Mulaney fans have expressed disappointment -- not over his drug relapse and rehab stint, but for leaving his wife Annamarie Tendler and, later, dating (and having a baby with) Olivia Munn. But as Madison Malone Kircher points out, Mulaney -- like all standup comedians -- has always been putting on an act. "As a stand-up, John Mulaney’s job, or at least part of it, is to make you feel like you do know him," says Kircher. "You’re supposed to feel like you could borrow a cup of sugar from him, intimately chat him up at the dog park, or plan a long weekend getaway at an Airbnb in some wooded hamlet for you and your partner and Mulaney and his (now ex-)wife, Annamarie Tendler. Think of all the chickens you could roast! The thing is, if you actually tried to do any of those things, the first words that come to my mind when thinking of the immediate result are 'restraining order.' Because, again, you don’t know John Mulaney. You know his comedy. His persona. The version of Mulaney he selectively offers you at the mic. This applies to the parts of Mulaney you don’t like, too." Kircher adds: "For those Mulaney fans, the last nine months have felt like an emotional whirlwind: Mulaney’s rehab stint. His divorce announcement. The recently confirmed rumors that he and Olivia Munn, who once credited getting basically a new face to eating special potatoes, are dating and expecting a baby. Mulaney’s fans had, and continue to have, strong feelings about all of it—like these were actions and decisions that impacted them, as though John Mulaney was a fixture in their social lives and not just a celebrity stranger...The thing about parasocial relationships is calling them entirely one sided is to lightly gaslight the person on that one side. (Sorry to deploy yet another psychology term so overused by the internet it has effectively lost all its original meaning. Still works here, though.) Parasocial relationships are precisely how and why some people get famous. These people compel us. These people employ PR operations to help compel us. They want you to get to know 'them.' It’s good for their art; it’s even better for their business. Taylor Swift could write a book on cultivating parasocial relationships with fans, what with her secret listening parties in her home for megafans sourced from the depths of the internet, custom care packages mailed to Tumblr stans, showing up at the occasional wedding with an acoustic guitar in hand. None of this makes her fake; it makes her brilliant. (In case it’s not very clear: You also don’t actually know Taylor Swift. Leave her alone, too.)"