John Mulaney Thinks Giving Goldfish to Children is “F***ed Up”

in Entertainment, Movies & TV

stock photo of goldfish john mulaney takes down fish food industry on Hot Ones

Credit: ITM

We don’t think John Mulaney going to be getting his son Malcolm a goldfish to keep as a pet – at least not until there are some major changes in the fish food industry.

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In his recent Hot Ones interview, the stand-up comedian and burgeoning voice actor was reminded of the taste of fish food by one of the many hot sauces he was presented by host Sean Evans.

Goldfish: Easy Pet Or Challenge For People-Pleasing Children?

stock photo of goldfish john mulaney takes down fish food industry
Credit: Tinh Nguyen/Unsplash

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In remembering the taste, Mulaney was also reminded of his relationship with his own childhood goldfish – and he had opinions to share on what owning a goldfish can do to a child, especially a child like him.

Here’s the problem when you’re a kid – especially if you like taking care of people: You wanna feed ’em more! But you’re not supposed to. You’re like, “Here’s only on thing I ever give you, and I gave it to you already today – but you’re still there! And I want you to like me. And I want you to tell other fish that I’m a good guy. So I’d love to feed you again and again and again” – but you can’t. 

Childhood pets are supposed to teach lessons in things like responsibility and compassion, and while Mulaney also believes that owning a goldfish taught him something, he also thinks the stakes are far too high with their kind:

It’s a very good task for people-pleasing children. “Can you have a boundary with this fish and its food?” And it’s hard, but the result [if you can’t do it] is that you could kill the fish. It’s really stressful!

Mulaney has often described himself as having an undeniable urge to people-please. In his Netflix stand-up special Kid Gorgeous, he says, “I need everybody, all day, to like me so much. It’s exhausting…walking around with me is like walking around with someone who’s running for Mayor of Nothing.”

So the people-pleasing lesson was probably a very difficult one for him to get down…John Mulaney may be trying to telegraph that he killed his goldfish by loving it too much.

John Mulaney Takes Down The Fish Food Industry

john mulaney takes down fish food industry on Hot Ones
Credit: First We Feast

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In a split second, though, he reflected further, and then realized that this stress wasn’t his fault – it’s the fish food industry who set the stakes so high, and they need to be stopped.

It’s f***ed up actually. Let’s find a new way to feed fish where you can do it multiple times a day. What exactly are in these flakes, where if they have it twice, they die? Sounds like it’s a problem with the food manufacturer.

Mulaney didn’t just talk about goldfish in this interview, of course – he also discussed his own speculations, as a former SNL writer, about how streaming may affect the length of the Writers’ Strike, how AI could possibly replace writers, and the future of the entertainment industry after this major turning point we’re going through.

One thing was for sure though: Until such a time as the fish food industry starts issuing more reasonable portions, we can’t see John Mulaney ever purchasing a goldfish again.

Did you ever have a goldfish? What was your relationship with it like? Do you agree with John Mulaney? Drop Inside the Magic some fish food in the comments below.

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