John Mulaney hopes to start ‘From Scratch’ on new tour

John Mulaney at the 2019Creative Arts Emmy Awards.
(Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)

Comedian John Mulaney has had one hell of a year.

In September 2020, Mulaney, who has a history of substance abuse issues, checked into a rehab facility for drug and alcohol abuse. In October 2020, he hosted “Saturday Night Live,” the show that made him famous — and for which he’d served as a writer and producer, off and on, from 2008 to 2018.

At the time of his hosting, the audience and general public was none the wiser about his rehab stint.

In December 2020, after an intervention staged by famous friends like Seth Meyers and Fred Armisen, Mulaney entered rehab once again. This time, the news was made public.

In May 2021, news broke that Mulaney and his wife of nearly seven years, artist Anna Marie Tendler, were divorcing. That same month, Mulaney was linked to actress Olivia Munn. In September 2021, Munn and Mulaney announced they were expecting a baby. Although, if you believe the latest internet rumors, they may already have called it quits.

It’s a lot for hardcore Mulaney fans to process.

He’d built his career on being a charming, affable comedian who was hopelessly devoted to Tendler. She was frequently referenced in his act, and the two grew a fanbase on Instagram, sharing snaps of their picture-perfect NYC life — dog Petunia included.

Their break-up stung. So did the speed with which he took up with Munn.

Now that the dust has settled, Mulaney is hitting the road once again for his first tour since the “Sundays with Pete & John” tour he did in 2019 with fellow comedian Pete Davidson.

The new tour is titled “From Scratch.” And one must assume that’s how he hopes to win back audiences as well — from scratch, with his specific brand of wry stand-up comedy that originally made him the darling of the comedy world.

Audience members at his San Diego shows are warned upon purchasing tickets that no phones will be allowed at the show. Cell phones will be taken before the show and will be stored in locked pouches throughout the duration. The warning ominously states that, “Anyone caught using a cell phone during the show will be immediately ejected.”

This no-phone policy is nothing new, and especially not for embattled comedians hoping to make a comeback in the public eye. But it hints that Mulaney might be planning to show a more vulnerable side to audiences this time around. And he doesn’t want the general public knowing — and judging — that just yet.

Mulaney will perform two shows over Halloween weekend at San Diego State University’s Cal Coast Credit Union Open Air Theatre. Whether audiences forgive Mulaney remains to be seen, but both shows are sold out, which perhaps proves that Mulaney hasn’t completely lost his fanbase.

“John Mulaney: From Scratch”

When: 5 and 9 p.m. Saturday
Where: Cal Coast Credit Union Open Air Theatre at SDSU
Tickets: Both performances are sold out, resale tickets available