Weird Facts Show #4
Welcome to another Weird Facts Show. Based on the poll results, today i am bringing you the ‘infamous’ F * R * I * E * N * D * S Let’s proceed…
1. FRIENDS were originally called “Insomnia Cafe” (and a bunch of other things)
In the early 1990s, Friends co-creators David Crane and Marta Kauffman wrote a seven-page pitch for a new sitcom titled Insomnia Café . In addition to the different title, the plot itself was quite different from what came to be known as Friends . For example, Ross and Rachel weren’t the key relationship; instead, Joey and Monica were supposed to be love interests.
After NBC bought the pilot, the title became Friends Like Us . NBC president Warren Littlefield came up with another title that was also considered, Across the Hall . By the time they shot it, the title had switched again to Six of One . When the show premiered on September 22, 1994, they had finally landed on simply Friends .
2. The cast could have been completely different.
With a cast of six people, it’s not a surprise that many different actors were considered for each role. For example, Kathy Griffin and Jane Lynch actually became friends after meeting while both were auditioning for the part of Phoebe.
Both Jon Favreau and Jon Cryer were considered for the role of Chandler before it went to Matthew Perry, but Perry almost didn’t get the gig either. During the 1994 pilot season, he filmed the pilot for a show called LAX 2194 in addition to Friends . The show would have been about baggage handlers at LAX who sorted aliens’ luggage. Thankfully, it wasn’t picked up, and Perry was able to take the Friends gig.
Before the show premiered, Courteney Cox was probably the most famous cast member. She was known for many commercials plus Bruce Springsteen’s “Dancing in the Dark” music video. The Friends producers originally asked her to play Rachel, but she requested the role of Monica because she liked the “strong” character.
3. The opening credits weren’t shot in New York.
Don’t let your New York City tour guide trick you into thinking that you’re looking at the fountain from the iconic opening credits of Friends —unless you’ve brought your tour guide with you to Burbank for some reason. Although the fountain looks a lot like Central Park’s Pulitzer Fountain, the actual shoot occurred on a Warner Bros. lot.
4. Lisa Kudrow didn’t know how to play the guitar.
“I didn’t like the guitar,” Lisa Kudrow later recalled about Phoebe Buffay’s chosen musical instrument. “I wasn’t getting it. So I think I even asked, ‘What if she plays the bongos?’” They ended up bringing a guitar teacher in, but that didn’t last long. Kudrow learned a couple of chords, then announced that she was done with the lessons. She decided that Phoebe would only know a handful of chords anyway. And thank goodness because “Smelly Cat” is perfect just the way it is.
5. It was filmed in front of a live audience.
Shooting an episode of Friends was a lengthy process, typically lasting five hours, with multiple takes per scene and 20 minutes between scenes to change sets. Still, the show was filmed in front of a live audience made up of 300 fans. And that’s the way the cast preferred it. “It’s kind of like a test to see if the material works, if the jokes work, if the story tracks,” LeBlanc said. Perry agreed, “Our energy just elevates every time there’s an audience.”
6. Kudrow’s pregnancy was written into the show, but Cox’s was not.
Kudrow got pregnant with her son, Julian Murray, in 1997. Kudrow was dubious about Phoebe getting pregnant too, but the writers decided to have Phoebe act as a surrogate for her brother’s triplets. On the other hand, in the final season, Cox was pregnant with her daughter, Coco Arquette. This was not written into the show for an obvious reason: the series had already established that Chandler and Monica couldn’t have kids. So, they hid Cox’s pregnancy to the best of their abilities with costumes and props.
7. The cast had a huddle before every episode.
Every week before filming commenced, the cast would get together for a moment to prepare for the show. This was the moment that Schwimmer was dreading before the finale because he knew it would make him emotional. “I started to lose it in this ritual that we had before the show," he said, "which is just a group hug, kind of get in a little circle, right before we come out. And that was the moment I was dreading for a long time because I knew that moment of just looking at everyone in their eyes, and saying ‘Have a good show,’ and knowing that was the last time we were going to be able to be in our little circle.”
8. Matthee Perry struggled an addiction during production.
In 1997, Perry went to rehab for an addiction to prescription drugs and alcohol. He went again in 2001. He later told People , “I was never high at work. I was painfully hung over. Then eventually things got so bad I couldn’t hide it and everybody knew.”
9. Jeniffer Aniston almost didn’t return for the last season.
By the time the show ended, Aniston was arguably the most famous cast member thanks to films like The Good Girl and Bruce Almighty . Her then-husband, Brad Pitt, didn’t hurt her celebrity status either. With that fame came the rumors that she was almost responsible for the show ending prematurely. In a 2004 interview, Aniston admitted that she had hesitations. “I had a couple issues that I was dealing with,” she said. “I wanted it to end when people still loved us and we were on a high. And then I was also feeling like, ‘How much more of Rachel do I have in me?’” She eventually agreed to the final season.
10. It featured a lot of future stars
In addition to making household names of its main cast members, Friends gave an early start to several soon-to-be stars as well. Among the now-familiar faces you might see if you rewatch the series, including Grey’s Anatomy star Ellen Pompeo, Melora Hardin and Craig Robinson from The Office, and Riverdale 's Cole Sprouse.
These were the facts for FRIENDS, if you like it stay tuned for the next…
Until next time.