Behind the Sketch: Diner Lobster with John Mulaney and Colin Jost | Season 44 Episode 14


Colin Jost

Waiter… John Mulaney

Pete Davidson and Chris Redd

Kloset… Kate McKinnon

Lobster… Kenan Thompson

[Starts with Colin Jost]

Colin Jost: Hi, I’m Colin Jost. [Cut to Colin Jost and John Mulaney] I’m here with John Mulaney.

John Mulaney: Hey, Colin.

Colin Jost: And we’re here to talk to you guys about Diner Lobster, a sketch that we originally wrote in 2010, but then did not see the light of day until John hosted last year and resurrected it.

[Cut to small clip from Diner Lobster]

Waiter: Did you two order yet?

Pete and Chris: No.

Waiter: Did you two carve gang signs into the baby changing station?

John Mulaney: It’s ‘Who Am I’ from Les Mis, and we just said the titles of them. [Cut to John and Colin] And no one knew and then we didn’t prep them well and it was a singing lobster at the table. It didn’t do well. And it wasn’t one of those things that didn’t do well and later, people are like, “I like that.”

Colin Jost: No. No one came up to those after.

John Mulaney: It was long too. The writing night was really fun because we sat in your office that you shared with Kenan.

[Cut to Colin Jost]

Colin Jost: Yes, I think we both consider the London [Cut to Colin and John] live recording. It was like the 10th or 15th anniversary recording. Was for both of us, the defining signature edition of Les Mis.

John Mulaney: I remember listening to song after song. It was really fun.

Colin Jost: And they were all–

John Mulaney: They were all great. [Cut to John Mulaney] And I think Forte came in and you had an appointment to write with them. [Cut to Colin and John] And he said, “Are you writing Alen?” And you said, “I’m going to need another couple of hours.” And he went, “Oh, okay.” You know the biggest thing in it was that Kenan’s lobster daughter played by Kate McKinnon was named Klaset. Had it named Klaws in the musical and —

Colin Jost: It suddenly changed.

John Mulaney: And that was your joke. You typed it and then you looked over me, and I was like, “Absolutely”.

[Cut to Colin Jost]

Colin Jost: But then when you came back to host, we talked about it. We were like, “What’s a big number for a table read?” You kind of want to end the table read on a big musical bang or a loud thing.

[Cut to small clip from Diner Lobster]

Waiter: And why would someone on a whim, choose from all to order him, who is this guy..

[Cut to Colin and John]

Colin Jost: Then it actually worked at the table and I think we were like, “Wow, is this real?” Kenan being the lobster, Kenan is the one who says Kloset. He knows to say it very clearly and wait for five seconds for the audience to understand what hell he is talking about.

[Cut to small clip from Diner Lobster]

Kloset: Papa.

Lobster: Kloset. Oh, what are you doing here?

[Cut to Colin and John]

Colin Jost: Just the first note where you start hearing [Cut to small clip from Diner Lobster] ‘Who am I?” coming, and you saw Kenan like posing so proudly as a lobster.

Lobster: Who am I? And why am I condemned to boil alive.

[Cut to Colin and John]

Colin Jost: Every department–

John Mulaney: Did an exceptional job.

Colin Jost: Oh, totally. Yeah.

[Cut to small clip from Diner Lobster]

John Mulaney: You have a wall open. A tank of water, that is not actually filled with water. And then they have the barricade slide in.

Waiter: From the barricade.

Chris Redd: Wait, there’s a barricade?

Pete Davidson: Oh, this diner has an incredible set design.

[Cut to Colin and John]

John Mulaney: All time right. I once couldn’t get to go across.

[Cut to small clip from Diner Lobster]

When the churning in your bowls

matches the burning of his shell

You’ll know why lobsters in a diner never sell

[Cut to Colin and John]

John Mulaney: Lobster diner had the biggest applause I ever experienced in the studio.

[Cut to small clip from Diner Lobster]


You don’t order them!

In diners!

[Cut to John Mulaney]

John Mulaney: That was great. And that was like, “This place is going to feel like a wonderful TV studio, it felt like both the TV studio and like a concert hall”. [Cut to Colin and John] And we won an Ally award from —

Colin Jost: From PETA.

John Mulaney: From PETA. People from the Ethical Treatment of the Animals for promotion of animal welfare in sketch-com. Because we saved the lobsters. [Cut to John Mulaney] Thank you for watching this discussion of the history of Diner Lobster. I’m hosting Saturday Night Live this Saturday, March 2nd. And if this video was not 17 minutes, then they may cut!

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Author: Don Roy King

Don Roy King has directed fourteen seasons of Saturday Night Live. That work has earned him ten Emmys and fourteen nominations. Additionally, he has been nominated for fifteen DGA Awards and won in 2013, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020.

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