Comedian John Mulaney, who’s been candid with his struggles with addiction in the past and ended up relapsing during the pandemic, returned to the stage last night in New York City. Celebrating 141 days sober after an intervention by his comedy peers in December, which resulted in his second rehab stay of 2020, Mulaney performed a raw and intense set, which audience members relayed through social media.
The first of a five-night, sold-out showcase, John Mulaney: From Scratch, Mulaney delivered plenty of wry and revealing jokes about his battle with cocaine and alcohol addiction, reported Roger Friedman at Showbiz411. Recounting his path to another rehab stay late last year, the SNL veteran quipped he was the “best looking person at my intervention”—which included stars like Seth Meyers, Nick Kroll, Fred Armisen, Natasha Lyonne, and Bill Hader—because he had dropped down to just 105 pounds and was dressed sharply and sporting a fresh haircut. The comedian relented and was grateful for the support of his showbiz pals, telling the audience that the intervention wasn’t a bit; they were truly afraid for his life.
Rolling Stone TV critic David Fear was impressed and awed with Mulaney’s return, tweeting after the show: “So John Mulaney at City Winery was…intense. Ninety minutes that was mostly processing his intervention and rehab experience. Remarkably raw, vulnerable, personal. ‘When I’m alone, I realize I’m with the person who tried to kill me.’ Hilarious, harrowing, brave, historic.”
Mulaney headed straight for the elephant in the room with the line “I’d kill all of you for a line of coke,” which he quickly took back and said that he’s “a friendly addict,” reported Friedman. He went on to recount that he has no memory of an interview he gave to GQ magazine in December in the throes of his struggle, then read some of the writer’s questions and laughed a his forgotten, drug-addled responses.
In a 2019 article in Esquire, Mulaney delved deeper into his past with drinking and drugs, which started in his teens and grew out of control in his 20s. “I drank for attention,” he said. “I was really outgoing, and then at 12, I wasn’t. I didn’t know how to act. And then I was drinking, and I was hilarious again…Then I tried cocaine, and I loved it.” Mulaney’s first attempt at sobriety came at 23, the article reported: “I was like, ‘You’re fucking out of control,’ And I thought to myself, ‘I don’t like this guy anymore. I’m not rooting for him.’ ”
Mulaney, who also recently announced that he and his wife, Anna Marie Tendler, were divorcing after six years of marriage, has been in out-patient sober living for the last three months, after his 60-day rehab stint. Tendler told Page Six that she is, “heartbroken that John has decided to end our marriage. I wish him support and success as he continues his recovery.” Mulaney’s rep affirmed the divorce: “John will not have any further comment as he continues to focus on his recovery and getting back to work.”
Mental health and depression often get tucked away by men, along with a raft of emotions, and can be tough to acknowledge, which can lead to self-medication and addictive behavior with mood-altering substances. If you or a loved one is struggling with depression or self-destructive behavior, especially coming out of the long year of the pandemic, check out some resources online to find a therapist, like at Psychology Today or digital support at BetterHelp.
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