Stand-up comedian and ex-”SNL” writer John Mulaney has reportedly checked into rehab after more than a decade of sobriety.
The New York Post first reported that Mulaney, 38, had entered a Pennsylvania facility to seek treatment for his struggles with alcohol and cocaine — issues he has openly referenced in his interviews and stand-up. The popular comedian, perhaps best-known for his Netflix specials, including the Emmy-winning “Kid Gorgeous,” will be in rehab for 60 days, according to the Post.
A source told “Page Six” that Mulaney is “onboard with his recovery.”
“His fans know he’s struggled in the past with sobriety,” the person said, “he has talked about it openly. Unfortunately he has struggled again during the pandemic.”
Mulaney has spoken candidly about his addiction in the past. In his 2012 special, “New In Town,” he details some of his struggles, including drinking until he blacked out and being told by friends that he “ruined parties.” In a particularly telling 2019 Esquire interview, the comedian said he “drank for attention.”
“I was really outgoing, and then at twelve, I wasn’t. I didn’t know how to act. And then I was drinking, and I was hilarious again … I never liked smoking pot. Then I tried cocaine, and I loved it. I wasn’t a good athlete, so maybe it was some young male thing of, ‘This is the physical feat I can do. Three Vicodin and a tequila and I’m still standing. Who’s the athlete now?’ ”
He got sober at 23.
One of the comedian’s most recent public appearances was days before the presidential election on “Saturday Night Live,” which he returned to host for the fourth time. Mulaney wrote for the late night sketch show for several years before embarking on his specials. Then days after the election, news broke that Mulaney had, quite surprisingly, joined the writing staff for “Late Night” with Seth Meyers.
Mulaney explained the decision to join the show in an interview with Jimmy Kimmel. “During quarantine, I was like ‘Why I am I going totally crazy? Why am I suddenly telling my wife my accomplishments?’ ” he said. “I really needed a job. I like having a boss. I like having assignments to do. When I’m in charge of something, not so much.”
News of Mulaney checking into rehab swept the internet Monday, drawing heartfelt reactions from fans and comedians alike.
“I love John Mulaney. His shows never fail to make me happy,” author Maureen Johnson tweeted. “And hearing the news that he is going into [rehab]--or anyone going in--I always take that as good news? It means that is a step toward getting well--a good and healthy one. So all good health and happiness to him.”
Writer Dan Telfer tweeted that Mulaney is “the best at everything he does, including the slaying of personal demons,” while TV and podcast host Katie Nolan noted that “asking for help isn’t cowardly, it’s courageous.”
let the news of john mulaney be a reminder to us all that we are going through a collective trauma with this pandemic, and for many of us that’s on top of struggles we were already having. check on your people. asking for help isn’t cowardly, it’s courageous.— Katie Nolan (@katienolan) December 21, 2020
I hope John Mulaney makes it through this and that he and the people close to him are given the privacy they deserve in this season.— Ashlee Latimer (@ALNL) December 21, 2020
And I really hope that we take the collective compassion and grace we feel towards him and learn to extend it to all who deal with addiction.
no lie John Mulaney has helped me get through some of the saddest moments of my life— Seerat Sohi (@seeratsohi) December 22, 2020
Some fans also came out to implore the internet crowds not to belittle addiction or Mulaney’s struggles.
It's been an especially hard year for folks who struggle with substance abuse. Sending all light and support to John Mulaney.— Phillip Atiba Goff is from Philadelphia (@DrPhilGoff) December 21, 2020
Also, what an awesome time for folks not to be jerks about rehab! Please try it! https://t.co/8xqC3l6XGc