(NEW YORK) — John Mulaney will not soon forget a February stint hosting Saturday Night Live. That’s because unlike the other times he’s hosted, this one landed him in hot water with the United States Secret Service.
On Jimmy Kimmel Live! Wednesday night, Mulaney explained that he was interviewed by the agency after making an “elliptical” joke about assassinating President Trump.
“I did a joke that was not about Donald Trump,” Mulaney recalled. “The joke was about how it was a leap year, and leap year had been started by Julius Caesar to correct the calendar, and another thing that happened with Caesar was that he was stabbed to death by a bunch of senators because he went crazy. And I said I think that’s an interesting thing that could happen.”
It wasn’t a joke for the agency, which as policy investigates all potential threats against the president — even ones made by comedians like Mulaney, and like Kathy Griffin, who infamously posed for pictures with a bloody decapitated effigy of the president.
Still, Mulaney insists, “The [agent] vetting me was very understanding that the joke had nothing to do with Donald Trump because it was an elliptical reference to him,” Mulaney told Kimmel. “I didn’t say anything about him. In terms of risk assessment, no one who’s ever looked at me thought I registered above a one.”
The former SNL writer insisted of the interviewer, “I said I have been making jokes about him since 2007, so I have been making fun of him for 13 years. They said if it’s a joke, then I am cleared by the Secret Service.”
By Stephen Iervolino
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