Newly minted Late Night staff writer John Mulaney donned his now-customary trenchcoat and glasses for his first-ever totally-recurring segment "Royal Watch" on Tuesday night, where he just sits on the couch and riffs with Seth Meyers, this time about the British Royal Family in general and their contrast with The Crown on Netflix.
It seems Mulaney wrote this segment just to give himself an excuse to talk about how weird it is that Meghan Markle and Prince Harry left the Royal Family, but that huge story got completely cast aside by the pandemic.
"The Crown is a good show, because it shows them fighting and packing trunks and drawing baths," Mulaney noted. "And you think 'well, the fake Queen Elizabeth is a human being and the fake Windsor family has fun drama,' but when you look at the press and you see the real-life family, it's like you never hear about any of their problems."
Meyers naturally explained why that idea is demonstrably untrue, which Mulaney considered for a long moment, before just going into a highly amusing rant about how Meghan Markle should have known how lame the Royal Family actually is.
"You thought rolling with those dorks in church clothes was going ot be fun? Had you been told it was nonstop laughs? Because you're thinking of The Munsters, you silly goose," he said of Markle. "There has never been a point in my life where I did not know that the Queen of England was strict and not fun at all. So don't marry into the family with the most jive-ass boring people ever and then be like 'oh, should we play Never Have I Ever?'"
Meyers then pointed out the difference between having resonable expectations and then the day-to-day in that reality, and Mulaney again backtracked and changed course, going after "the real dunce of this fairy tale," Prince Harry.
"You dumb ginger," came the zinger. "You leave your title because you don't like your 94-year-old grandma? Um, that's the definition of something you wait out, gangsta. Pretty sure Father Time is going to sort out The Case of the Very Old Bummer Woman Who Had 30 Months to Live. Ah. too mean. Too mean. Too mean."
Eventually, Mulaney brought his royal rambling back around to The Crown. "I guess what I'm here to ask is, somewhat rhetorically. is it as interesting to you as it is to me that there is a Royal Family? Like, England has a national family that gets dressed up in costumes. But also do you somehow kind of want the monarchy to survive, and is that why I like The Crown on Netflix? Because it's a throwback to a time that I did live through, but I was a baby or I was a little kid. The Crown shows how miserable life can be as a monarch. That's true. And so in that light, I can see why Harry and Meghan left, so I guess it's not weird. It's of note, I guess, but it's understandable."
It's becoming clear that the joke of Mulaney's recent appearances, wardrobe included, might just be that he is a 'snarky hot-shot pundit' sort of character who does what real life pundits never do, which is admit the host has a good point and then realizes he's completely wrong and changes his mind about everything. And maybe just to kill time.
Late Night with Seth Meyers airs weeknights at 12:35 PM ET on NBC.
Andy Hunsaker has a head full of sitcom gags and nerd-genre lore, and can be followed @AndyHunsaker if you're into that sort of thing.