On March 3, 2019, John Mulaney performed at the Palace Theatre in Stamford, with many Westhill High School students in attendance.
With two Netflix stand-up specials and several other featured shows, Mulaney has accrued a vast fan base all over the U.S. So, it was no surprise that both the seven o’clock and 10 o’clock shows at the Palace in Stamford sold out completely, with many rushing to put their names on the waitlist.
“It’s incredible that someone even moderately famous came to Stamford,” Rishabh Jain (’19) said.
Before Mulaney’s headline performance, other comics such as Ricky Velez, Sam Jay, and Pete Davidson took the stage. Jay, Davidson, and Mulaney are SNL veterans, with Jay and Mulaney serving as writers for several years and Davidson performing as a featured cast member. Davidson is also known for his comedy presence on MTV’s Guy Code and guest appearances on Wild N’ Out and Brooklyn Nine-Nine.
With 1,580 people crammed into one room for two consecutive shows, the comics began their show. Jay and Velez went first, each performing sets of about ten minutes. Next was Davidson, whose set was slightly longer, as he was one of the featured comedians.
During Davidson’s set, an audience member in the front row was caught taking a video of him. Upon arrival at the theater, all audience members’ phones and smart watches were put into Yondr bags, which use magnets to lock phones away until they touch one of the unlocking devices. These bags prevented the devices from being used during the show. Davidson, who provided the bags, quickly noticed the man and asked that he be removed from the audience. The crowd cheered, and the audience member was ousted from the show. This threw him off track initially, but he soon eased back into his set, evoking laughter immediately from the audience.
After Davidson, Mulaney finally took the stage. Having the longest set, Mulaney had the greatest amount of time to entertain. As soon as he began speaking, the crowd was in stitches. Contrasting from his show mates, Mulaney’s set sounded planned and conversational, a trademark of his stand up.
“John Mulaney makes me happy when I watch him and that’s why I went to his show, to have a good time and laugh a lot,” Ellie Balestriere (’20) said.
During his set, Mulaney, who is married to Connecticut native Annamarie Tendler, made several Connecticut based jokes. He teased at the wealth of Greenwich residents, the habit of locals to drive far above the posted speed limit, and, of course, the fearlessness Connecticut residents have when it comes to snow, qualities that many Stamford residents like to tease as well.
After Mulaney’s set, Davidson returned to the stage for a short encore. Mulaney and Davidson engaged in a “roast” of each other and spoke about SNL, which Mulaney had hosted the night before. After their banter, the comics said a final goodbye to Stamford.
“The comics that performed bolstered what this city is trying to progress towards, more entertainment and making a name for itself outside of the Tristate area,” Zachary Kitay (’20) said.
Mulaney’s popularity makes this show even more remarkable, with Mulaney having a whopping 1.2 million Instagram followers. Davidson is also well known and well liked, especially due to his involvement in Saturday Night Live.
As shows such as this do not occur often in Stamford, it was clear that everyone in attendance was incredibly excited. With Stamford’s close proximity to New York City and increasing young adult population with the growing UCONN Stamford campus, the outlook is hopeful that shows like this may happen more often within city limits.