Mulaney’s description of his pre-job predicament may resonate with anyone who’s found themselves climbing the walls as their work routines dissipated this year. Freelancing, for example, requires a lot of self-imposed discipline even in normal times; it’s presumably even harder to stay motivated and organized during a massive health and economic crisis, with gigs drying up. More broadly, Covid-19 has made many people appreciate the importance of ordinary things we typically take for granted, like “having plans.” In an era characterized by unpredictability, it can be deeply reassuring to know that you’re expected to show up to a place (real or virtual) at a certain time and get stuff done.

That was what Mulaney got a taste of when he hosted Saturday Night Live in October. “I went into an office and I accomplished a task,” he said with satisfaction, adding the experience is what prompted him to talk to Meyers. The daily grind never sounded so good.

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