a result of this widespread P.C. culture. He has not — a quick Google shows he has two college gigs in the fall — and he takes issue with this type of reasoning from his famous pals. Why they actually don’t perform, he’s lead to believe, revolves around money and money alone.

“You see people who are college age at clubs and theaters. Can I say something honestly? They don’t do colleges because their fees are too high for colleges to afford,” Mulaney explained. “I mean, I’d probably say that to their faces. It’s weird for them to attribute it to political correctness. They don’t have to play colleges. Why they phrase it that way, I don’t know. I just found that strange.” Oh, hello, we can see how that could be strange!

John Mulaney on Why Big Comedians Won’t Perform at Colleges