During its epic ten-season run, NBC’s hit sitcom Friends was an awards-show darling, collecting an impressive 62 Emmy nominations (and six wins), amidst other achievements. Those many nominations included individual acting awards, of course, with 16 Emmy nods for Outstanding Actress or Actor in a Comedy Series spread among the six main cast members. Well, make that five main actors. As hard as it is to believe, Courteney Cox was the only series lead to never be nominated for her role as Monica Gellar. Geez, who was doing the voting, Ross and Monica’s parents?
Courteney Cox is now finally is getting some Emmy love, as she was nominated for Outstanding Short Form Daytime Non-Fiction Program for her Facebook Watch show 9 Months with Courteney Cox. (The category name is almost longer than the episodes.) In her web series, the Friends alum provides narration and commentary while giving viewers an intimate look at the pregnancy journeys of families in all types of unique circumstances - a topic that Friends was familiar with, considering Phoebe had her brother's children.
Better late than never, I guess, with the third season of the weekly series having debuted in May. That said, Courteney Cox recently spoke on The Howard Stern Show about how it felt to watch her Friends co-stars receive the accolades and recognition that she never got. In her words:
Yeah, it always hurt my feelings. When every single cast member was nominated but me, it definitely hurt my feelings. I was happy for everybody, and then when it was finally like, ‘Oh, I'm the only one?' It hurt.
In a show where the six A-listers so publicly banded together not only on-screen, but also behind the scenes during salary and contract negotiations, it’s understandable why being the only one without such a prestigious honor would be hurtful. Courteney Cox’s work as Monica Gellar may have been understated, but that character was intrinsically important as the glue that brought the friends together, as she was Ross’ sister, Rachel’s childhood friend, Phoebe’s former roommate, and Chandler and Joey’s neighbor. There simply wouldn’t be Friends without Monica. Though I guess there are no awards for Most Outstanding Glue.
While Monica’s storylines did pick up later in the series when she and Chandler got together, I think it’s fair to say her character didn’t always land the same caliber of emotionally poignant plotlines as her co-stars. Clearly, nothing drew audiences in more than Ross and Rachel’s on-again, off-again romance, which eclipsed the "Monica and Chandler" of it all. As well, her neurotic cleanliness and weight-obsessed flashbacks just weren't as in-your-face and nuanced as Phoebe’s eccentricity, Chandler’s jokes or Joey’s acting career. But in my opinion, the show benefited from Monica’s voice of reason, which often kept it from coming off as a caricature. Someone has to be the facilitator, right? And that’s the beauty of an ensemble.
So who did get the most Emmy love amongst the six? It was actually Lisa Kudrow who led the way with six nominations and one win in 1998. Jennifer Aniston garnered five nods, with a win in 1996. Matt LeBlanc was nominated three times, and David Schwimmer and Matthew Perry were each nominated once. The only other two wins Friends earned were for Directing (Michael Lembeck) in 1996 and for Outstanding Comedy Series in 2002.
Hopefully getting an Emmy nomination of her own will take some of the sting away from being left out in the past. But official recognition or not, Courteney Cox continues to entertain fans, whether she’s getting pranked by Ed Sheeran or recreating classic Friends scenes on social media. Aside from 9 Months with Courteney Cox, the actress recently finished filming Scream, the fifth installment of the horror franchise, and you might have heard of a little project, Friends: The Reunion, which is streaming now on HBO Max.