On Saturday evening, the editors of the Villanovan found out that comedian and Family Weekend entertainer John Mulaney had requested a copy of the The Villanovan. Our staff speculated on the meaning of this request. Perhaps, he was merely an admirer of student journalism, or maybe he just wanted to learn a little bit about the happenings on campus. We were blindsided by his true intentions.
Subconsciously, we may have hoped that running an article entitled ‘4 Things You Have to Know About John Mulaney Before Family Weekend,’ along with a full back cover portrait would have bought us some good will. We were wrong and collectively have learned the valuable lesson that positive press coverage will not necessarily curry favor with the subject.
Mr. Mulaney was quite tickled by the front page of last week’s edition which prominently featured a story about the feared lanternflies. Most likely, he did not have enough material to fill his time commitment. To fill that time, he began sarcastically reading different excerpts of the article, putting emphasis on specific words.
Perhaps the most perplexing part of his tangent was his focus on the origin of the lanternflies. In the article published last week, author Grace Kennard included a quote that explained that the eggs of the lantern bugs had traveled to the United States from Asia on the tires of automobiles. Mr. Mulaney expressed his skepticism about the plausibility of this explanation, because cars cannot drive across water. Incisive and funny!
Objectively, the over five minute spotlight that he put on the article was not very funny. However, it might have motivated some shy young person in the audience that the bar to be a standup comic is a little bit lower than they previously imagined. And for that, we salute the Georgetown grad for the service that he provided the Villanovan community. Three podcasts might have unknowingly been conceived that fateful night in late September.
What really hurt our staff was the laughter that his expressive reading of the lanternfly article garnered. At the end of the day, he was just one Georgetown grad grasping at straws to criticize a rival university. As a generally optimistic bunch, we are choosing to intepret the laughter he got as a polite response to an inept performance. The alternative would be too difficult for us to stomach.
Ultimately, we are trying to keep our heads high through this difficult time. We appreciate the thoughts and prayers that have been given explicititly and implicitly after this victimization. Don’t worry, we see the subtle nods and half smiles that may verbally say nothing, but imply, “hey, we’re here for you.” That being said, we appreciate the attention that this joke gave the paper.