Monday, April 15, 2024

John Mulaney Goes from Sympathetic to Calculating in Three Short Days, and Social Media Doesn’t Like It


Wow, that was fast.

On Monday afternoon, before John Mulaney’s return to the stage after rehab, news broke that he was getting a divorce from his wife of six years, Anna Marie Tendler.

Tendler’s official quote was that she was disappointed Mulaney was ending their marriage. It sounded like she didn’t have much prior warning.

At City Winery, Mulaney presented as sympathetic and battered, but pulling himself together. He didn’t mention the divorce, no one did, and I didn’t write about it. Instead of his trademark suit and tie, he dressed like a high school kid: striped long sleeved polo shirt, jeans, and sneakers. Mulaney, who usually comes off as shrewd and hip, was asking for empathy with puppy dog eyes.

Now this afternoon every tabloid in earshot, from People to Page Six, has announced that Mulaney “already” has a girlfriend. He’s dating actress Olivia Munn, who is famous for dating quarterback Aaron Rodgers and appearing in small roles. (Aside from “The Newsroom,” I’ve never seen her in anything.)

The whole story has classic Hollywood PR markings. “A source” told outlets that the pair met “at church.” I nearly died laughing. Church is also where Donald Trump met Marla Maples. Let’s say these couples engaged other “religiously.”

In fact, in a weird twist, Munn was interviewed by the Huffington Post in 2015. She said she met Mulaney and Tendler at a wedding and proceeded– my words– to stalk Mulaney. She said: “I was just so obsessed with hanging out with and talking with him.”

Uh huh.

Mulaney said in his shpiel on Monday night that he could not form intimate relationships with anyone. Yes, he drove that point home. Apparently, he’s been able to after all.

Mulaney’s fans on Twitter are ignited by this development. Previously, they were all “poor John.” Now they are hurt, and confused. Mulaney regularly talked about his marriage in his routine. He was a married guy telling ironic jokes about his relationship. So that  material is out the window.

So now fans on social are wondering if Tendler suspected what was going on? When did it start? How does all this line up with his failed rehab stint in September 2020, and the next one from December 2020 to February 2021. I want to know, based on Monday’s stand  up confessional, how he had time for the affair, to buy lots of drugs on a daily basis, work for Seth Meyers, and so on?

But one thing I learned a long time ago, drug addicts are great at lying. They are gifted at duplicity.

PS Just to put a pin in this now, at 8:40pm on Thursday, I’ve been holding a Mulaney work related item. As a favor to someone else, I agreed to wait. I’m keeping up my end of the bargain. But I sure don’t feel like it now.

Here’s a typical Tweet:


Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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