John Mulaney Is Fully Recovered from Caring What People Think of Him

Fatherhood helped Mulaney drown out the noise by giving him the mind of a two-year-old
John Mulaney Is Fully Recovered from Caring What People Think of Him

John Mulaney has come a long way from the time when his 12-year-old self said, “Nobody look at me or I’ll kill myself."

Today, the tall child is one of the biggest stand-up stars on the planet, and following a tumultuous few years for Mulaney’s public image, he’s finally in a place where he can comfortably say that the opinions of others don’t cut him to the core — unless, of course, those opinions are coming from a wandering pack of particularly observant 13-year-olds. In his most recent Netflix special, John Mulaney: Baby J, the former Saturday Night Live writer sardonically sang about how “my reputation is different” and “likability is a jail,” both revelations that followed a much-publicized divorce, rebound and rehabilitation stint which left many of his younger, woker fans feeling disillusioned with their favorite internet boyfriend.

In an appearance on Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend earlier this week, Mulaney discussed his much-improved relationship with other people’s perceptions of him, saying, “I’d be lying if I said it didn’t bother me at all what people think about me, but I’ve made a lot of progress.” According to Mulaney, the secret to self-possession is starting a family.

“The cycle is also shorter now,” Mulaney told O’Brien, explaining his thought process when it comes to social missteps as, “Oh my god, I said the wrong thing, those people probably hate me — nah, they probably don’t, they’ll probably give me the benefit of the doubt. Over”

“Even today, coming in, I saw Andy (Richter) and I saw Jeff Ross, and, five years ago, I would have gone, ‘Oh, I wanna say hi, but they don’t wanna talk to me, they have stuff to do, they’re annoyed that they have to talk to me, they’re annoyed they have to talk to me, they’re annoyed they have to talk to me!” Mulaney continued. “Now, I walk in, and I’m annoyed I have to talk to them! I’m not submitting writing packets to Jeff Ross anymore, I don’t give a shit.”

Mulaney and his girlfriend Olivia Munn welcomed their first child almost two years ago, and according to the comic, the process of becoming a father has immensely helped his ability to put aside his insecurities and focus on what’s important. “I now know the person that I want to make laugh,” he told O’Brien. “I like other people in my life, but if there’s someone’s eyes I want to see light up, it’s his — my son’s — when I get home.”

“Also, being a parent has made me dumb, so my thoughts are extremely simple,” Mulaney added. “They’re just kind of on a 20-month-old level, and that has made me 1,000 times happier.” 

So if anyone ever sees Mulaney crap his pants in public, just know that he’s perfectly at peace.

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