John Mulaney Says Hollywood Wasn’t Responsible for His Drug Addiction (2024)

The stand-up star says that the hardest part of being an addict in show business was hiding it

John Mulaney Says Hollywood Wasn’t Responsible for His Drug Addiction (1)

Contrary to the common story of celebrity drug addiction, stand-up comedy superstar John Mulaney says that a life in show business didn’t exacerbate his past problems with substance abuse. All fame did for Mulaney’s drug addiction was make his intervention a star-studded affair.

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Before Mulaney’s personal life was front-page entertainment news and his behind-the-scenes struggle with heavy drug use were common knowledge, the legendarySaturday Night Livewriter and Emmy-winning stand-up explicitly addressed his past problems with alcohol in his breakout hit specialJohn Mulaney: New in Town. “That surprises a lot of audiences because I don't look like someone who used to do anything,” Mulaney commented after revealing that he had to quit drinking after too many binges, “I look like I was just sitting in a room in a chair eating saltines for like 28 years and then I walked right out here.”

Eight years later, Mulaney’s much-publicized rehab stint still somehow shocked his rabid and uncomfortably parasocial fanbase who took his frantic, fast-paced stage presence at face value without wondering where that energy could have come from.

Mulaney addressed his recovery and his permanently altered public persona in detail in last year’s critically beloved specialBaby J, but he still finds himself explaining his addiction in interviews like his recent feature forThe Hollywood Reporter, wherein he stated that his celebrity lifestyle in Los Angeles wasn’t a factor in his dependence on alcohol, cocaine and prescription drugs, despite our cultural impulse to connect Hollywood to drug addiction and vice versa.

In fact, Mulaney found that fame put more pressure on him to conceal his drug abuse rather than encouraging him to indulge it even further, which he did successfully — after all, he managed to fool GQ.

Mulaneys bizarre, meandering interview with The Hollywood Reporter reads hilariously reminiscent of the infamous GQ profile Mulaney gave while high on cocaine that he read verbatim at the end of Baby J, only with the roles reversed. While discussing Mulaneys recently completed Netflix project, the eclectic, limited series talk show John Mulaney Presents: Everybody's In LA, writer Seth Abramovitch took Mulaney on multiple unexpected tangents, at one point turning the focus to his own experiences in the City of Angels — before diving into Mulaneys addiction, Abramovitch told his interviewee his story about moving from New York to Los Angeles three months before 9/11 and watching the Twin Towers fall on a small television in his roommates bedroom.

In comparison to his interviewers anecdotes, Mulaneys admissions in the interview are positively tame, especially for a superstar who spent most of his highly lauded career hiding extreme drug use from his friends and fans. When Abramovitch suggested that living in Los Angeles as a wealthy celebrity may have made Mulaneys addiction problems even more dire, Mulaney said that the setting was never a factor for his drug use.

“I made it worse wherever I went,” Mulaney explained. “As much as it is a cliche that drugs and stand-up comedy and Hollywood go together, my drug use was always so separate. It was compartmentalized from so many things, but it was not ever intertwined with work or the social glamorous side of entertainment or anything like that.”

Unlike other comics and rockstars who enjoy regularly punctuating their highly paid performances with some post-show partying, Mulaney said that the relationship between his drug habit and his career was always centered around concealment. “It was about no one at the show knowing that I’ve been up for two days,” said Mulaney.

Now, Mulaney is on the other side of rock bottom, and his life in Los Angeles has never been better. Or as he put it, “I’m extremely grateful and sometimes just amazed that after that dark tornado I get to have such a wonderful life.”


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John Mulaney Says Hollywood Wasn’t Responsible for His Drug Addiction (2024)


How many children does John Mulaney have? ›

John Mulaney
SpouseAnnamarie Tendler ​ ​ ( m. 2014; div. 2022)​
PartnerOlivia Munn (2021–present)
10 more rows

What nationality is John Mulaney? ›

Did John Mulaney go to college? ›

Where does John Mulaney currently live? ›

But L.A. is where Mulaney now lives; it's also currently home to the second iteration of Netflix Is a Joke, a massive, weeklong comedy festival organized by the streaming service as a show of genre dominance.

How did John Mulaney's brother pass away? ›

Then, when John was 4 years old, his mother became pregnant with his brother Peter. Unfortunately, the new baby “never came home from the hospital.” While the family struggled with his death, John says they spoke of Peter often and visited his gravesite.

Was John Mulaney in The Bear? ›

The sixth episode of The Bear was a chaotic hell that had a maximum number of cameos, and most of them were related to Mikey, Natalie, and Carmy. John Mulaney as Steven, Cousin Michelle's boyfriend, was a part of the old Italian Christmas traditional dinner.

Who is John Mulaney's mother? ›

How long was John Mulaney with Anna? ›

Anna Marie Tendler (2010 - 2021) John Mulaney was married to Anna Marie Tendler from 2014 to 2021. They were first linked in 2010, and John talked fondly about his ex when they were together. Mulaney and Tendler married in 2014 in the Catskills mountains in New York.

Who is Charles Mulaney? ›

Charles W. Mulaney, Jr. is a corporate partner with Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP concentrating in mergers and acquisitions, corporate financings, restructurings and general corporate governance.

How much does John Mulaney make per show? ›

How much money does John Mulaney make from his comedy shows? Like most popular comedians, a good deal of John Mulaney's net worth can be attributed to the revenue he makes from his live comedy show tours. According to a 2021 report by Pollstar, John Mulaney makes an average of $119,645 per show while he's on tour.

Where did Seth Meyers go to college? ›

He graduated in 1996 from Northwestern University in Evanston, where he became a member of the fraternity Phi Gamma Delta. His college roommate was fellow actor Peter Grosz. He majored in film and television production. In 2011, he was the Grand Marshal for the school's homecoming parade.

Where did Nick Kroll go to college? ›

Who did John Mulaney have a kid with? ›

She joined PEOPLE in 2021, but has eight years of experience working in digital publishing with a focus on entertainment and pop culture news. Olivia Munn and John Mulaney are the proud parents of one little boy. The couple welcomed their son, Malcolm Hiệp Mulaney, on Nov.

How to get in touch with John Mulaney? ›

Send John Mulaney a fan mail letter care/of:
  1. John Mulaney. c/o Lewis Kay. Kovert Creative Public Relations. 1875 Century Park E. # 270. ...
  2. Douglas Lucterhand. c/o WME Agency. 9601 Wilshire Blvd. Beverly Hills, CA 90210.
  3. Lewis Kay. c/o Kovert Creative Public Relations. 1875 Century Park E. # 270. Los Angeles, CA 90067.

Where is Everybody Is in LA filmed? ›

The series features monologues, guests, pre-taped sketches, and musical segments with field pieces shot around Los Angeles.

Why did John Mulaney have a baby? ›

“We're having a baby together,” Mulaney, who was previously married to Anna Marie Tendler, told Seth Meyers in September 2021. “I was nervous when I was about to say the news! Olivia and this baby have helped save me from myself in this early journey out of recovery [from my drug addiction].”

Does Olivia Munn want another baby? ›

And the couple continues to hold onto their dream of expanding their family in the future. "We really just hope that it works out for us to be able to have another baby," Munn added. "We just want one more. I'm not gonna ask for too much more in this life, I promise.

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