Johnny Zhao: Mulligan character explained

In Mulligan, Johnny Zhao becomes the richest person on Earth after an alien attack that kills billions of people. Ronny Chieng plays Johnny Zhao.

LaMarr’s various measures to reshape the country also included using a lot of money to keep it running. In order to do so, he needed someone rich, and in this new world, Johnny Zhao is the richest person alive, as the others are most probably dead.

Some rich people, like Jeff Bezos, tried to escape the planet on a space ark during the alien attack. Unfortunately, they ended up crashing into an alien spaceship and dying.

Zhao’s money becomes useless

The moment Zhao finds out that he is the richest person on the planet, he rejoices. Zhao and LaMarr have worked together in the past, and the former is looking forward to hearing what LaMarr has for him now.

LaMarr takes Zhao to a restaurant and tells him that, with his money, he can have the whole tiny little government here in his pocket now. While they are discussing, a waiter nearby lets them know that they can’t pay with money anymore, as money has been replaced with kisses.

Johnny Zhao: Mulligan character explained 1
LaMarr introduces Zhao

The country is largely working on a barter system. LaMarr and Zhao will have to kiss the waiter to pay their bill.

LaMarr sees the problem and pitches Matty to start a currency using Zhao’s money. Lucy, on her side, says that they are probably better off without money. Even Matty believes that money hasn’t done anything good for him.

When Matty asks Simon if they can run a country without money, he tells Matty that the US didn’t have national currency until the Civil War. Matty then makes it official. He declares that money is useless and no one needs it anymore.

Zhao’s struggles

Now that his money is useless, Zhao decides to go back to his country. Unfortunately, his ship’s captain, Coleman, has also learned the news about money. He doesn’t let Zhao board his own ship and runs away on it.

Zhao hasn’t worked a day in his life. Now, in this new world, he is forced to clean the city, as ordered by General Scarpaccio. Zhao suffers, and even LaMarr abandons him now that he is not useful to him.

Zhao eventually finds a comfortable job for himself after stealing the seat of an exercise bike. He offers it to Vance Barry, who spreads the news to the people while riding on his bicycle now that the internet and printing presses are down.

Barry needs a seat for his bike, and Zhao gives him the one he has stolen on the condition that they will be partners now, an offer that Barry accepts.

Zhao pushes his business

Zhao may not have worked a day in his life, but he does know how to market himself and run a business. Zhao is from Wharton and has interned for Chairman Xi. Zhao thrives on finding controversial news that people will pay for.

When LaMarr is infuriated because of Matty, who isn’t listening to him and is going with the idea of holding elections and introducing transparency in government, he goes to Zhao for help.

Johnny Zhao: Mulligan character explained 2
Zhao creates drama on his show

After learning that cabinet discussions are taking place in front of everyone, Zhao helps LaMarr distract people from the real issue. He turns the discussion into a show.

Zhao makes Axatrax join the discussion because people hate him and shows the picture of Lucy kissing Jeremy to spice things up. He takes the latter topic and creates a The Bachelorette-type show out of it where Lucy will have to choose between Matty and Jeremy.

One way or another, even a person like Zhao manages to find a way to make a living in this post-apocalyptic world the way he wants.


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