The "Big Mouth" funnyman returned to his old stomping grounds at iconic New York sketch show "Saturday Night Live" in February to serve as a guest host, but one quip he made during his opening monologue landed him on the radar of federal law enforcement officers.
"In February, I did a joke that was not about Donald Trump," Mulaney explained on U.S. talk show "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" on Tuesday, December 01.
"The joke was about how it was a leap year, and leap year had been started by Julius Caesar to correct the calendar, and another thing that happened with Caesar was that he was stabbed to death by a bunch of senators because he went crazy. And I said I think that's an interesting thing that could happen."
Luckily, Mulaney's decision not to directly name Trump in the monologue proved pivotal to the Secret Service investigation, and as they failed to find any "manifestos" or "rants" written by the comic aimed at the Republican leader, he was dismissed as a possible threat to national security.
"The person vetting me was very understanding that the joke had nothing to do with Donald Trump because it was an elliptical reference to him," Mulaney said. "I didn't say anything about him. In terms of risk assessment, no one who's ever looked at me thought I registered above a one."
He added, "I said I have been making jokes about him (Trump) since 2007, so I have been making fun of him for 13 years. They said if it's a joke, then I am cleared by the Secret Service."
Mulaney isn't the first comedian to face a Secret Service grilling thanks to a Trump joke - Kathy Griffin infamously faced a backlash in 2017 after sharing a photo of herself holding a bloodied, decapitated replica of the president's head online, which led to a two-month federal investigation for conspiracy to assassinate the Commander-in-Chief, before she was eventually cleared.