By: Emily Duvall
Comedian John Mulaney released his latest Netflix comedy special, Baby J, on Tues. Apr. 25. After frequenting news headlines over the past few years and stepping away from comedy, Mulaney brings a completely new range of material to his repertoire, talking about rehab, addiction, and his perception by the media. The 80-minute performance gives the audience a complete look into Mulaney’s current life, while still maintaining his usual flair and humor. Following his time in rehab, through a divorce, and having a child, the comedian definitely has a lot of life to discuss.
Mulaney begins by speaking candidly about his star-studded intervention in December 2020 when he was deep into his addiction to numerous drugs, but mainly cocaine and opioids. He talks about his indebtedness to the 12 people who saved his life, and jokes about how that is a lot of people to always have to buy dinner for or owe his life to. Mulaney also pokes fun at those celebrities who “zoomed” into his intervention and how if they really cared about him, they would’ve actually made the trip to New York — at his actual intervention, there were celebrities such as Pete Davidson, Nick Kroll, Bill Hader, Seth Meyers, and more. Mulaney reflects on how he was so angry that some of the funniest comedians were in the room, but not a single one of them cracked a joke throughout the entire intervention. Mulaney, in all seriousness, also draws attention to how grateful he is to everyone who intervened to save his life and led him to his sobriety.
The comedian points out that he is not as jumpy and crazy excited as he used to be, and he explains, “I wonder what that was caused by….” Immediately following this, he sings a quick jingle where he talks about how the media sees him in a completely different way, all the kids love Bo Burnham, and everyone got divorced in the pandemic.
When discussing his journey through rehab, Mulaney reveals how he was humbled there when no one knew who he was. He tells stories about revealing his stand-up comedy full-time job, and people returning the weirdest stares and questioning how he made his living. Later, he details how he was scared of recognition, but it ended up as the complete opposite. To close out, he reads over an interview he did with GQ that he has zero memory of, reminding himself it could always be worse!
After watching the documentary, it is especially important to remember the tips that Mulaney gives about finding a doctor to prescribe you drugs you don’t need, and how to be the best-looking person at your own intervention (go to SNL’s haircut studio directly before said intervention that you thought was dinner with a college friend). Mulaney’s new comedy special is available for streaming on Netflix and is definitely worth the watch.