Stevie Nicks Gave John Mulaney the Greatest Rejection Story of His Career
-Your new Netflix special, “John Mulaney &
The Sack Lunch Bunch.” -Yes.
-I’m very excited about this. This is sort of a variety show
with kids involved. -Yes. This is a show for kids,
by an adult, with kids present. It’s a children’s
musical special, and I am a man with no children
and no musical ability, but I wanted
to do a variety special and I wanted to do it with kids. -Yeah. -And kind of — It’s a nod to
the shows I grew up on. -Yeah. -And I wanted to do like the
“Sesame Street” I grew up on and you probably grew up on,
which was that, like, funky, like, Art Garfunkel and Grover
and a girl named Gina would be, like, leaning against
the stoop, smoking a cigarette. And there would be, like, music,
but then someone would come over and be like,
“Did you hear about Mr. Hooper?” And they’d be like, “What?”
They’d be like, “He died.” And they’d be like “Oh, no.
What’s death?” And they’d be
like, “It’s when you die.” And then they’d just cut to an
industrial video of an orange crayon being made,
and we forget about that we just learned the
existential dread of death and we’re watching a weird
industrial of orange wax becoming crayons. And then you cut back,
and it’s Smokey Robinson. And he’s like, “Near, far.” And then it would cut back,
and it was like, “Alright.” -Yeah, what a weird show.
-Yeah. Yeah. -It is bizarre. -Yeah, I don’t think there was
a script to that. -No, not at all. You start the
whole special with a quote. Do you mind…
-Oh, yeah. -…reading the quote or saying
the quote to everyone? -The special begins
with a maxim that I find to be quite true, which is, “Do
you know who tells the truth?” “Drunks and children.”
-Yeah, that’s — -Yeah.
-And — Yeah. Whose —
[ Cheers and applause ] They agree.
-It’s true. -They agree.
-Wise words. Wise words. -Who is that quote from? -That is from Erika Jayne of “Real Housewives of
Beverly Hills” — Season 9, Episode 20. It’s right after they go to
the wine-tasting thing where Kyle and Teddi
get way too drunk. The next day, Erika says,
“You know who tells the truth? Drunks and children.” I was working on
the special at the time and I was in one of those
moods where I went, “That’s going in.” -Yeah. Absolutely. -And kids are kind of —
They’re not like drunks. Well, they can’t drive.
They shouldn’t drive. But they are very blunt
and truthful, the way some people are after
they’ve had a few drinks. -Yeah.
-They’ve come up to me on set. One kid came up to me the first
day and he said — ‘Cause the special was directed
by a great director, Rhys Thomas, who
I’ve worked with many times. And he said,
“So, you’re not the director?” And I said, “No.” And he said, “Oh.” And I said, “Do you think I have
less authority now?” And the kid said, “Yeah, I do.” And he walked away.
-Just honest. -Yeah, just blunt. -But you talk about,
like, some — -They got into their fears.
Yeah. I wanted to know what
they were worried about. -What scared you as a child,
John Mulaney? Little John Mulaney. -What scared me as a child
was not just Robert De Niro from “Cape Fear”
breaking into my house, but it was that I,
being the only one that was prepared for
Robert De Niro from “Cape Fear” to break into our house, that
I would be the lone survivor. And so it was on me —
It was my burden, because of none — My brother,
my sisters, my stupid parents — they weren’t prepared for
Robert De Niro. And he kicked
the crap out of Nick Nolte, and, Dad, you are no Nick Nolte. -Alright, alright. -So I had to sleep with — I slept with a crowbar
under my bed. -What?!
-Yeah, yeah. I just found it recently.
It was kind of sweet. And…
-It became like a toy of yours? -No. It became a crowbar, ’cause I was ready
to roll at any time. And I had a bat,
and it was like, “If I hear
Robert De Niro downstairs ha-ha-ha-ing it, you know — -Yeah. You were ready to attack.
-Yeah. -I got to say,
the celebrity cameos are fantastic
in this special, as well. -Yes, yes.
-It’s, like, Richard Kind… Yes. Jake Gyllenhaal. -Jake Gyllenhaal is in this.
David Byrne. -Yes,
David Byrne, André De Shields, who just won the Tony from
“Hadestown,” and Annaleigh Ashford. A lot of great Broadway
and film people came together,
which was super-fun. -Is there any guests that
you wanted have on that you couldn’t get? -Stevie Nicks.
-Ooh. -I wanted Stevie Nicks.
-She’s tough. -A hush fell over the room unlike any
I’ve ever heard before. -Yeah, ’cause she’s
a magical being. -She is a magical being,
but she — When she passes on a TV project,
she really passes on it. -What do you mean? -Well, I was looking for her
for like a month. You know, I can’t catch her. You know, she’s a ghost
in the wind, right? -Yeah. -So, I finally called
her manager and I said,
“This is John Mulaney.” And she went,
“Oh, you’re that guy.” And I went, “Yes, I am.” And she said, “Listen,
Stevie heard about the project, but she’s on tour
and she has a limited break, and so it’s just not
something she can do.” I said, “I totally understand. Thank you so much for
considering it.” And then she continued. She said, “Also, Stevie
listened to the song, and she doesn’t think
it’s funny.” And I said, “Oh, okay. Yeah, you know, the first answer
was good enough.” And she said,
“Stevie’s confused, because this is not
one of her songs.” And I said, “Oh, no, I know. It’s a parody song that she
would be singing in. But if she doesn’t like it
and is not available –” And she said, “Yeah,
she doesn’t like it.” And I said, “Okay.” And I started
laughing really hard, because this was the longest
pass I’d ever heard, in about a decade of
entertainment. And she said, “You know, she did
do TV once with Ryan Murphy.” I said, “Yeah, she was on
‘American Horror Story: Coven.’ She did ‘Seven Wonders,’
that song.” And she said,
“Yes, but ‘Seven Wonders’ is one of Stevie’s songs.” And I said, “I know that.
This was a parody song.” And she said,
“But she doesn’t find it funny.” And I said, “I get that.
I get all of it.” -Oh, my God! Wow! -I said, “I want to say —
I want to let you know –” I said to her,
“I’ve been passed on many times. This is the greatest pass
in my career, and please thank Stevie for me
and just tell her I said ‘hello’ and basically tell her I wrote
the part because I want to hang out with her.” And her manager said,
“Well, then come hang out. We have people in
the backyard all the time.” -So, are you going to hang out
with Stevie Nicks? -I don’t know.
She didn’t like my song. -Come on, man. Come on. She invited you over
to the house.