John Mulaney, Getting Old, and Serious Concerns

A graphic of Tony Nappo edited to appear as multiple people sitting in a circle as a spoof of Alcoholics Anonymous. At the top and bottom of the image is text that reads "Nappoholics Anonymous"

Nappoholics Anonymous is a weekly column featuring twelve random thoughts by actor Tony Nappo. Some are funny, some are poignant, some bother him, and some make him weep from sadness while others make him weep for joy. Here are his thoughts: unfiltered, uncensored, and only occasionally unsafe for work.

1. With everything else that is happening in the world right now, I can’t fathom actually giving a fuck about what John Mulaney does, has done, or might ever do.

2. Comment of the Week

3. I am very proud to have made a difference recently by posting on social media that, going forward, I would only be sleeping with those who have been double vaccinated. Because of that statement, the very next day, 100,000 people who had, until that day, been proud anti-vaxxers, decided to go out and get their first shot. And four of them were even women.

4. Fuck Yeah of the Week

5. The fact that there was a question asking whether or not you have ever received sides with language you’ve objected to (racist, honohphobic, fat shaming, etc) included on an ACTRA survey about what should be examined/addressed/changed regarding present self-tape/auditioning practices tells me that our union has not got a fucking clue what to focus on in terms of drafting an acceptable audition policy. If you don’t like the words in the sides, don’t fucking audition for that part. That question has nothing to do with auditioning and everything to do with censorship. Bad people exist who say terrible things. The desire or attempt to return film and television to some non-existent fantasy utopia depicted in the 1950s isn’t doing to change reality. Ugliness exists in the world and should be depicted onscreen if only as an example of what not to be. Also: the survey contained questions like, “how many pages is acceptable or desired for an audition?” “How much time do you need to prepare an audition?” Who the fuck wrote this survey? Plumbers? Beauticians? We are an entire union made up of actors. How does our union not already know the answers to these fucking questions? The survey reflects nothing but a desire to be politically woke in terms of diversity and inclusiveness, which we already should be and are. We don’t need to keep indicating that. We can just be it — without apology or a need to be patted on the back for it. Let’s draft the fucking self-tape policy already and get on with it.

6. Philosophy of the Week

7. Comeback of the Week

8. Learning Moment of the Week

Ella (my daughter): It’s cold in here this morning.

Me: It’s September.

Ella: (bemoaning the fact) Ohhhhhh.

Me: How do you think I feel? I’m at the September of my life.

Ella: What does that mean?

Me: If you break life into seasons, spring is when you’re a child, summer is when you’re young and in your prime, fall is when you start getting old, and winter is when you’re old.

Ella: And you think you’re just STARTING to get old.


9. Saddest Joke of the Week

10. I recently attended a screening of the film Respect in LA, and the director Liesl Tommy, a fantastic stage director who I had the good fortune to work with on Peggy Pickit… was in attendance. She was asked what quality she thought was necessary to being a good director, and her answer was “curiosity.” I love that, and I think it extends to almost any artist, including actors. I think the aim, for most art, is to get at the heart of what the subject is about and then depict it in a way that people will hopefully identify with or recognize and respond to. No punchline or anything here. Just sharing that thought, which is one I hadn’t consciously had before.

11. Public Service Announcement of the Week

12. COVID is real. Climate change is real. White privilege is real. Being born an LGTBQ person is real. The oppression of women is real. These things have all been stated and proven over and over again. Why would anyone even want to try to disprove them? Why would anyone need to?

It doesn’t matter what you BELIEVE is real or not. The desire for these things to be false doesn’t make them so. Look at God: God is just a concept. There is no universally agreed upon definition of who or what God is. God is an idea that could be true, but no living person on earth can prove it is. We don’t know if he was the son of God or not, but Jesus existed. That is a fact. But Jesus wasn’t white. That is also a fact. But most people on Earth don’t believe that. Most religious beliefs in North America are based on paintings made by men who never laid eyes on Jesus, and on a book written by men who never met or even saw him. Yet more people believe in God than a virus that’s killed over two million people in the last eighteen months or so.

I think the common link in the denying of truth and the desire to believe in false narratives (which is echoed in that ridiculous “Make America Great Again” bumper sticker) is that people don’t like change. They fear it. Especially people who have benefitted for centuries from the way things “have always been.”

This is a time of change whether you believe it or not. Whether you want it or not. Whether you support it or not. It has to be. Change is scary. But it’s normal. It’s constant. It’s necessary. The only people who fight it are those that benefit and profit from things staying the same. And, of course, those that have been fed and believe the false information by those benefiting and profiting from it.

It’s clear that the government here can’t be trusted on either side anymore. There are parties that don’t even have platforms anymore, beyond telling you want you want to believe to get your vote. We are run by corporate interests and dollars. That’s it. Yet we adamantly hate the leaders and parties that don’t tell or give us what we want. We’re like children running the daycare with our votes. Children who want what they want and not what’s best for them and for society.

Death is also real. It’s coming for each and every one of us. The amount of time that we have here on this earth gets shorter with each passing second. Deciding to believe in a life after this one may be comforting, but that doesn’t make it real. Anything we invent may make us feel better but that doesn’t make any of it real. This is our lives. Today. Right now.

I’m as terrified of change as everyone else (including death). But that’s where we grow, both as individuals and collectively. I can’t stop change or death, so I try my best to embrace it. I try to listen to people smarter than me. I don’t do what I’m told to do by them without critical thought, but I am guided by their thinking. Because they know shit that I don’t. It’s okay to not know shit. And it’s okay to admit that. Everybody seems to think they know every fucking thing now. They don’t. You don’t. I don’t. But there are sources that make way more sense to listen to than others.

I’ve been asking myself “what’s next?” a lot lately as friends are all aging or are dying all around me. My own mortality is becoming more and more imminent and as my daughter ages out of childhood and into young adulthood in a fucking disaster of a world. And the answer is “I don’t fucking know.”

What I do fucking know is that whatever tomorrow is coming won’t be the same as today. And it shouldn’t be. It doesn’t need to be. But whatever it is going to be should start with what is real and proven. Not with what we wish it to be. We can have a dystopian future where we battle each other everywhere from Facebook to all-out wars, or we can have a future where people realize we all only have one life and all pretty much want and need the same things — a future where we work together to take care of each other and the planet.

Unfortunately, roughly half of us are living in reality while the rest live in a fiction where reality is the enemy. It may take a lot of us dying out as the upcoming generations fight for the change that is necessary to simply sustain life on this planet.

I don’t have answers. Just a lot of serious fucking concerns.

5 Responses to “John Mulaney, Getting Old, and Serious Concerns”

  1. “Jesus existed. That’s a fact”
    WT actual F, Tony. There is zero proof of Jesus. That imaginary godguy was designed and originally imagined by the Flavians to exert control of the plebians.
    Otherwise, great column as always

  2. Nice stuff Tony. “Just a lot of serious fucking concerns,” aided with a good dose of ‘curiousity’. Right real. Nice.

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Tony is Italian, he’s from Scarborough, he’s an actor, he’s a father, he’s a really good house painter, and he doesn’t believe that most things matter, ultimately, at all.