John Mulaney says Lorne Michaels invoked John Belushi death amid addiction struggles

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Comedian John Mulaney has revealed the advice he received from his former boss and Saturday night Live creator Lorne Michaels during his struggle with addiction.

Michaels reminded Mulaney of the death of John Belushi, one of the original cast members of the long-running NBC program. Belushi was 33-years-old when he died of an accidental drug overdose of heroin and cocaine following a days-long binge in 1982.

The 41-year-old opened up about his recovery during an interview on David Letterman’s new Netflix show, My Next Guest Needs No Introduction.

Having checked himself into rehab in December 2020, Mulaney received an hour-long phone call from Michaels in which the boss offered a warning.

“He goes, ‘I knew John Belushi for seven years. I’ve been talking about him for 48 years, because that’s the shrapnel that happens when someone goes down like that,’” Mulaney told Letterman.

“And [Michaels] goes, ‘You know, John didn’t want to die. You know, he didn’t plan to. Just because it’s a story, just because it’s sort of set in stone like history, people don’t want to die from this.’”

Mulaney continued, “He didn’t argue or anything, he just went, ‘John. We both know how this movie ends.’ And that was it. “I just kind of agreed and went back to my room and stayed.”

Michaels reminded Mulaney that ‘John didn’t want to die’ (Getty Images)

Mulaney released a Netflix special in April last year in which he documented his struggles with addiction and his experience in rehab. Baby J delved into the star-studded intervention consisting of 12 comedians who urged the actor to get help for his substance misuse.

Belushi died from an accidental drug overdose in 1982, aged 33 (Universal/Kobal/Shutterstock)

Ultimately, Mulaney agreed to get support. “I leave for rehab, I have on my person a full baggie of 30mg of Adderall, a full baggie of Xanax, 3 grams of cocaine and $2,000 in cash,” he recalled at the time. “I had other plans that weekend.”

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He added: “Getting to do this show and standing here – listen, I am grateful to everyone at my intervention. “They intervened, they confronted me, and they totally saved my life.”

If you or someone you know is suffering from drug addiction, you can seek confidential help and support 24-7 from Frank, by calling 0300 123 6600, texting 82111, sending an email or visiting their website here.

In the US, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration can be reached at 1-800-662-HELP.

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