Few shows have had the staying power that Friends has had since the early ‘90s when it originally aired, all the way up to today. With such a successful syndication Andy Cohen and I both assume that the stars are still getting “bountiful” checks for their work on the show. Cohen recently asked Matthew Perry about this subject, and he gave the talk show host a funny, and very Chandler response.
Matthew Perry has been promoting his new memoir Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing, which does not “sugarcoat” anything about his time on the hit sitcom. Now, he is kind of opening up about how much he still makes off the program, as he joked with Cohn on his show Radio Andy. The two discussed the continued fame of Friends, which led the host to ask how much money Perry still makes off the hit sitcom today. Asking if he’d characterized the checks he gets as “bountiful” or “trickling.” To which the Chandler actor responded with:
Cohen then pressed again, asking if they’re “bountiful,” and Perry said:
Cohen then joked about Perry buying Colorado after he made the quip about Iowa, which caused Perry to have another very Chandler Bing reaction saying he didn't get that state because “The Rock got it.”
It’s super funny that Perry joked about buying whole states and said The Rock beat him to Colorado. It also makes sense, because over the years all the Friends stars have continued to make a lot of money off the show due to how successful it has been in syndication. It was reported by USA Today in 2015, which was the year Friends went onto Netflix, that the sitcom brought in $ 1 billion per year for Warner Bros. The report also stated that the cast received 2% of that annual income, meaning the six friends all made $20 million per year off their show, even after it had been off the air for over ten years.
So, if those numbers are still true today, “not bad” might be an understatement for how much money these actors still make off Friends and “bountiful” might be more accurate.
While the paychecks may have been, and likely still are, great from Friends, Perry’s new memoir details his struggles with addiction during the show. Even though he doesn't think his co-stars will read it, he did note that he thinks fans of Friends and people who have struggled with addiction will care about the book. He’s candid about his struggles, and he even opens up about how the show itself and its popularity may have saved his life. Along with these stories, he has gotten into a little bit of hot water with his book because of comments he made about Keanu Reeves, which he has now apologized for. All this is to say people still really care about and love Perry and Friends.
The cast of Friends have all found success post-show, however, I’m sure having a popular program, not only in syndication but still a cultural phenomenon, helps. You can watch a few of the stars in various shows on the TV schedule, and you can check out Perry’s new book, which is out now. If you want to throw it back and rewatch some old Friends episodes, you can stream the hit show with an HBO Max subscription.
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Riley Utley is the Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. She has written for national publications as well as daily and alt-weekly newspapers in Spokane, Washington, Syracuse, New York and Charleston, South Carolina. She graduated with her master’s degree in arts journalism and communications from the Newhouse School at Syracuse University. Since joining the CB team she has covered numerous TV shows and movies -- including her personal favorite shows Ted Lasso and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. She also has followed and consistently written about everything from Taylor Swift to Fire Country, and she's enjoyed every second of it.