Review: Baby J

Photo Credit: Netflix

Review: Baby J

By: Will Salzarulo

Baby J is back on the streets! John Mulaney’s newest Netflix special, Baby J, was released late last month. After a four-year hiatus of any specials from this comedian, he is finally back.


Baby J is a comedic retelling of Mulaney’s chaotic past few years. For example, Mulaney was a drug addict, sent to rehab, divorced, and had a son since his last special in 2019. So a lot was crammed into 90 minutes. Regardless, the writing, jokes, and comedic timing all landed extremely well. Comparing Mulaney’s energy from his first Netflix Special to his most recent is really jarring. In Mulaney’s first special, New In Town, he was moving around a lot and seemed very hyper. However, in Baby J Mulaney mostly paces back and forth across the stage in a very calm manner showing how his journey has affected him into a more collected and composed man. 


Baby J was filmed in February 2023 as a part of his international “From Scratch” tour. I actually saw Mulaney when he went to Cincinnati in March 2022. A decent portion of Mulaney’s jokes in Baby J was from that show. As a big Mulaney fan, and as someone who has seen his “From Scratch” live, the special was somewhat predictable. However, there were some jokes that I haven’t heard before and they were really funny. 


Baby J is like a cautionary tale about the dangers of drug abuse and how it can affect friends, family, and the addict themself. Mulaney has noticeably evolved since 2019. He expressly told a younger audience member “not to do what I did.” 


At the end of the day, I give John Mulaney’s Baby J a 7/10. But most of that is because I’ve heard a lot of the jokes before so that personally hindered my experience.