John Mulaney’s jokes on Saturday Night Live were not a laughing matter to the United States Secret Service. After guest hosting the NBC show back in February, the 38-year-old comedian revealed a few months later that he was being investigated for “inappropriate jokes” about then-President Donald Trump.
According to The Associated Press, who obtained files from the investigation, the jest in question was from Mulaney’s SNL monologue and was about Roman dictator Julius Caesar, who was stabbed to death by a group of senators on the Ides of March.
“Another thing that happened under Julius Caesar, he was such a powerful maniac that all the senators grabbed knives, and they stabbed him to death. That would be an interesting thing if we brought that back now,” Mulaney said at the time.
Another part of the monologue was also noted in the files.
“I asked my lawyer if I could make that joke, he said, let me call another lawyer, and that lawyer said yes. I don’t dwell on politics, but I dislike the Founding Fathers immensely,” Mulaney said on SNL. “…I hate when people are like, God has never created such a great group of men than the Founding Fathers. Yeah, the ’92 Bulls. …That’s a perfect metaphor for the United States. When I was a boy, the United States was like Michael Jordan in 1992. Now the United States is like Michael Jordan now.”
AP reports that the docs from the investigation show the bureau contacted NBC about the joke but did not interview the comedian directly. In the end, they found no wrongdoing, and noted that Mulaney made no direct threats toward Trump with the joke.
The news agency further stated that the Secret Service file included a report from Breitbart titled “SNL: John Mulaney Jokes that Senators Should Stab Trump Like Julius Caesar.”
According to AP, the investigation into Mulaney’s monologue was opened in March and closed in December, five days after the comedian talked about the investigation during an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live.
“The person 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 and thought I registered above a one.”
He added, “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.”
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