John Mulaney Reflected On His “Extremely Eventful” Time In Rehab Following His 2020 Drug Relapse Years After Admitting He Was “Mad” At His Friends For Staging An Intervention
“Going to rehab and a lot of other things had become public knowledge, and I felt there was no way to start doing stand-up again without going through this,” the former SNL writer said of his decision to discuss rehab in his Netflix special.
For context, John has long been open about his past addiction to alcohol, cocaine, and prescription drugs. He began his sobriety journey at age 23, but ended up relapsing in 2020 — when he was 38 — and entered a rehabilitation center.
“When I opened the door, I knew right away it was an intervention,” he recalled a year after going to rehab. “That's how bad of a drug problem I had, that when I opened a door and saw people, I went, ‘This is probably an intervention about my drug problem.’”
“I kept insisting I was sober at the intervention. Remember when I looked at everyone and I went, ‘I’m sober now. I'm sober right now.’ I wasn't,” he went on.
“I didn't want an intervention… At that moment in time, I wanted to continue using drugs. Sitting here tonight, I’m so grateful to you and to everyone there for saving my life, OK? That night, I was not grateful,” he told Seth on his talk show.
This year, John opened up further about his struggles with substance abuse in his third Netflix special, Baby J. And now, the comic has reflected on his rehab experience during a new interview with Variety.
“Going to rehab and a lot of other things had become public knowledge, and I felt there was no way to start doing stand-up again without going through this,” he said, speaking of his decision to address his rehabilitation so closely in his Netflix special.
“I also had a lot to say about it. It had been an extremely eventful time, and the goal from the beginning was to do this as funny as I could make it — not as impactful as I could make it, not to pause for dramatic effect,” he went on. “I just wanted it to be a little wilder and put you in my very confident, demented brain during the time of addiction.”
Matthew's addiction to opioids and alcohol, which surfaced around the time he was cast in Friends at age 24, led to serious medical complications, which he opened up about in detail in his 2022 memoir, Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing.
Speaking of Matthew’s struggle with addiction, John told Variety, “I really identified with his story. I’m thinking about him a lot.”
He also added, “Addiction is just a disaster. Life is like a wobbly table at a restaurant and you pile all this shit on it, and it gets wobblier and wobblier and more unstable. Then drugs just kick the fucking legs out from under the table.”