Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

The SNL Joke That Got John Mulaney Investigated By The Secret Service

Saturday Night Live has faced some political controversies throughout the years, and apparently, one of its most beloved hosts caused quite a stir at the White House over one of his monologue jokes.

Comedian John Mulaney, who used to write for the long-running weekly sketch comedy series, has hosted four times — most recently on Halloween of 2020 — but it was a joke he made during his February 2020 hosting gig that got him in hot water. Mulaney, a clever comedian who has released a handful of successful stand-up specials, is always given carte blanche to deliver a new standup routine during the show's opening monologue. However, with the Ides of March on the horizon during his Leap Day episode, Mulaney crossed a line... and ended up interrogated by the Secret Service over his joke. Here's why John Mulaney was investigated by the Secret Service over an SNL joke, and how he feels about the whole ordeal.

John Mulaney's Julius Caesar joke caused some issues with the Secret Service

In a remote interview with Jimmy Kimmel on the host's ABC late night show, Mulaney revealed that a joke about Julius Caesar's death got him in trouble with the government. If you're curious about the joke in question, it goes a little something like this: "Leap Year began in the year 45 B.C. under Julius Caesar. This is true. He started the Leap Year in order to correct the calendar and we still do it to this day. Another thing that happened under Julius Caesar was he was such a powerful maniac that all the senators grabbed knives and they stabbed him to death. That'd be an interesting thing if we brought that back now. I asked my lawyer if I could make that joke and he said, 'Lemme call another lawyer.' And that lawyer said yes."

Legal advice aside, apparently the Secret Service didn't find the joke particularly funny as it pertained to President Donald Trump, and as Mulaney told Kimmel, he was later investigated. "I guess they opened a file on me because of the joke, and I have to say, am I stoked there's a file open on me? Absolutely. Did I enjoy it in the moment? Not so much," Mulaney revealed. "But the person vetting me was very understanding that the joke had nothing to do with Donald Trump. It was an elliptical reference to him. I didn't say anything about him."

Mulaney has made jokes about President Trump before — most notably, a riff about a horse loose in a hospital — and for his part, the current President is no fan of Saturday Night Live. However, this may be the first time that the Secret Service had to get involved over one of the show's jokes.

Recent episodes of Saturday Night Live are available to stream on Hulu and Peacock now.