John Mulaney is Changing and So Are We

Nearly a year after news of his divorce, John Mulaney continues to deliver shocking news. Yet another episode of ‘what can we learn about ourselves and the state of the world from how we feel about the direction John Mulaney’s life is going’ is born.

Mulaney began seeing American actress Olivia Munn not too long after (and possibly before) filing for divorce. The two are soon expecting a baby, and have since separated. This was especially shocking as Mulaney was fairly vocal about him and his ex-wife, makeup artist Anna Marie Tendler, not wanting children. 

As if that weren’t enough, Mulaney’s new show, From Scratch, has a reputation of being ‘uncomfortably vulnerable.’ He reportedly digs into the more nitty-gritty details of relapse, intervention and rehab. Mulaney’s comedic and tragic rendition of his journey digs up some of the roots of the glamorization of drug and alcohol abuse amongst the rich and famous that are firmly ensconced in many young adults’ brains. 

These recent developments seem a far cry from the same John Mulaney who took the stage at Radio City in 2018. It can be hard to see someone you idolized struggle and change. For those who derived comfort from him, it can be difficult to mourn the loss of the idea of a person that you admired. Mulaney’s life changes only remind us that he’s just a human being. It’s okay to miss the figure that he represented in your life, but we must allow people room to grow.

None of us are the same person that we were four years ago, and we wouldn’t be even if we hadn’t lived through a pandemic and gone to rehab. John Mulaney is on his own journey through recovery and now a journey into parenthood. Though his journey has been made fairly public, he deserves the same amount of respect and encouragement as he finds his way. People need their own space to make their own mistakes and achieve their own victories. The learning process of living never stops, no matter how old you are. 

From Scratch explores aspects of Mulaney’s addiction that he has previously shied away from. His vulnerability and willingness to open up is admirable. Everyone deals with their personal issues in different ways, and turning his struggle into a comedic narrative serves better than burying it and never letting it see the light. 

As we approach the holiday season and the initial shockwaves of the pandemic wind down, we’re dealing with a lot as we get back into the swing of things. We’re attempting to return to some sense of normalcy and familiarity, but we may never live in the world that we did before 2020. The holiday season provides a time for reflection, and we should be thankful this year for all that remains after what we’ve been through. John Mulaney is just a small reminder that we live in a new world, and we’ve got to learn to navigate it as best we can and support the people we love with conviction.


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