Why John Mulaney’s First Performance After Rehab Is Turning Heads

Funny-man John Mulaney endeared himself to a plethora of new fans when, in December 2020, he announced his plans to enter a treatment center for alcoholism and cocaine addiction. The former “Saturday Night Live” writer previously stayed sober for 15 years. He underwent a 60-day program in a Pennsylvania facility, with fans all over the world rallying to support the brave decision. “It was a relief to his wife and family that he checked in,” a source told Us Weekly at the time. They added, “It was John’s decision. Plain and simple, John had too much downtime [in quarantine]. He had too much time in his own head.”

Mulaney checked out a couple months later as planned, with an insider confirming he was “doing well and will continue with outpatient treatment.” Prior to entering rehab, the beloved comedian joked during an appearance on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” that he needed a job to maintain stability in his life, and frequently found himself losing control when left to his own devices. Earlier this month, Mulaney booked his first stand-up shows, scheduled to take place from May 10 to May 14, in New York City, with strict COVID-19 restrictions in place to keep attendees safe. All five sold out almost immediately and now, we know why.

The comedian laid everything out onstage

John Mulaney’s first stand-up shows since completing a 60-day rehab stint kicked off Monday night, at New York City’s Winery venue. Entitled “From Scratch,” the comedian’s highly-anticipated return to the stage was characteristically frank, frequently to an uncomfortable extent. “90 mins that was mostly processing his intervention and rehab experience,” Rolling Stone editor David Fear tweeted. He described the show as, “Remarkably raw, vulnerable, personal,” quoting Mulaney who stated onstage, “When I’m alone, I realize I’m with the person who tried to kill me.” Another attendee noted the show was “truly brilliant,” while a third described Mulaney’s set as “painfully funny” in the truest sense of both words. 

Likewise, journalist Julia Glum wrote that the show was “an excellent mix of humor and honesty,” advising simply, “I’m rooting for u, dude.” Page Six reported earlier on Monday that the comedian’s six-year marriage to wife Anna Marie Tendler was over, with a rep stating, “John will not have any further comment as he continues to focus on his recovery and getting back to work.” The “SNL” alum seemingly instigated the split, with Tendler noting in a statement to People, “I am heartbroken that John has decided to end our marriage,” before wishing him the best in his ongoing journey to sobriety.

If you or anyone you know is struggling with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA’s National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

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