TikToker Claims That John Mulaney Named His Special ‘Baby J’ As Search Engine-Optimizing Distraction From His Baby Mama Drama
Could be a nursery…
The 2020s have been an eventful decade for stand-up superstar John Mulaney. He spent the latter half of 2020 in and out of rehab for alcoholism, cocaine addiction and prescription drug abuse. In May 2021, he left his ex-wife, multimedia artist Anna Marie Tendler, to start a relationship with movie star Olivia Munn. Later that year, he and Munn had their first child.
Now, Mulaney is on the tail end of his “From Scratch” tour, and on April 25th, Mulaney will premiere his first special in almost five years with Baby J on Netflix. Throughout his career, Mulaney has enjoyed a sizable following upon the terminally-online twenty-something comedy-watching women of the world, and one such twenty-something, comedian and writer Kressie Kornis, has an interesting theory about the title of his latest special:
On the surface, the TikTok seems slightly innocuous — a very famous father wants to shield his toddler from Google searches. In a vacuum, Kornis’ assessment of Mulaney’s actions even seems noble. However, the circumstances of Mulaney’s divorce — coupled with comments made by him in his comedy special and his ex-wife in Harper’s Bazaar — paints the decision and Kornis’ assertions of his intentions as a cynical PR move designed to distract from some unseemly personal drama.
While Mulaney and Tendler were married, Mulaney regularly riffed on his aversion to having kids in his act. Then, suddenly, before the ink has even dried on his divorce papers, Mulaney announced that he’s having a kid with a beautiful actress. Tendler described herself as “heartbroken” when Mulaney suddenly ended their relationship, and her public comments since the split seem to suggest that it was almost as much a surprise to her as it was to her ex-husband’s fans.
Tendler, 37, told Harper’s Bazaar that she intended to freeze her eggs, as her former husband’s hostility to the idea of a family prevented her from ever starting one. Mulaney’s fans have criticized the choices he’s made with his personal life and the impact it’s had on his ex-wife — the top comment on Kornis’ video reads “Team Anna Marie Tendler,” and many others have made references to Mulaney’s past history of declaring himself “child-free” pre-leaving his wife for Munn.
The internet is full of present-and-former fans of Mulaney attacking him for his personal life, but just as Kornis believes the former Saturday Night Live writer intended, a Google search of “John Mulaney Baby” yields only results about his new special.
If Kornis was right about Mulaney’s plan, it definitely worked.