Matthew Perry is an actor who, despite many genuine attempts, hasn’t been able to pull his career out of the shadow of the hit comedy Friends, with one moderately enjoyable show after another failing to make a lasting impression on TV audiences. So it’s extremely interesting to know that Perry was one terrible series order away from completely missing out on playing Chandler Bing. Could there BE anyone better suited for the role?
Perry stopped by Late Night with Seth Meyers to promote his upcoming CBS series The Odd Couple – which you can read about here – and Meyers asked him about his pre-Friends troubles. Perry kicked the explanation off by saying he was broke, and he told his business manager to get him any job imaginable.
There’s a masochistic side of me that is extremely interested in seeing what this show would have been like. This would have been after The Ben Stiller Show unfortunately tanked, and just before The George Carlin Show fortunately tanked, and during the time when Martin, Living Single and In Living Color were going strong. Obviously that’s the perfect time for Fox to bring out a show about a white guy handling aliens’ baggage.
Luckily for Perry, Fox seemed to understand that no one on this world or any other one would ever tune into that kind of malarkey on a weekly basis.
If you're wondering what the worst thing Fox had ever seen at that point looked like, here's a Perry-free promo for LAX 2194, which not even Ryan Stiles or Kelly Hu can save.
This goes right along with the stories of Courtney Cox originally being chosen for the Rachel role, in that I can’t possibly imagine what this show’s humor would be like with such a radical character shift. Plus, if Perry hadn’t ever starred on Friends, we might not have had such films as Fools Rush In or Three to Tango. On second thought…
Check out the Late Night interview below.
Watch Perry on Friends reruns all over Netflix, and find him on CBS’ The Odd Couple starting Thursday, February 19. There are no aliens, I promise.
Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.
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