By Rachel Yang
January 20, 2021 at 12:53 AM EST

John Mulaney's good name has officially been cleared, although now he might want to watch his back (like Julius Caesar should've).

Back in December, the comedian told Jimmy Kimmel that he was investigated by the Secret Service after he made a joke about political assassinations in his Saturday Night Live monologue.

On Tuesday, the Associated Press reported that it obtained a file on the investigation via the Freedom of Information Act request. The investigation, reportedly opened last March and concluded in December, determined that Mulaney was not a threat, according to the outlet.

The Secret Service reportedly began its investigation after finding that Mulaney "made inappropriate statements directed at President Donald Trump" during his Feb. 29, 2020, SNL monologue. The file, according to the AP, said that "no direct threats were made," but alleged that "concerned citizens" were likely to report the joke.

The inappropriate statement in question? It began with a quip about leap year, which, as Mulaney told the audience, was first recognized under the reign of Julius Caesar.

"Another thing that happened under Julius Caesar, he was such a powerful maniac that all the senators grabbed knives, and they stabbed him to death. That would be an interesting thing if we brought that back now," Mulaney joked.

The AP reported the file also noted Mulaney saying: "I asked my lawyer if I could make that joke and he said, 'Let me call another lawyer,' and that lawyer said yes. I don't want to dwell on politics, but I dislike the Founding Fathers immensely ... I hate when people are like, 'God has never created such a great group of men as the Founding Fathers.' Yeah, the '92 Bulls ... That's actually a perfect metaphor for the United States. When I was a boy, the United States was like Michael Jordan in 1992. Now the United States is like Michael Jordan now."

The file also reportedly mentioned that the comic hadn't been interviewed by the Secret Service yet, but that law enforcement officials did interview NBC Universal's global chief security officer and senior vice president.

On Kimmel, Mulaney said the Secret Service did interview him after he hosted SNL.

"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 said. "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."

He continued: "They were very nice in the interview. In terms of risk assessment, no one who's ever looked at me has thought I'd registered above a one."

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Saturday Night Live

The original late-night comedy sketch show from the one and only Lorne Michaels.

  • TV Show
  • 46
  • TV-14
  • Saturdays at 11:30 PM
  • Lorne Michaels
  • NBC
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