Support flows in for comedian John Mulaney after he enters into rehab

Ex-SNL writer and stand up comedian John Mulaney has checked himself into a Pennsylvania rehab centre, after ten years of sobriety.

Yesterday, the New York Post reported that the 38-year-old comic had checked into a rehab facility, seeking treatment for cocaine and alcohol addiction. Mulaney, the brains behind Kid Gorgeous, will undergo a 60-day program in rehab and is reported to be “onboard with his recovery.”

“His fans know he’s struggled in the past with sobriety,” the source told the press. “He has talked about it openly. Unfortunately he has struggled again during the pandemic.”

John Mulaney
Photo: Chronic File Photo

The comedian has always spoken openly about his struggles with addiction, sharing his story in interviews and often using it as the butt of his jokes. In a 2019 interview with Esquire, Mulaney revealed to reporters that he often “drank for attention” in the past.

“I was really outgoing, and then at twelve, I wasn’t. I didn’t know how to act,” he revealed. “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?’” Mulaney turned to sobriety at only 23.

The comedian has hosted a series of iconic features throughout the years, his most recent appearance being on Saturday Night Live‘s Halloween episode. He wrote for the legendary show for a number of years, before focusing on more personal projects. Only a few weeks ago, Mulaney announced that he had joined the Late Night with Seth Meyers, in a move that surprised fans.

In an interview, Mulaney explained that this decision was due to cabin fever from the pandemic. “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.”

The stress of the pandemic was reportedly what broke his decade-long sobriety. After the news of his admission swept the internet, fans and peers quickly took to social media to praise his bravery and courage.

“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 podcast and TV host Katie Nolan commented that “asking for help isn’t cowardly, it’s courageous.”

Mulaney’s admission into rehab is not only a courageous personal decision, his story helps opens an important dialogue surrounding mental health and addiction. During such a turbulent year, it is more important than ever to destigmatise asking for help, open conversations with loved ones, and begin dismantling the shame surrounding a very common problem.

If you, or someone you know needs help with addiction or mental health, you can contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or visit Reach Out. In an emergency, please call 000.