Roasts are considered (by many) to be the funniest form of comedy because these events combine stand up jokes with insults to somehow flatter the roast subject. In fact, many comedians consider it the highest honor to perform at the roast of someone they idolize or despise. Not all of these roasts end up well for the comedians, which is something that the latest episode of Mulaney explores. Ironically, this episode about failing during a roast also disappoints in its own right, with the exception of a few entertaining moments.
“French Roast” is the newest episode of Mulaney, and boy, is it a strange one. The main portion of this episode follows John as he prepares for the immense honor of roasting Lou Cannon during a special episode of Celebrity You Guessed It! However, this roast is an extremely nerve-wracking moment for John because joins cast of roasters including the back of Shaq’s head and some other celebrities. In order to properly prepare, John enlists the aid of Andre and Motif, which doesn’t work particularly well.
While John is preparing for the roast, Jane is discovering that dating is a lot more difficult when you can’t rely on d*ck jokes to pass the time. So, she enlists the aid of Oscar, the gay, retired veteran from next door, to help her become more like a professional lady. Of course, Oscar’s main reference for professional women is a book from the 1950’s that is mostly sexist. Using this book, Oscar teaches Jane that the proper lady always agrees with her husband, dresses up in her Sunday best, and periodically abuses medication to make it through the date. This dating scenario is pretty entertaining, and it leads to a very unique silent film during the episode.
“French Roast” wasn’t all that interesting of an episode, but a string of entertaining moments held it together. This silent film scene in particular was completely out of nowhere and strangely entertaining. You could definitely tell that the cast had a great time making this scene because of its weirdness. However, the best moment happened when Oscar, Motif, and John were having a discussion about how the 1950’s were the best generation. This conversation definitely didn’t progress in the way that John wanted, but the result was pretty funny.
Unfortunately, these entertaining moments couldn’t hold up an otherwise fairly boring episode. Martin Short has been the best part of Mulaney all season, but the storyline involving his roast just wasn’t entertaining. Granted, this roast did lead to a great moment involving Short exploring John’s apartment after a big fight, but it just wasn’t a great scenario to base an episode on. Thankfully, this roast storyline did lead to some great jokes about Lou Cannon’s long-lost movie called French Toast. This made up movie even had some mid credit deleted scenes that made no sense even though they were comical.
While I was happy to see a better episode than last week, I was still disappointed with the overall experience. Mulaney has such potential, but the show fails to live up to expectations. This is very frustrating when so many great jokes permeate the show and danger of cancellation is around every corner. Mulaney needs to avoid cancellation just to see how a second season could progress in quality.