John Mulaney ‘Identified’ with Matthew Perry’s Addiction Struggles
Comedian John Mulaney may have never met the late Friends star Matthew Perry, but their lives had many parallels. Perry was very open about his struggles with addiction throughout his career, while Mulaney has also spoken publicly about his substance abuse issues. In a new interview with Variety this week, Mulaney, 41, tells the publication, “Addiction is just a disaster. Life is like a wobbly table at a restaurant and you pile all this s— on it, and it gets wobblier and wobblier and more unstable. Then drugs just kick the f—ing legs out from under the table.”
Mulaney read Perry’s 2022 memoir, Friends, Lovers and the Big Terrible Thing, saying he related to the actor’s battles. “I really identified with his story. I’m thinking about him a lot,” Mulaney says of Perry, who passed away at 54 years old. Being three years sober now, Mulaney also spoke about crafting his Netflix comedy special, Baby J, which details his 2020 relapse and becoming a father to son Malcolm with actress Olivia Munn. The Big Mouth voice actor admitted to being hesitant about sharing the darker parts of his story with audiences.
“I’ve had bits my entire career where I think, ‘Oh, this is a little dark. I don’t know if people are going to go with this,'” he recalls. “For some reason, I attract an audience from 70 years old to seven, and I’m aware of how this is going to play with the great big group that I’m very lucky to have assembled. I just knew that this vein would be interesting to people.”
The comedian is currently on a 22-city comedy tour, which runs until January 26, 2024. On stand-up comedy, Mulaney says it became “enormous” and has continued to grow. He adds, “I think the respect and esteem comes from all the people that come out to see it. Netflix has elevated it too. People check out tons of specials now: ‘Oh, I saw Beth Stelling’s. I saw Nate Bargatze’s, I saw the new Ali Wong.’”