Rumors of a Friends reunion show began surfacing back in April of this year with frenzied fans tweeting about the popular sitcom. Photoshopped images of the cast with a tagline of Thanksgiving 2014 were popping up all over the Internet. Sadly, television executive Marta Kaufman, co-creator of the show that famously titles all of the episodes with “The One With”, went on E! News to quash the rumors.
Last week, though, Jennifer Aniston appeared in a skit on Ellen where she visited Matthew Perry’s house; Courteney Cox was there, inferring the two were in a clandestine relationship, reminiscent of the Chandler and Monica days.
Later on the show, Aniston coyly skirted the issue of a reunion; when Ellen asked her if she wanted to announce that there would be a reunion of the famous friends, she replied, “ I will say this, though: Doing that little bit with Matty and Court yesterday was…we were very nostalgic and miss working together.” (eonline.com)
Aniston went on to say, “We miss each other, and it’s a great thing to go back to your family like that,” she said, adding, “Also, [I] know that people will love it.” (eonline.com)
Aniston’s claim of knowing people will love it only adds fuel to the rumor mill.
Friends was a decade long sitcom running from 1994 – 2004 featuring six Manhattan friends spending time at Central Perk or hanging out in their apartments. Episode titles always began with the words “The one with” to describe various zany plots. The friends all became household names to millions across the nation.
The final episode on May 6, 2004, was watched by 51.1 million Americans, making it the fourth most watched series finale in television history behind Mash, Cheers, and Seinfeld. Venues across the nation held sendoff parties for the show, hosting contests featuring character look-a-likes, and screening the show on large screens. It was a celebratory and bittersweet event.
Where are they now?
Jennifer Aniston – Rachel Green
Aniston most recently made headlines as part of the topic of Brad Pitt’s Esquire Magazine interview when he slammed his marriage to her, “Pitt says he was on drugs during his marriage to Aniston, whom he divorced in 2005, and that he was burnt out and wasting an opportunity. He claims he made a conscious decision to make a change about 10 years ago after having an epiphany.” (guardianlv.com)
However, Aniston does not let Pitt’s comments about her affect her life; she is a knockout as Rose in the upcoming We’re the Millers coming out in August. Aniston does not look her age as she plays a stripper hired by a pot dealer to play his wife.
Aniston has been recently seen promoting beauty products for the Aveeno line on television. She is a natural choice with her girl-next-door good looks.
Aniston is currently engaged to actor Justin Theroux of Tropic Thunder, Iron Man 2, and Rock of Ages. They have been dating since 2011.
Courteney Cox – Monica Geller
Courteney Cox played the neurotic Monica Geller on Friends; while it is challenging to think of being on a show as successful as the series that made her a household name, she has followed it with a sequence of popular movies and shows.
Cox played Gale Weathers in the movie franchise Scream where she met her husband, David Arquette, while she was still working on Friends.
Since the end of Friends, Cox has found a new home in the fictional town of Gulfhaven, Florida, nickname Cougar Town. In 2009, she began playing Jules Cobb, a recently divorced single mother.
Arquette filed for divorce in 2012, after two years of separation; the couple has a daughter, Coco, born in 2004.
Lisa Kudrow – Phoebe Buffay
Phoebe Buffay played brilliantly by Lisa Kudrow became one of the favorite characters of many loyal Friends fans. Occasionally, when Phoebe’s twin sister Ursula would make an appearance, Kudrow’s genius in the role would multiply.
Today, Kudrow stars as quirky therapist, Fiona Wallice, in Showtime’s Web Therapy. Wallice offers patient advice over the Internet in short, taped sessions that are broadcast in hopes of gaining investors.
Kudrow is also the voice on a series of Yoplait commercials; her distinct voice lends itself to Yoplait’s brand of recognizable wholesome goodness.
The 49 year-old actress will be turning 50 this year; she is married to husband, Michel Stern, together they have one son, Julian Murray, 15.
Matt LeBlanc – Joey Tribbiani
Matt LeBlanc, 45, was the only friend to get a spin-off. His character, Joey Tribbiani, moved to Los Angeles to follow his acting career and had his own show Joey. Joey was on for two seasons beginning in the fall of 2004, but it did not do very well in the ratings. None of the other Friends characters guest-starred on the sitcom.
Currently, LeBlanc is on the British/American television sitcom Episodes, as himself. He has been on the show since 2011. LeBlanc has been nominated for several awards for his work on the series.
LeBlanc married former model Melissa McKnight in 2003; however, the two have since divorced citing irreconcilable differences in 2006. Together they have a daughter, Marina, 9.
Matthew Perry – Chandler Bing
Matthew Perry had his ups and downs while on the set of Friends; fans saw his weight balloon then watched as he slimmed back down, rumors of drug trouble swarmed around him.
As Chandler Bing, sometimes Chanandler Bong to those die-hard fans, Perry was dazzling and captured the hearts of the audience each week. His storyline with Cox kept fans coming back week after week as they waited to see if he would ever pop the question.
Healthy again, Perry most recently played Ryan King on the sitcom Go On. Ryan King was a sports talk radio host who had recently lost his wife and was going to therapy. The therapy group was made up of a menagerie of idiosyncratic individuals with various issues.
Go On was just canceled as of this month.
David Schwimmer – Ross Geller
David Schwimmer was the original geek, long before The Big Bang Theory. Schwimmer’s character, Ross, was half of the dynamic duo that was part of what made the show so compelling at times – Ross and Rachel. The Ross and Rachel scenario fascinated audiences long before Chandler and Monica. Fans waited with bated breath waiting for the first kiss between the two.
Schwimmer has gone on to appear in the Madagascar movies as Melman as well as many other movies. Most recently, he was featured in The Iceman, released on May 17 (May 3 to a limited number of theaters).
Schwimmer married part-time English photographer Zoe Buckman in 2010. Buckman and Schwimmer met in 2007 at a nightclub when he was in London directing Run, Fat Boy, Run. The two have a daughter, Cleo Buckman Schwimmer.
While some fans would love to see a reunion show with all of their favorite Friends, executives have still denied it is in the works. There have been spoofs, other shows have tried to replicate the success of the show, but there will only be once set of Friends.
Should there be a Friends Reunion? Would it be The One With the Happily Ever After, or The One With the Divorces? Or should fans just remember them the way they were, perpetually 30-something?
By Dawn Cranfield
Senior Correspondent / Product Specialist