‘Friends’ Monkey, Marcel, Returns To TV 25 Years After Playing Ross’s Mischievous Sidekick On NBC Hit
A famous Friends star is set to return to TV in a new FX series, but it’s not Jennifer Aniston, Matthew Perry, or any one of the six original castmates who scored $1 million per episode back in the day. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Katie the capuchin, who famously starred as Ross’s (David Schwimmer) pet monkey during the first season of the NBC sitcom, has filmed scenes for the pilot of the upcoming FX series Y: The Last Man.
Like her previous primetime role, Katie will once again play a male monkey. On Y, Katie will portray Ampersand, the companion to Barry Keoghan’s Yorick Brown as the two go on a mission to uncover why Earth’s male population has been wiped out.
FX CEO Jon Landgraf joked about the casting move at the FX party during the Television Critics Association summer press tour. The CEO worked on Friends during his time at NBC in the 1990s.
“I recognize Jennifer Aniston, I recognize Courteney Cox and I recognize that monkey! There’s nothing like a really experienced actor who knows how to hit their mark!”
Landgraf added that Katie is “still as good” as she was during her Friends heyday 25 years ago.
Monkey who played Marcel in Friends is making a return to acting https://t.co/lmmGfCcFH4 pic.twitter.com/sLrWQXw1Qf
— LADbible (@ladbible) August 18, 2019
Friends fan surely recall Katie as Marcel, Ross’s white-headed capuchin monkey sidekick who was part of several storylines in the early days of the hit comedy series. Marcel’s debut was on the 1994 episode “The One With the Monkey,” when Ross showed up to a New Years’ Eve party with the primate as his date.
In subsequent Friends episodes, Marcel went missing, and Ross was later forced to give his beloved pet to the San Diego Zoo. Later, it was found that Marcel enjoyed an acting career in a Monkeyshine beer commercial and a movie with Jean Claude Van Damme. Marcel/Katie’s final appearance on Friends was during the first season, but as late as Season 7, Ross’s long lost primate pet was mentioned on the show.
While Ross loved his pet monkey on Friends, in real-life, Schwimmer wasn’t exactly besties with the animal. In a 1995 interview with Entertainment Weekly, the Friends star said he was unable to connect with Katie.
“I hate the monkey. I wish it were dead. The trainers won’t let me bond with it. They’re really, really possessive. It’s like, ‘Land on your marks, do your job, don’t touch or bond with the monkey.’ It’s a bummer.”
According to THR, Katie the monkey is now in her late 20s, which is middle-aged for a capuchin. Following her Friends fame, Katie briefly served as the Rally Monkey for the Angels baseball team and logged gigs on 30 Rock and several commercials, per The AV Club.
As for her new FX role, while Katie has already filmed her part in the Y: The Last Man pilot, there is the chance her footage will hit the cutting room floor. The series has already had a showrunner shakeup, so it is possible that Katie will be replaced by a CGI monkey by the time the show makes its debut in 2020.
You can see Katie as Marcel in the Friends scene below.
Friends celebrates its 25th anniversary in September.