John Mulaney on Whether He Will Make More ‘Everybody’s in L.A.,’ Return for ‘The Bear’ Season 3 or Host the Oscars

We can’t get enough of John Mulaney these days.

After winning his third Emmy last year for writing his Netflix stand-up special “Baby J,” where he spoke candidly (and hilariously) about his stint in rehab for addiction, the former “Saturday Night Live” writer has risen from the ashes like a comically witty Phoenix.

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In the Emmy race once again this year in multiple categories, most notably for guest comedy actor for his performance in the brilliant episode “Fishes” from FX’s second season of “The Bear” and outstanding talk series for the Netflix live smash “Everybody’s in L.A.”

On this episode of the award-winning Variety Awards Circuit Podcast, Mulaney discusses his experience and perspectives on Los Angeles’ identity, his creative processes, and whether he’ll host the Oscars. Listen below!

Mulaney surprised everyone as the host of the 14th annual Governors Awards, where he killed in the room discussing receiving an email asking him to put himself on tape for the new Maggie Gyllenhaal movie with Christian Bale.

The six-episode series, which aired during the Netflix Is a Joke Festival in May, sees the former series creator sitting down to have candid and hilarious conversations with a wide range of guests, including Jerry Seinfeld and Jon Stewart (a competitor as one of the many hosts and producers of “The Daily Show”). Alongside his witty sidekick Richard Kind and the very efficient robot delivery cart Saymo, Mulaney’s ’70s-inspired talk show is the latest to shake up the category, devoid of an agreed-upon frontrunner.

Parts of Mulaney’s wide-ranging and hilarious interview are below.

Read: All Primetime Emmy predictions in every category on Variety’s Awards Circuit.

Where did the idea for “Everybody’s in L.A.” come from?

I love assignments. I find them very organized in my brain. Netflix, post-strike, came to me and said, ‘we have Netflix as a Joke Festival, at which you are performing at the Hollywood Bowl. We want to do six live nights of a show. It will go live at 7 p.m. PT / 10 p.m. ET. They’d live on the service after that.’ That’s all they brought me.

It was the coolest feeling because it was like a time and place pitch. They only pitched what if it’s stand-up from the Geffen Theater, which I think seats hundreds of people, and you wouldn’t want to try to fill every night for stand-up. I thought, what’s cool about the Netflix festival is we’re all in town in the same place for a week. We just don’t run into each other anymore. And I said I’d do it if I could cover L.A. like local television. I’ll have all the comics on; we’ll weave them in. But I’d like to have it feel like KTLA; they were good with that.

I mean, I think they had two notes for the whole process. And I took one of them.

Which note did you ignore?

They asked if we could have a pre-live show. Where you see the studio is basically like we’re trying to get people to sit in their seats at home. And I said I do a camera above the studio like the beginning of “Dogville,” the Lars von Trier movie, where you see the taped studio and what’s about to happen. And they said, “That’s okay. We don’t have to do that.” And I was excited. I sent them the link to “Dogville” quite sincerely.

Did Dick Cavett and other vintage shows influence you? Did you watch any to prepare?

I’ve watched endless episodes of Dick Cavett. I had the DVDs in college. He had these great ones with Hollywood people. John Huston and Bette Davis are amazing. His Robert Mitchum interview is ridiculous. Mitchum is wearing sunglasses. They’re so tinted and blue. I filed that away because I thought more people should wear sunglasses on talk shows. I also saw an interview with Wong Kar Wai, in which he was wearing sunglasses, and I thought, “Oh, that’s a cool way to look.”

The Katharine Hepburn interview is funny because she talks about how she drinks cold water and loves exercise. It’s the weirdest regimen I’ve ever heard of a human being.

You are in the middle of your version of the “McConassiance,” your comeback…

I’m not saying I am, but I would pitch “Mulaney-ium.” I’m not complimenting myself, but I just wanted to put it out as possible.

You killed at the Governors Awards and presented at the Oscars, where you brought the memorable “Field of Dreams” bit. Can you talk about your relationship to movies?

I think there’s this canon of films. They’re not the AFI 100 or Criterion Collection. They’re just canon to a certain age. I think anyone would say “The Fugitive” is one of those. Also, there is “Dave” with Kevin Kline.

I think the quintessential movies of that are “The Shawshank Redemption,” which everyone has seen more times, “Pulp Fiction,” and “Forrest Gump.” I love finding those things that—and this is such stand-up corny talk—we’ve all noticed about those movies and are constantly on television and deep in our subconscious.

What do we do with “Air Force One?” Where’s the list for that?

What was it like working on “The Bear,” and can we expect to see you in Season 3?

Everyone at “The Bear” was already aware of the show’s success by the time of the season two episode I did. I’ve never seen a group of people deal better with success and be humble and welcoming. And that’s from Chris Storer and on down to Jeremy and everybody.

Sitting at that dinner table in between takes was some of the most fun I’ve ever had in my career. When we were shooting — sitting down the table from [Bob] Odenkirk at full throttle and [Jon] Bernthal – and in the same room about to go at it was… intense.

And being yelled at by Donna, as Jamie Lee Curtis did, is like an Amtrak train going and not stopping at your stop. It blew me away.

Are you in Season 3?

I know they’re filming a lot of stuff.

But have you filmed stuff?

I know they’re doing a lot and shooting a lot of episodes. Chris is great. [Mulaney takes a sip of water]. Guys, I don’t know if I’m allowed to say I was in “Spider-Verse.”

There is a very active social media call for you to host the Oscars. So my question is, why shouldn’t you do it, and why will you do it?

I like the question of why you will do it. It reminds me of Bob Zmuda, Andy Kaufman’s comedy partner, who does Q&As as Tony Clifton. I love watching Jimmy Kimmel do it, and I had so much fun presenting. I’ve never seen anyone that good at producing a show at that level.

Would you do it if the Academy asked you to host the Oscars?

Oh… I’d bet. I mean, I like doing things. I’d bet. I’d be like, When is it? Do I have anything that night? How many months ahead of time am I scared?

So, are you free in early March since that’s when the Oscars typically are held?

This March, I have a book signing at Barnes & Noble at The Grove on one of the Sunday nights, so I won’t be able to attend that night.

Any thoughts on the Donald Trump guilty verdict?

It’s funny because 11 of them are related to invoices. It’s the invoices that will get you.

Also, in this episode, the Roundtable dissects the comedy acting Emmy categories.

Variety’s “Awards Circuit” podcast, produced by Michael Schneider, is your one-stop listen for lively conversations about the best in film and television. Each week “Awards Circuit” features interviews with top film and TV talent and creatives; discussions and debates about awards races and industry headlines; and much more. Subscribe via Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify or anywhere you download podcasts. New episodes post weekly.

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