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Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

John Mulaney enters rehab for cocaine and alcohol abuse: Reports

John Mulaney in February 2019
John Mulaney in February 2019
Photo: Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images for IFC

John Mulaney has entered rehab, according to multiple outlets. The news first broke Monday with a Page Six report that the 38-year-old comedian checked into a Pennsylvania rehab facility over the weekend for 60 days of treatment for alcohol and cocaine addiction.

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The former Saturday Night Live writer (and recent SNL host) has long been open about his struggle to stay sober, having started drinking at a very young age before later abusing prescription and illegal drugs. “I stopped drinking when I was 23. I kind of started when I was 13, so it was a 10-year run,” Mulaney told The A.V. Club in 2011. “But I just became a bad, annoying drunk child, so when I stopped, I’d done a lot of things I wasn’t proud of. But I was also 23, so it wasn’t like a life-changing burden to carry around. It was like, “Oh boy, I did a lot of things wrong.... I did a live WTF with Marc [Maron] and Janeane [Garofalo], and they’re like, ‘You’re not an alcoholic, we’re alcoholics.’ I was like, ‘You’d be the worst sponsors anyone could ever have.’ And they’re like, ‘You drank a lot when you were young!’ It’s funny, and it’s a little true.
I feel like I’m not giving you a focused answer, here. Yes. Totally. I was embarrassed by the way I had behaved, and I was embarrassed by the person I was when I drank a lot and was tearin’ it up. It was fun to get it out there and own the fact that I was trying this. But yes, it was fun to talk about blacking out a lot. I still go back to it. I haven’t got over the phenomenon that there are days that I don’t know what I did. It’s a little scary, but very funny. I talked about that a lot. That really did throw me. It did feel good to address it.”

The comedian—who famously discussed his sobriety in his 2012 stand-up special New in Townwent into further detail about what drove him to drink during a 2019 interview with Esquire: “I drank for attention. I was really outgoing, and then at 12, I wasn’t. I didn’t know how to act. And then I was drinking, and I was hilarious again.... 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 went on to explain what drove him to get sober: “I went on a bender that weekend that was just, like, fading in and out of a movie…. It was just crazy…. I was like, ‘You’re f–king out of control,’” he told Esquire. “And I thought to myself, ‘I don’t like this guy anymore. I’m not rooting for him.’”

“John’s friends and family are happy that he’s finally getting some help and focusing on his health,” a source told Page Six on Monday of Mulaney, who recently became a staff writer on Late Night With Seth Meyers and was cast opposite Andy Samberg as one of the title characters in Disney+’s Chip N’ Dale reboot. “His fans know he’s struggled in the past with sobriety, he has talked about it openly. Unfortunately he has struggled again during the pandemic. He’s on board with his recovery, he’s not fighting against rehab.”

We encourage all struggling with substance abuse to contact the Substance Abuse And Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) helpline at 1-800-662-HELP.

A.V. Club Editor in Chief...but really just a She-Ra, Schitt’s Creek, Grey’s Anatomy, Survivor, Big Brother, Top Chef, The Good Place superfan.