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The Multi-Cam Sitcom Gets an Update in Fox’s MULANEY Trailer

After switching networks and going through a format change, Mulaney has made its way on to Fox’s fall programming slate. The titular character and series creator John Mulaney originally developed a pilot for the show last year at NBC, but surprisingly, they passed on it. At that point, Mulaney was a single camera comedy. When Fox took on the project and eventually ordered it to series, they transformed Mulaney into the traditional multi-cam sitcom format.

Mulaney offers up a glimpse of what might be a fresh, different take on the multi-cam sitcom. Since this is a series starring the hilarious John Mulaney, along with a fantastic cast that includes Martin Short, Naseem Pedrad, Seaton Smith, Elliot Gould, and Zack Pearlman, there’s already a smart, diverse comedic base for the series to work from. John Mulaney’s successes as a stand-up comedian and writer on SNL will hopefully offer up a sense of humor that toes the line between the expectations of a multi-cam set-up and audiences looking for more sharp, niche comedy. You can see all of this clearly in the series trailer for Mulaney that was just released today.

When this series premieres in the fall, it could also mark the arrival of another era of comedian-centric sitcoms (i.e. comedians getting to tell a version of their life story through a half hour TV show). It’s been a while since the days of Seinfeld, but Mulaney, along with the newly ordered Cristela at ABC and Louie, now in its fourth season at FX, might just create a great new wave of sitcoms featuring the lives (and names) of stand-up comedians. 


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  1. Anna says:

    Maaaan. I got an invitation to attend the stage comedy section of this show a while back, and got REALLY excited that he was getting a show. 
    But I can’t describe how sad I am to learn that they switched to multi-camera. It’s really one of the worst things ever. Laugh tracks (yes, even live audiences are laugh tracks. They have people to remind the audience to laugh harder than they otherwise would– it’s exhausting.) tend to ruin a show. 

  2. Eric says:

    I love Mulaney, but this could just as easily be a parody of a sitcom..a dreadlocked dog on a skateboard? C’mon. 

  3. arlesh says:

    I don’t know. I might give it a shot. Reminds me too much of Seinfeld. What was great about Seinfeld was that it was unique. And I’ve seen the comments here about canned laughter and the rebuttal that its filmed in front of an audience. Yes, you can see the audience. But the laughter in the trailer all sounds the same – as if the track was added later. Not liking the trailer too much.

  4. J says:

    I don’t really understandwhy studios love the multi camera format. Sure it is fun for the studio audience for the most part but the home audience generally likes not having the canned laughter. 

    • Steven says:

      what an odd thing to say that the audience generally doesn’t like canned laughter. 1. It’s not canned it was filmed in front an audience and 2. the shows with a laugh track bring in huge numbers,  The most watched comedy right now is The Big Bang Theory which shows no signs of stopping  whilst great single cam shows like Community and Parks and Rec always struggled to get huge numbers and are ending very soon.  The figures show that the audience generally like having ‘canned’ laughter

      • anna says:

        It’s canned, regardless of whether it’s a pre-recorded clip or a live audience. Go to any taping of any comedy show, and between takes, they have people reminding you to laugh, and laugh HARDER.

  5. Chris says:

    Yeah, not thrilled with this trailer. But I won’t judge the show by the trailer. What multi-cam has fox seen work for them. Right away this makes me think that they’re hoping this show has the magic of Seinfeld. I mean, it’s a multi cam sitcom of a show about a comedian. 
    Based onthe trailer there is no way I would ever enjoy this show. Let’s see what the future holds for Mulaney. 

  6. Hauke says:

    That’s really weird… Still hoping this is a dream sequenz, like what his life would be in a sitcom. Scrubs style.

  7. John Mulaney’s stand up is really good, but when it’s packaged like this; the laugh track, the perfect mix of ethnic characters, the cookie cutter feel, it’s already doomed.  

    • Lauren says:

      I agree with you about everything except the laugh track thing. It was filled in front of a live audience

      • Lauren says:


        • Paul says:

          All sitcoms in this format are filmed in front of a live audience, but the laughs playing during the show are still canned. They tell the audience when to laugh, and will doctor the audio in postproduction, adding in general laugh tracks wherever they want bigger reactions, etc.

  8. Jeff MacDonald says:

    I’m glad he is getting a large paycheck.  That is all about this that makes me glad.

  9. Chester says:

    As someone who loves John Mulaney’s standup, I have to say that this trailer is a little worrying to me.  I’ll definitely still give it a shot though.