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.

Warning: This article contains discussion of drug abuse.

John Mulaney has spoken out about the way he identifies with late actor Matthew Perry’s past struggles with addiction.

Closeup of John Mulaney sitting onstage

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.

John Mulaney onstage

The former Saturday Night Live writer and comedian later revealed that prior to his admission into rehab, his closest friends — including Bill Hader, Seth Meyers, and Fred Armisenstaged an “intervention” to discuss his substance abuse.

John Mulaney onstage

“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.’”

Closeup of John Mulaney on set for

“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.

Closeup of John Mulaney

John later admitted that he was initially “so mad” at his close friends for the intervention, though ultimately realized that in doing so, they were “saving” his life.

John Mulaneybdoing standup in a suit and tie

“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.

John Mulaney and Seth Meyers

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.

Closeup of John Mulaney sitting at asports event

“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.

Closeup of John Mulaney

“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.”

John Mulaney onstage

Later on, John spoke about the late Matthew Perry, who had been open about his struggles with drug addiction before his sudden death last month at age 54.

Closeup of Matthew Perry

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.

Closeup of Matthew Perry

Speaking of Matthew’s struggle with addiction, John told Variety, “I really identified with his story. I’m thinking about him a lot.”

Closeup of Matthew Perry

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.”

Closeup of John Mulaney

You can read John’s full Variety interview here.

If you or someone you know is struggling with substance abuse, you can call SAMHSA’s National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357) and find more resources here.

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