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Sunday, May 19, 2024
The independent student publication of The University at Buffalo, since 1950

Where’s my cut?

The Spectrum’s Comedy Series mention would be funnier if I was there

If you ask John Mulaney, I need to step my game up.

The Student Association featured the fan-favorite performer at this year’s Comedy Series in the Center for the Arts Saturday night. Mulaney is popular among students and adolescents alike, with multiple Netflix specials and his original series along with Nick Kroll, “Big Mouth.”

The only issue is I wasn’t there.

The Spectrum was denied press for this year’s Comedy Series performance, the first time this has happened in the last few years. 

But that didn’t stop Mulaney from using Spectrum coverage for material on stage. 

Both shows at the CFA were several hundred seats below full capacity. The 7 p.m. show had roughly 200 open seats, and the second show had roughly 300 open seats. With 500 seats left open for both shows, it’s fair to say that, even though students reserved tickets, there was still enough space for us to cover.

So, why was The Spectrum denied press? 

SA Entertainment Director Marc Rosenblitt told me, in an email, that the lack of press credentials was because of Mulaney’s management. SA informed us that Mulaney’s management said “NO PRESS AT ALL.” 

Regardless of who made the final decision, the fact that Mulaney’s set included content from The Spectrum while we watched from the sidelines was upsetting. It’s frustrating that myself and the rest of the arts desk at The Spectrum was put on the spot. 

Mulaney cherry-picked sentence fragments from various front-page Spectrum pieces, poking at small details out of context for big laughs. 

Funny? Absolutely. Mulaney is one of my favorite comedians, and his work on “Big Mouth” is hysterical. 

But this felt like The Spectrum was being kicked while it was down.

Still, if Mulaney’s management or SA gave credentials to myself and other editors on the arts desk, it would have been a courtesy. Given the turnout, allocating passes was entirely feasible. 

Did Mulaney know we were denied press before he decided to pull material from our paper? I can’t help but wonder how he would feel if he did. 

I’m amazed that Mulaney’s management would deny a student-run publication press coverage to a student-run event. 

But that didn’t stop us from covering the show.

I’m glad we could help John Mulaney and give him inspiration for his performances on Saturday night. 

I hope he’ll allow us to be there to see it next time.

Brian Evans is the senior arts editor and can be reached at and on Twitter @BrianEvansSpec. 


Brian Evans is a senior English major and The Spectrum's senior arts editor.



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