John Mulaney Revealed Addiction Started at 13: ‘I Wasn’t a Good Athlete’

Many fans were surprised when comedian John Mulaney revealed addiction relapse had led to an intervention and rehab efforts. He spoke more in-depth about recovery and provided a rundown of his year to Seth Meyers in September 2021. The discussion was intensified by the surprising confirmation of rumors that Mulaney and his girlfriend Olivia Munn are expecting their first child. The pregnancy announcement came only months after he completed time in rehab and announced his split from now estranged wife Anna Marie Tendler.

Mulaney’s interview statements about his drug use might have surprised some observers in the same way his relationship status has. They somewhat illuminate what Mulaney once referred to as a “challenging time,” despite that on the outside his comedy has always put fans in a better mood.

Mulaney revealed addiction history in previous statements

John Mulaney and Seth Meyers smiling
Comedian John Mulaney during an interview with late night host Seth Meyers on September 7, 2021 | Photo by: Lloyd Bishop/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank/Getty Images

According to USA Today, last week, Mulaney spoke at length about relapse, intervention, and rehab on Late Night with Seth Meyers. Fans know he does not shy away from the topic in his stand-up. However, he elaborated more about his history in a 2019 interview with Esquire. He said in that profile that his alcohol use began when he was 13, as a way of getting attention.

Mulaney revealed his addiction history included mixing drugs with drinking. “I wasn’t a good athlete, so maybe it was some young male thing,” he said. He then added, “’This is the physical feat I can do. Three Vicodin and a tequila and I’m still standing. Who’s the athlete now?'”

According to Mulaney’s statements, he quit using alcohol and drugs without rehab when he was 23. But his recent relapse required thoughtful interference from friends like Meyers. “I didn’t want an intervention,” Mulaney said. “I wanted to continue using drugs.”

While Mulaney admitted he was not appreciative to those who were present at the time, that feeling has apparently changed. “I’m so grateful to you and to everyone there for saving my life,” he told Meyers during their interview.

Mulaney: ‘Olivia and this baby have helped save me from myself’

Mulaney said his relationship with Munn and their pregnancy have improved his wellbeing. “Olivia and this baby have helped save me from myself and this early journey out of recovery,” he said. Some fans shared excitement for the expectant couple. But other fans suggested the public should be concerned for Mulaney since a new relationship and newborn could be a challenge to sobriety for some.  

Fans also had problems with claims Mulaney made about meeting Munn. Though he referenced re-meeting her in spring following his release from rehab, conversations about the timeline he provided crept into the headlines. He has remained tight-lipped on the particulars of his divorce, but some fans speculate there was overlap between the beginning of his relationship with Munn and his decision to end his marriage.

For her part, Tendler publicly admitted she was heartbroken over his decision to ask for a divorce. Despite her heartbreak, she wished him “support and success” in his recovery. She has not spoken openly about the news of Mulaney’s relationship or Munn’s pregnancy. However, many believe she is using her pain as catharsis, inspiring some stunningly artistic photographs, which she shares on Instagram.

What’s next for John Mulaney?

For whatever time is left before becoming a father, Mulaney will most likely be on tour. He has stand-up shows scheduled through the beginning of November. While both parents have thus far declined to share a due date with fans, some suspect that Munn is expecting to give birth shortly after Mulaney’s tour is set to finish.  

The soon-to-be-dad seemingly has great support from Munn and old friends like Meyers in maintaining his sobriety. Surely that will continue while he is adjusting to being a new parent. A majority of his fans seem to wish him well in his recovery journey, despite any controversies over his personal relationships.  

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