Bill Maher Tells Matthew Perry 'I'm Glad You're Here' As Friends Actor Opens Up About Nearly Dying

Matthew Perry appears on Friends: The Reunion.
(Image credit: HBO Max)

Matthew Perry’s memoir, Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing, was making headlines before it even hit shelves. The book includes a number of interesting tidbits, from Perry convincing Julia Roberts to appear on Friends to him name-dropping Keanu Reeves in a non-flattering way. But the book mainly provides Perry with an outlet to speak about his decades-long battle with drug addiction. This personal struggle led him to multiple stints in rehab as well as a medical emergency or two. But one major event chronicled in the book is a near-fatal accident that Perry experienced a few years ago. The actor recently opened up about his near-death experience after talk show host Bill Maher told him, “I’m glad you’re here."

Maher commented on the story upon introducing Perry on his late-night talk show, Real Time with Bill Maher. After reading the candid memoir, the late-night host is seemingly taken aback that the Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip star is still around to tell his story. The polarizing comedian even mentioned that many people in and outside of Hollywood had the TV actor “in a dead pool,” and that includes Perry himself.

After hearing the stand-up comic’s take on his harrowing story, the Chandler Bing actor went on to tell his story. In his words:

I had a horrible accident about seven years ago. I was given a two-percent chance to survive. They [doctors] didn’t tell me that obviously because I wasn’t really there, but they told my family. I was put on a thing called an ECMO machine, which you, having read my book, would know what that is… they called that a Hail Mary when they do put you on an actual machine. And five people were on ECMO that night, and the other four died and I somehow made it.

Matthew Perry was quite lucky to make it out of the situation alive, and he's fully aware of that. After speaking on the near-deadly incident, the 53-year-old actor acknowledged how his faith played a role in his addiction recovery. You can watch Perry and Bill Maher’s honest and funny conversation in the full clip below:

Thankfully, the actor can speak his truth with a sense of humor and reverence at this point in his life. The stories he's told since releasing the book haven't been pretty, to be quite frank. However, it's wonderful to see him be so open about everything that he's experienced when it comes to addiction. With that, he's also discussed how others took notice of his issues.

Matthew Perry had some notable people in his corner through his recovery, including his Friends co-star, Jennifer Aniston. He reflected on the Morning Show star approaching him about his addiction struggles. On top of that, he even recalled him and Aniston had different reactions to the Friends series finale and how his personal issues played into that at the time.

Along with his addiction struggles, the Odd Couple actor spilled some amazing stories like partying with his The Whole Nine Yards co-star Bruce Willis. Needless to say, the book is quite a page-turner. But while the text may be entertaining, let's not forget that it focuses on someone's difficult real-life experiences. I think many can agree with Bill Maher when he says that it's good to see Matthew Perry doing well.

You can pick up Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing at your local bookstore, or you can order it online.

Adreon Patterson
News Writer

A boy from Greenwood, South Carolina. CinemaBlend Contributor. An animation enthusiast (anime, US and international films, television). Freelance writer, designer and artist. Lover of music (US and international).