John Mulaney Says He “Really Identified” With Late Matthew Perry’s Addiction Journey

John Mulaney recently opened up about the ways in which he relates to the late Matthew Perry's struggles with addiction—and why the actor's passing in October is staying with him.

By Hayley Santaflorentina Nov 28, 2023 1:30 PMTags
Watch: John Mulaney “Really Identifies” With Matthew Perry

John Mulaney is reflecting on Matthew Perry's difficult road.

The comedian, who has been open about his own struggles with sobriety over the years, recently shared how he relates to the late Friends actor's struggles.

"Addiction is just a disaster," John told Variety in an interview published Nov. 27. "Life is like a wobbly table at a restaurant and you pile all this s--t on it, and it gets wobblier and wobblier and more unstable. Then drugs just kick the f--king legs out from under the table."

He added of Matthew, who detailed his sobriety journey in his 2022 memoir Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing, "I really identified with his story."

And after Matthew's passing in late October, John told the outlet that he's "thinking about him a lot."

For his part, John's 2020 drug relapse—which led to an intervention and a subsequent stay in rehab—features prominently in the 41-year-old's most recent comedy special "Baby J," which was released in April on Netflix.

Stars React to Matthew Perry's Death

"Going to rehab and a lot of other things had become public knowledge, and I felt there was no way to start doing stand-up again without going through this," he explained of his decision to feature his relapse so prominently in the special. "I also had a lot to say about it. It had been an extremely eventful time, and the goal from the beginning was to do this as funny as I could make it. I just wanted it to be a little wilder and put you in my very confident, demented brain during the time of addiction."

Cindy Ord / Staff and Michael Kovac / Contributor via Getty Images

Another element of the Saturday Night Live alum's life that has slowly started to find its way into his comedy? Fatherhood.

John and his girlfriend Olivia Munn are parents to 2-year-old son Malcom, who they welcomed in Nov. 2021. In fact, the toddler has even joined his dad on the road for his "From Scratch" tour which wrapped in February.

"Malcolm is a great, great roadie," John told Seth Meyers in June 2022. "Malcolm loves being on tour." 

But on which stories are tour-worthy, the new dad is still finding his comedic footing, adding to Variety, "It's a funny thing to me—I don't have an immediate comedic take on being a dad. I have some stories that I think are funny because of the amount of talking we do now. We're just chatting all the time, and I find the amount of time I spend talking to a 23-month-old versus any adults amusing."

And to see more of John and Olivia's sweetest moments with Malcolm, keep reading. 

Doting Dad

Olivia snapped a sweet moment between John and Malcom on stage at Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Morrison, Colo on April 22.

New Parent Pals

Olivia and John posed with Malcom alongside fellow new parents, comedian Dan Levy and Rachel Specter, and their 5-month-old daughter Penny.

4 Months

Olivia and John celebrated Malcolm turning 4 months old on March 24, 2022.

Birthday Boy!

"Daddy" John cuddled with Malcolm on his 4-month birthdate before heading out to Texas.

Mommy & Me

The actress shared, "It's been 4 months since the happiest, chillest baby came into my world."

Love at First Sight

John peered over at his baby boy in this throwback photo from his birth. The comedian wrote in March 2022, "Four months ago I met a 6 lb boy who changed my life forever." 

Boys Reunited

Olivia captioned this adorable embrace with a teddy bear emoji.

In the Family

Olivia shared a pic of Malcolm with his grandma a.k.a. the "retired tiger mom." 

"Buttered Biscuit"

Olivia gushes over her baby boy.

Baby Playdate

John Mulaney and Olivia Munn introduced their son, Malcolm, to friends Henry Golding and Liv Lo, as well as their daughter Lyla, on Jan. 27, 2022. 

Dads on Duty!

Golding and Mulaney were seen laughing as they held up their tiny tots.

New Moms

The friends snapped a selfie while introducing their babies.

First Friends

As Munn wrote, "Malcolm met Lyla today."

Sweater Weather

Mulaney and Munn were pictured arm-in-arm during a sweet moment, seemingly gazing at their little one in January 2022.

A Visit From Uncle Pete

Mulaney revealed that his 2-month-old son had a visit from SNL star and "uncle" Pete Davidson on Jan. 28. 

Baby Kisses

The comedian gave his son a kiss on the cheek.


Malcolm fell asleep in dad's carrier during an outing at the Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena, Calif., which features an "Unseen Picasso" exhibit.

New Year Together

The Newsroom actress celebrated New Year's Day 2022 with a new pic of Malcolm.

A Walk With Dad

He shared a selfie with his Malcolm, kept cozy in a blue beanie, while they took a walk.

Mom Life

Munn shared that this is what it looks like "when your friend shows up and surprises you with a blowout even though you're in your robe and not going anywhere." She said the new 'do made her "feel a little less post partum."

Sharing Her Tricks of the Trade

Olivia shared a video pushing baby Malcolm in a stroller in the backyard as the only way to get him to "settle down and chill out" after a trip to New York.

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