‘The Providence Special’?

Fans of John Mulaney, like myself, wasted no time in watching his latest stand-up special “Baby J” filmed in Boston for Netflix. (Don’t worry, the baby in question is him, not an actual baby*.) The main topic here is his now-famous intervention which took place in New York City in December of 2020.

At the time, Mulaney was consuming an astounding menu of drugs: cocaine, Xanax, Adderall, Klonopin, and Percocet, a combination he called “The Providence Special.”

Like many locals, I was caught by surprise. And his follow-up remark did not clarify anything: “Providence is a city near here, and it’s a big joke to all of us . . . very silly place.”

I think this might have been a half-baked ad lib that just didn’t come together. It didn’t come out funny, but I don’t think he meant much by it. His last shows at PPAC in Providence sold out — I think he probably likes it here just fine.

So I don’t know to make of this — I wonder if he picks a nearby city in places along the tour for inserting a customized dig when possible. The likely meaninglessness of this line seems confirmed by the fact that no one except for people in Providence have mentioned it. (NYT review)

Here’s what I do know — it doesn’t matter at all. Watch the show — it’s very funny. Although, all other interventions will feel mighty lame in comparison to this one (unless they worked of course).

In conclusion: I don’t think he meant anything with this remark and no one is going to even remember it. It’s just that we locals leap off the couch any time Rhode Island is mentioned on the TV in a non-icebergian context, and then it was kind of a dis.

Mostly I hope Mr. Mulaney doesn’t think we are too silly to bother with again. Come back!

(And also, can we talk about how good this man looks in clothes? What a gorgeous suit.)

Photo courtesy of Netflix.

*New babies being the death of comedy.

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