It’s been more than a decade since Friends left the air, but some of the show’s actors — Matthew Perry among them — will likely never be free of their association with the highly successful sitcom. Friends ended in 2004 after a 10-year run, but just on Friday night Perry was still answering questions about the show on Andy Cohen’s talk show Watch What Happens Live!. As Vulture reported, Perry revealed there was one Chandler storyline that he asked the producers not to pursue.
“There was a story line on Friends where Chandler went to a male strip joint because he really liked the sandwiches. And I called up and was like, ‘Let’s not do this one.'”
Anyone who has caught an episode of Friends lately might not be surprised that writers conceived of a plot that would play upon gender and sexuality (although Joey was the one who loved sandwiches). Recent commentators have noted that a lot of what audiences once found funny about Friends wouldn’t fly on modern television. Glamour noted late last year that included the constant jokes about Chandler’s dad, a drag queen, and other jokes now considered homophobic.
Regardless of how the male-strip-club-as-favorite-lunch-spot punchline would have gone down, Perry didn’t tell Cohen what exactly bothered him about it at the time. Friends, after all, frequently made jokes no longer considered acceptable. First on the Glamour list was “Fat Monica,” the constant references to Monica’s obese frame during childhood and adolescence. Of course, Joey’s inability to learn French was also included on that list, just because it strained intelligence to believe that the character was truly that bad an actor.
But regardless of how critics may feel about Friends in retrospect, it’s obvious audiences still love the show. That’s evidenced by the fact that reruns still air on a regular basis, even nightly in some markets. Perry even implied to Cohen, according to Yahoo, that he gets decent royalties from the show — although he declined to say how much, instead choosing to express gratitude for getting such a big job when he was still quite young.
“I get a little something and I go, ‘Hey, that’s nice!’ It’s a really great job I had… I started the job when I was 24. It was amazing. I had the job from 24 to 34, I’ll never have a job like that ever again.”
Although he may never again have another Friends, Perry has had a few opportunities to star in another sitcom. He starred in the short-lived Mr. Sunshine and Go On. His recent revival of The Odd Couple was just canceled by CBS and won’t be returning in the fall. As Yahoo reported, the demise of The Odd Couple puts to rest any hope that Perry would have a mini-Friends reunion with that other Matt — Matt LeBlanc, who played Joey. LeBlanc is also starring on a CBS show, Man With a Plan, which has been picked up for another year.
The Hollywood Reporter said that The Odd Couple was just one of many multi-camera sitcoms to be canceled this season. CBS is one of the few networks sticking with the format in its offerings for the coming year; ABC and Fox have no multi-camera comedies on the schedule for the upcoming season, while NBC has just two, both of which will air over the summer months.
[Featured Image by Jason Kempin/Getty Images]