Parents' Guide to

John Mulaney & the Sack Lunch Bunch

By Emily Ashby, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 8+

Kid-cast variety special caters to older viewing audience.

TV Netflix Comedy 2019
John Mulaney & the Sack Lunch Bunch Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.

Community Reviews

age 10+

Based on 6 parent reviews

age 13+

I wanted to like it but it just didn’t work

This is not for kids so much as adults (or maybe teens) that want to entertain their inner child? There’s a whole bit about a guy who sleeping with another guys wife so the husband tries to stab him. Huh? It’s funny in a weird subtle absurdist sort of way, but it’s also just kinda meh. My 8 year old kids hated it, so I turned it off and finished watching it without them later. I don’t think it’s made for kids. I love John Mulaney, and I hate to criticize it but it just didn’t work for me.
age 13+

Don’t waste your time

This is a stupid show. Call it ironic if you want, but I’ll call it dumb. The only skit worth watching is the one about the boy who likes buttered noodles. 7 of us watched it and we all hated it. Our ages were 72, 70, 49, 48, 13, 11, and 10.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (6 ):
Kids say (7 ):

This Netflix special is something out of left field, if left field refers to (as Mulaney suggests) a bygone era of TV where adults are outnumbered by ensemble casts of kids and generally play to their humor level. Mulaney's comedy precision is evident throughout John Mulaney & the Sack Lunch Bunch even when he's not onstage. With few exceptions, the sketches are quite short and to the point, delivering laughs and insight without a lot of fancy trappings but always with high production value. What's more, the variety show format always tends to help sell projects that stray from the norm because of its rapid-fire delivery of different entertainment styles. If a particular skit or song doesn't strike your fancy, another totally unrelated one will follow that might.

That said, Mulaney isn't quite specific enough when he promotes the show as designed "for kids, by adults, with kids present." While much of the content is OK for general family viewing and often touches on predicaments kids will get, there are some parts (occasional language, references to violent or scary themes, etc.) that aren't great for a young crowd and others whose humor won't resonate even with tweens. Clearly the point is to maintain adults' attention throughout, and that's a difficult thing to do while simultaneously creating a show for kids. Mulaney, his cast, and his talented celebrity guests do well by the content they have, but this special is the best fit for older tweens and teens along with adult viewers.

TV Details

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