Be Nice to Kid Gorgeous, oh, and Don’t do Drugs


Patrick McMullan via Getty Image

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – NOVEMBER 21: John Mulaney speaks onstage during The American Museum of Natural History’s 2019 Museum Gala at American Museum of Natural History on November 21, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Sylvain Gaboury/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)

Asher Zumwalt, Senior Staff Writer

Baby J is John Mulaney’s first post-rehabilitation stand up comedy special. In his own words “I have kind of a different vibe now.” The initial assertion here has been mixed. Mulaney has spent the last few years out of the spotlight yet ever present in the public eye. His rehabilitation visit made the news, but was often swept aside when people found out that he had separated from his wife, the “dynamite gal” he had referenced in his specials. Mulaney’s reputation descended even further in 2021 when the public founded he was dating Olivia Munn and was expecting a child. This came about 8 months after he confirmed he was separating with his wife.

Celebrity drama is easy to read and to judge people who are so distant from ourselves. To ridicule the decisions allegedly made by people whom we do not know. Taking the moral high ground over a stranger in a situation that often little is known about. The timeline might suggest that Mulaney cheated on his wife with Munn. And while it is wrong to practice infidelity, simply as outside viewers of a situation in a timeline told to us by secondary sources, it is unjust to prosecute this man for actions that cannot be truthfully confirmed. While in good faith it is possible he cheated on his wife of 6 years, it is obligatory to consider that there is absolutely more to this story, especially when considering his drug problem. (Not that that would excuse infidelity)

Mulaney was addicted to drugs, and checked into rehab in December 2020. This entire situation is outlined in Baby J, and it gives insight into both the struggles of people who struggle with substance abuse, as well as how it can effect the career of a celebrity and life of a man. While infidelity should not be celebrated, sobriety, a beautiful child, and a new beginning should. The things he has struggled with would not excuse his actions nor the consequences thereof, but it is reason enough to cut him a bit of slack. Be nice to the young man, drugs truly do irreparable harm.

The special was a win for fans of Mulaney’s storytelling and personal connections he creates with the audience. It is a different type of comedy from his other work, in a way that’s best defined as equally enthusiastic, but with less energy. This lack of pep was attributed to the end of the use of cocaine by Mulaney. It’s a more laid back comedy, engaging with the audience in a way that is as if to say, “Get a load of this guy,” referring to his past self.

He packs stories, recent stories, into this special. From going to his intervention and not being happy about it, to going to rehab and not being recognized, to taking an interview while heavily under the influence.

In all, this is yet another hilarious bout from Mulaney, that should be considered in reference to his rehabilitation when analyzed critically. Drugs are dangerous, and it takes a lot to get off of them, and is an accomplishment that should be commended. Be nice to people in recovery, and most importantly take Mulaney’s best advice, and know, “The things that I talk about tonight, that I did recently, I never say this, Henry, I don’t say this explicitly, but don’t.”