Multiple news sources reported Monday that comedian John Mulaney has checked into rehab to deal with alcohol and cocaine addiction.
The news was first broken by the New York Post‘s Page Six, which revealed that Mulaney, 38, had checked into a facility somewhere in Pennsylvania this past weekend for a 60-day stay.
In a 2019 Esquire article referenced by a number of the sources reporting Monday’s news, Mulaney was open about his sobriety issues, claiming to have quit both drinking and doing cocaine in 2005 after a weekend bender gave him perspective.
“I didn’t kill anyone or assault anyone,” Mulaney said in the interview. “But yeah, I was like, You’re fucking out of control. And I thought to myself, I don’t like this guy anymore. I’m not rooting for him.”
The article added that rather than using a recovery program, “he was able to flip a switch” and was sober since.
People’s story on the check-in referred to a line in his 2012 comedy special New in Town, where he noted often surprises people when they learn he does not drink.
“I don’t drink,” he said in the special. “I used to drink, then I drank too much, and I had to stop. That surprises a lot of audiences because I don’t look like someone who used to do anything.”
Over the past few weeks, Mulaney had been working with Seth Meyers on his NBC show as a writer and performer. He’d also made an October appearance on SNL, where he built his reputation as a show writer between 2008 and 2012. But, as the Los Angeles Times reported in its Monday story about the news, “a poorly worded joke about the ages of Donald Trump and Joe Biden drew criticism that he acknowledged.” The article noted:
“I should have said I very much want one [candidate] to win over the other, and there will be improvements if one wins,” he told Jimmy Kimmel earlier this month. “I deserved backlash. I flat-out just forgot to do it. I ran the joke in a field in Connecticut and was like, ‘All right, let’s rock and roll.’ I never was like, ‘Hey, don’t you mean that one guy is worse than the other?’ And I forgot to make the joke good.”
Mulaney last posted to Twitter on Dec. 14—a promotional tweet connected to the Spider Ham character he voiced in Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.
The Post article also mentioned that Mulaney’s wife, Annamarie Tendler, deleted her Instagram account sometime over the weekend.
Other celebrities shared the news with their own messaging attached. Sports personality Katie Nolan noted: “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.”
(However, she alarmed a few people who hadn’t heard the news and thought he’d died.)
Actor and writer Kristen Johnston, who also calls herself a “recovery advocate” in her Twitter bio, added, “Never, ever be ashamed of being brave enough to ask for help.”
And one person took to Twitter to share a sentiment that others were also expressing in different ways: Don’t make fun of this.