Lisa Kudrow forgot how to play 'Smelly Cat' for the Friends reunion
"I tuned my guitar and realized I don't know the chords," the actress told Ellen DeGeneres.
The Friends reunion marked the first time the cast returned to the iconic sitcom's set together since the show went off the air in 2004, though you'd never know it thanks to the easy way they slid back into the lives of their old characters. But for Lisa Kudrow, there was one part of Phoebe Buffay that didn't return so naturally.
While visiting The Ellen Degeneres Show to promote the new season of her Netflix show Feel Good, Kudrow reminisced about the highlights of the reunion, which included playing a duet of her signature song "Smelly Cat" with Lady Gaga.
"I was really nervous when I first heard that. And then I prepared. I realized I had to learn 'Smelly Cat' again. I tuned my guitar and realized I don't know the chords," Kudrow admitted.
So she did what anyone in this day and age would do to find out how to re-learn something: she googled it.
"All the chords were there for Smelly Cat!" Kudrow told DeGeneres with a laugh. "So thank you world, for posting the chords."
Although Phoebe was Friends' resident music maven, in real life, the star's guitar skills only extended to her 10 years on the show — which explains why she needed a bit of help after so many years of not picking up the instrument. When Ellen asked if Kudrow played any other songs besides "Smelly Cat," Kudrow cheekily answered she only knew the other Phoebe songs that she made up.
But according to Kudrow, re-learning how to play one of the most iconic songs of the sitcom was only half the battle.
"I learned it, and then my throat closed," said Kudrow. "I was so panicked! I couldn't get anything out! I didn't know what was going to happen."
What happened, as millions of fans saw, is that the performance went off without a hitch. Gaga even shared a sentimental moment with Kudrow when she thanked her for playing Phoebe and representing people who were different.
"That really almost made me cry," said Kudrow. "That blew me away. Also coming from her, because my son was in grade school, all the kids were listening to Lady Gaga and her whole message was everyone be yourself and just be you. That was amazing."
Watch the interview above.
The Friends reunion special is now streaming on HBO Max.