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‘Kid Gorgeous at Radio City’: John Mulaney’s Netflix Standup Special Is One of the Year’s Best Pieces of Writing

Some standups have God-given charisma that’ll cut a hole through the bottom of the stage. They’ll make you laugh out of sheer force of will, whether by volume or inflection or antics or some mystical combination of all three. They’re the kind of performers that, if you saw their set, written out on paper, it would look more like an observational casual brunch conversation than something people would willingly spend money to go see.

But there are some comics who take the reverse route: They’ve got enough punchlines to fill out a late night packet or a Twitter feed and spend time bulking up the means of delivery. If you watch John Mulaney’s 2009 episode of “Comedy Central Presents,” it’s got most of the material that would eventually find its way onto his first album, “The Top Part.” The Salt and Pepper Diner story has

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