- Publish Date
- Monday, 30 October 2023, 10:13AM
The death of Matthew Perry will come as a huge shock to fans of Friends. As sarcastic, insecure Chandler Bing, he was the most relatable character to feature in the 1990s sitcom: funny, neurotic and needy in ways both hilarious and authentic.
Chandler felt like a real person, in large part because Perry was the most naturally gifted comedian in the Friends cast.
Here are five of his funniest moments.
1. Chandler is trapped in a vestibule.. or is it an atrium? (S1, E7)
In an early season one highlight, Chandler is marooned at an ATM with Victoria’s Secret model Jill Goodacre (playing herself) during a blackout. He tries to play it cool, and in voiceover, Perry shares with us the character’s spiralling thoughts.
“Oh my God, I am trapped in an ATM vestibule with Jill Goodacre. Is it a vestibule? Maybe it’s an atrium…?”
In a panic, Chandler calls Joey, who has some sound advice. “If Jill Goodacre offers you gum, you take it. If she offers you mangled animal carcass, you take it.”
2. Julia Roberts has her revenge (S2, E13)
Friends delighted in filling in viewers on its characters’ rich backstories. In the case of Chandler, this included former schoolmate Susie (Julia Roberts), whom he humiliated in the fourth grade by exposing her underwear in front of the entire school. Until age 18, she was known as “Susie Underpants”.
Years later, she runs into Chandler and has her revenge. Pretending she wants to canoodle, she leads him into the bathroom stall at a restaurant and convinces Chandler to change into panties – then runs off with his underwear and trousers, leaving him stranded, to the amusement of Joey and Ross. (Perry was luckier than his character; he and Roberts began dating after this episode was filmed).
3. Chandler talks to a door (S9, E6)
When Monica tells Chandler that a work colleague is “the funniest guy she knows”, he is immediately threatened: isn’t being funny his job? In a huff, he decides to walk in and astonish her with his rapid-fire wit.
On the way to the apartment, he monologues furiously to a door, before recognising the futility of the situation. “What do you know, you’re a door. You only like knock-knock jokes.”
4. Chandler gets down with the kids (S9, E15)
“Honey, I’m old!” Having got together with Monica, Chandler tries to reboot his career by taking up a new position as an advertising intern.
The problem is he’s so much older than all the other work placements – and has been asked to create an ad for a juvenile pair of trainers with wheels in the soles. (Joey offers to pay $500 for them on the spot.)
“Kids, roll your way to childhood obesity!” is Chandler’s first suggestion for a slogan – though at the meeting, he floors his bosses with a stellar pitch. It’s an excellent showcase for Perry, who always understood that there was far more to Chandler than just sarcasm and floppy hair.
5. Chandler gets the final line (S10, E18)
In the wake of Perry’s death, the final scene of Friends, broadcast in 2004, feels even more bittersweet. Chandler and Monica have had twins, and are about to start a new life in the suburbs. Everyone else is ready to move on, too. The apartment has been stripped bare: there is nothing to do but say goodbye.
As they head off, Rachel suggests they might all have time for one final coffee. At this, Chandler delivers the last joke: “Where?” Apparently, the line was improvised by Perry, and referred to the Central Perk set having already been dismantled. There was nowhere for them to go.
- Daily Telegraph UK
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