Between his acting career and his open, honest approach to his journey with addiction and recovery, Friends star Matthew Perry impacted the lives of countless around the world. Among those affected by the late star, who passed suddenly on October 28 at the age of 54, was comedian John Mulaney.
In a recent interview, John Mulaney admitted he “really identified” with Matthew Perry’s addiction struggles. Though the pair never met, Mulaney was deeply touched by Perry’s 2022 memoir Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing, in which the actor details his battle with addiction at length.
“Addiction is just a disaster,” Mulaney told Variety. “Life is like a wobbly table at a restaurant and you pile all this s— on it, and it gets wobblier and wobblier and more unstable. Then drugs just kick the f—ing legs out from under the table.”
“I really identified with his story,” he added. “I’m thinking about him a lot.”
John Mulaney got candid about his own personal struggles in his Netflix special, Baby J, released earlier this year. Though told through a comedic lens, Mulaney opens up about his 2020 drug relapse and eventual successful rehab stint.
“Going to rehab and a lot of other things had become public knowledge,” Mulaney explained. “And I felt there was no way to start doing stand-up again without going through this. 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 — not as impactful as I could make it, not to pause for dramatic effect. I just wanted it to be a little wilder and put you in my very confident, demented brain during the time of addiction.”
Senn Penn Praises Matthew Perry for Honesty About Addiction Battle
One year before his death, Matthew Perry admitted that, while he takes pride in his work on Friends and other films and TV series, he hoped the world remembered him for more than just his acting career. In fact, he wished acting would be at the bottom of the list.
“The best thing about me, bar none, is that if somebody comes to me and says, ‘I can’t stop drinking, can you help me?’ I can say ‘yes’ and follow up and do it,” Perry explained in a 2022 interview on the “Q With Tom Power” podcast.
“When I die, I don’t want Friends to be the first thing that’s mentioned,” he continued. “I want [helping people] to be the first thing that’s mentioned, and I’m gonna live the rest of my life proving that.”
Though Friends viewership has spiked in the wake of Perry’s death and Chandler videos and quotes have spread across the internet like wildfire, many have also praised Matthew Perry for his candor about addiction. Among those celebrating Matthew Perry for his honesty is Sean Penn, who met Perry when he guest-starred in two episodes of Friends.
“I can’t claim to have known him well, but I liked him very much,” Penn said on Wednesday’s episode of Piers Morgan Uncensored. “I saw him somewhat recently, and we were both catching a flight out of Los Angeles airport, and I complimented him on what I knew of his book.”
“He seemed to be talking about it, had confronted it, and was very intelligent and bold about it. And generously offering his experience to people to be helpful,” Penn continued. “He got to leave that tale behind, and he got to give a lot of joy to a lot of people with his talent. So, I wish his family well.”
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