When someone asks you to name important television animals, who comes to mind? Sure, Lassie and Li'l Sebastian are givens, but who else tops the list of non-human actors who have made an impact on the nation as we watched them on TV? Obviously, the answer to that question is Marcel the Friends monkey. Now, it looks like we could be very close to getting that adorable monkey back on television, as the animal actor has been cast in the FX adaptation of Y: The Last Man. Yay!
FX CEO John Landgraf broke the news during the network's party at the Television Critics Association summer press tour. According to The Hollywood Reporter, while Landgraf was viewing footage of Y, he instantly recognized the face Katie, the white-headed capuchin monkey who played Ross's pet on the NBC hit Friends in the '90s, when Landgraf was an executive at the network.
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 marks! [She's] still as good!
Wow. John Landgraf certainly sounds like he was excited to have spotted Katie in that Y footage, doesn't he? If you're thinking (like I was) that pretty much all capuchin monkey actors would probably look the same, and that Landgraf could be mistaken, never fear, folks. THR spoke to Katie's trainer and confirmed that it is, indeed, the former Marcel who's nabbed a role on Y.
Y is being adapted from the acclaimed graphic novel, Y: The Last Man, from writer Bryan K. Vaughan and artist Pia Guerra. The story focuses on Yorick, a.k.a. Y, who appears to be one of only two male mammals to survive a plague that, you guessed it, wiped pretty much all men from the face of the planet. As Y tries to figure out what happened in this post-apocalyptic world, he gets assistance from his helper monkey, Ampersand, who is the only other male mammal to survive the plague.
I'm sure Katie was glad to get another job, even if it does mean playing a male capuchin monkey once again. Of course, the reality is that Katie, who's reported to be in her mid-to late 20s now (they grow up so fast...), will never be forgotten. Even though she only played Marcel for eight episodes of Friends throughout the first two seasons, she's one of the best remembered aspects of the mega hit. And, it doesn't hurt that new generations of TV viewers and animal lovers will continue to watch her work on the comedy, as those classic episodes won't be leaving the air any time soon.
While seeing Katie work her magic on another TV show would be awesome, you will notice that there is some hesitance as to whether or not we'll actually get to see Katie on Y. The main issue is that, even though Katie has already thrown her all into Ampersand for the pilot, there have been some creative changes since then. Original showrunners Aida Croal and Michael Green were replaced earlier this year by Eliza Clark, and it's possible that Y will now decide that it's easier to work with an all CGI monkey creation in the important role.
Y has an amazing cast of well-known actors that have been chosen to lead the show, so we'll be sure to hear more from the project as it continues to work toward its 2020 debut on FX. Meanwhile, it's not time to cry for Katie just yet, she might still be attached to Y, and even if she's not, capuchin monkeys live until they're around 40, so she's got time to nab another career-making TV part!
Until we get a full Katie update, or hear more about Y in general, you can keep up with fall TV by checking out our 2019 fall premiere guide.