Niche comedian John Mulaney is making a comeback after a couple of years mostly out of the spotlight, and he knows these last couple of years required a lot of work on himself.
Fourteen years after his first stand-up debut, The Top Part, and 11 years after his break-out New In Town special, John is back on the stage with a mic in his hand and ready to try out stand-up while sober.
After checking into rehab in December 2020 for prescription drug, cocaine, and alcohol abuse, no one was sure where his career stood.
When his divorce was announced in 2021 and it was revealed that John was expecting a baby with actress Olivia Munn, fans were even less sure whether or not he’d make it back to the stage.
Plus, no one was certain if he would be able to do stand-up sober, but the unique comedian is back with a new spin on his routines.
After all, as John states, the past couple of years have been a bit weird for all of us, but fortunately, as John later says, “Those days are over.”
John Mulaney returns to the stage with a twist on his comedian persona now that he’s sober, opens up on his intervention
Although Baby J starts on a somewhat “dark note,” John’s stage presence is largely familiar from what fans are used to in the past. He cracks jokes about growing up with his siblings, discusses grandparents passing during the school year, and then decides to get real: “There was no dinner. It was an intervention. For me.”
Although it was his “least favorite kind of intervention,” and he was two hours late, he was able to add some of his usual comedy into the story of his intervention and how his friends were able to help him, all while making viewers laugh along the way.
From rehab jokes about Pete Davidson’s constantly-changing phone numbers (and how the tattoo-covered comedian has always supported John’s sobriety) to equine therapy, John’s detailing of his time in rehab proved that while it helped him get sober, it also gave him some great inspiration for new jokes.
We won’t spoil the best parts of the special with you, but be prepared: The hour and 20-minute-long special largely only focuses on his time in rehab, so if that’s not your thing, this special might not be the one for you.
However, for those who have followed John’s story, been through addiction recovery themselves, or enjoy that type of comedy, this special is absolutely for you.
If anyone was uncertain about how John’s stand-up would be following rehab, have no fear: Kid Gorgeous is just as funny as he was in New in Town.
John Mulaney’s life after rehab, divorce, and parenthood
One thing that seemed abundantly clear while watching his new special was that John has spent time working on himself, recognizing his past actions and how harmful they were. While he may never move past some aspects of his public image, he is incredibly grateful for how life has gone since his intervention.
After his time in inpatient care, John’s life seemed to move quickly in 2021. In May, John split from his wife Anna Marie Tendler, and their divorce was filed that July. Only months later, it was revealed that John was seeing actress Olivia Munn and expecting a baby with her.
Baby Malcolm came in November 2021 and seemed to strengthen the relationship between Olivia and John.
However, John faced criticism following his divorce from Anna Marie, as the artist revealed it was “totally shocking” to her.
Although he’s still with Olivia, John and Olivia are very private about their personal lives online and only give glimpses of what’s going on via Instagram. He doesn’t even really discuss his family in the special, only telling his recovery story.
Navigating relationships and sobriety can be difficult. Watching John be open and vulnerable about his experience over the past couple of years was a breath of fresh air and clarity.
Though some may never forgive John for his actions, it’s clear from the special that fans were ready to see one of their favorite comedians back on stage.
John Mulaney: Baby J is now streaming on Netflix.