There are countless ways to put the end of Friends in perspective. Here are some of them. No more monkeys, ducks, or smelly cats. Adios to Baywatch worship and We were on a break! Close the book on Ugly Naked Guy and ”Who’s Gonna Drink the Diet Coke?” ads. Okay, we won’t miss that last one. Nevertheless, the May 6 sign-off of one of the most successful sitcoms ever will be pretty painful for us — and the cast. ”I feel I’m looking down at my chest and I have this huge gaping hole and I go, ‘Whoa, that’s going to take a while to heal,”’ laments Matt LeBlanc. Sums up Lisa Kudrow: ”It’s like a death.” As NBC kicks off its farewell vigil by airing the top six viewers’ choice episodes (beginning March 4), EW talked to the sextet about their favorites, and some other Friendly matters. Could we be any more thoughtful?
Courteney Cox Arquette MONICA GELLER BING
FAVORITE EPISODE Season 4’s ”The One With the Embryos,” in which the girls take on the boys in a trivia contest: If the girls win, the boys will get rid of their pets, a rooster (formerly the chick) and a duck; if the boys triumph, they claim Monica’s pad. ”I learned more about my character and everyone else’s because of these trivia questions. One thing that’s been a running joke throughout the 10 years was no one really knew what Chandler did for a living and we’re all just completely stumped. I screamed at Rachel that Transponster ‘is not even a word!’… The times I like playing Monica the most are when she’s being competitive, like when she’s playing football in the Thanksgiving episode or when she’s trying to get George Clooney and Noah Wyle. She kind of has no limits. And the stakes were really high [in ”Embryos”], because to lose the apartment was huge. She was so sure that she’d win that she bet the apartment. Didn’t work out so well for her, did it? Not fun. Did not enjoy filming in Joey’s apartment.”
STOCK QUOTE ABOUT SAYING GOODBYE ”It was terrible. It was sad. It was beautiful. When [director — executive producer] Kevin Bright said at the end of the show, like he does at the end of every show, ‘Okay, that’s our show!’ this time he really meant it. My eyes are still swollen.”
LAST TIME YOU WENT INTO A COFFEEHOUSE ”Yesterday. I didn’t sit down on a couch, but I got a decaf latte with vanilla flavoring to go.”
WORST THING ABOUT MAKING A MILLION DOLLARS PER EPISODE ”Nothing… I mean, yeah, you don’t want to pay half of it in taxes, but thank God that you get the other half.”
ON DOING A REUNION SHOW ”What does that mean? Is it a movie-of-the-week? I don’t think I could do that. Can you imagine? Friends: The Movie of the Week. No, that’s terrible.”
NEXT Starring in November, a psychological thriller that debuted at Sundance. Also serves as creator — exec producer of Mix It Up, a design show on WE.
Matthew Perry CHANDLER BING
FAVORITE EPISODE Season 1’s ”The One With the Blackout,” in which Chandler gets stuck in an ATM vestibule with model Jill Goodacre during a power outage; meanwhile, the others swap secrets in Monica’s apartment. ”The interesting thing about that episode was I didn’t speak much; it was mostly in voice-over. We prerecorded what I said and I had to react. Let’s face it: Jill Goodacre is hot, so it wasn’t that difficult…. I [remember] spitting my gum out and it stuck to the wall. It was my choice to just stay completely frozen in fear and embarrassment. That was one of those things that the producers loved and it stayed in…. What was great about that night was that I was also able to watch the other three quarters of the show, which was these five great actors doing ensemble work that was amazing. This was the first time I realized, ‘Gee, this is really clicking.”’