The last time John Mulaney hosted SNL, back in October of 2020, the world — and his life — were very different. Donald Trump was still president (and Mulaney made a, uh, controversial joke about him). Vaccines were still a few months away. Jan. 6 hadn’t yet happened. And Mulaney was a matter of weeks from an intervention about his drug problems. He entered rehab and now he’s clean, sober, back on the stand-up circuit, and a father. He didn’t shy away from talking about his struggles on his fifth job hosting a show for which he used to be a lowly writer.
“For many, many reasons, I’m grateful to be here tonight after a very complicated year,” he told the crowd, joking, “It’s always great to be somewhere that’s always emphasized sobriety and mental health.”
Mulaney then acknowledged that since his last hosting gig, “different things happened.” He then discussed when he was confronted by loved ones, which he’s talked about before, back in December of 2020. “It was an intervention, for me — my least favorite kind of intervention,” he joked. “Do you know how big of a drug problem you have to have if you open a door and see people gathered, your first thought is that this is probably an intervention about my drug problem?”
He also talked about one of the key parts of rehab: when a counselor sits down with you and makes you break up with your drug dealers. That requires texting them first, informing them of your sobriety, and then blocking their number.
But when Mulaney tried to split with his dealer, he was too slow to block him, and he wound up having a bittersweet, if somewhat confusing exchange with him as they parted ways. Indeed, his dealer reminded Mulaney that he was his only client — that he’s a painter whom he somehow met, who wound up buying good drugs for him so he wouldn’t get bad ones. He also said he was going back to not dealing drugs, as he did before his and Mulaney’s paths crossed.
“There are many tales of drug dealers turning innocent people into drug addicts,” Mulaney said, “but I might be the first drug addict to turn an innocent man into a drug dealer.”
He also talked about his 10-week-old son, whom he had with his girlfriend, Olivia Munn. You can hear him open up, in his patented comical way, in the video above.