lf you’re a Friends fan, then you likely watched Ross, Rachel, Monica, Chandler, Joey, and Phoebe get even richer. We were teased with moments from the Friends reunion where David Schwimmer and Jennifer Aniston admit they had crushes on each other, Lady Gaga sang “Smelly Cat” with Lisa Kudrow, and more arbitrary celebrity cameos than the number of times Joey asked, “How you doin?” through the show’s 10 season run. But even though they’re a six-person team, there were two friends who got a lot of attention on social media after Friends: The Reunion premiered. One was good, one was not as good. The internet had a great time talking about Matt LeBlanc’s slow metamorphosis into an Irish uncle, and also, a lot of people wanted to discuss Matthew Perry’s health.
It’s no secret that Matthew Perry has gone through it when it comes to addiction and recovery. There are certain seasons of Friends where it’s pretty evident he was battling some personal issues (in the third season, Chandler Bing is noticeably smaller, and it was revealed later that Matthew Perry was working through a painkiller addiction at the time). Along with drug addiction, he’s been to rehab for alcohol issues in 1997, 2001, and 2011. A few years ago, he turned his Malibu home into a sober living facility called Perry House (which he has since sold, due to it being really expensive to run). In 2018, he revealed he’d been hospitalized for 3 months to recover from surgery to repair a gastrointestinal perforation, and in 2019 he addressed some paparazzi pictures of himself that The Daily Mail thought were concerning. And on top of all that, he’s got to watch out for clout-chasing wannabe TikTok stars. When Matthew appeared on the Friends reunion, some people expressed concern for Matthew, who came across just a little less zippy than the Chandler we’re used to. So naturally, there was talk about if Matthew Perry is ok at the moment.
The Hollywood Reporter conducted a post-mortem on the reunion from Friends creators Marta Kauffman and David Crane, as well as executive producer/director Kevin Bright, and the topic of Matthew’s health came up. THR said they hesitate to even bring up Matthew’s health, but that they wanted to do so, due to the concern for him over the past few years. In Kevin Bright’s opinion, we can all stop being so concerned, because Matthew Perry is fine.
“I talked to him. It was great seeing him again. And what people say is what people say. I don’t have any to say about that, except it was great to see him. And I think he’s very funny on the show. But yes, I think he’s OK. He seems stronger and better since the last time I saw him, and excited about going forward.”
Former Friends director Ben Winston (who was the first one to pitch the idea of a reunion) also addressed the situation, and Ben thinks people need to stop being so critical of Matthew Perry, period. via HuffPo:
“People can sometimes just be unkind. I wish they weren’t. I loved working with him. He’s a brilliantly funny man and I thought he had some great one-liners in the show. I felt just happy and lucky to be in his presence and directing him on something like this.”
And while there might be gossipy speculation about why Matthew’s speech was a little slower, a source tells The Sun that any slurring of his speech or perceived sleepiness was due to some emergency dental surgery:
“Matthew turned up to the reunion and members of his team said that he had an emergency tooth procedure that day. That was said to impact his well-being and also how he was feeling. He had been in pain from what we understand, which caused the slurred speech. Obviously, no one wants to film after a procedure, but it happened. Matthew has told those around him that he is sober, and there is no need to worry.”
I know the audience at home didn’t think Matthew Perry brought enough razzle-dazzle to the reunion or whatever, but can we not all agree he deserves to be named MVP of that reunion? I’d like to see anyone do emergency dental surgery, and immediately chase it with several hours stuck on a sound stage opposite of James Corden. That might not have been the most ideal situation for Matthew Perry, but Matt LeBlanc seemed to be enjoying himself. Matt sat comfortably, like the kind of person who knew his bank account was about to get $3 to $4 million heavier, and Irish Twitter decided he was a dead ringer for Da’s and Uncail’s everywhere across the emerald isle.
Matt LeBlanc looks like the Dad on Christmas that is happy to see you open your gifts even though he doesn’t know what any of them are cos your Mum got them all pic.twitter.com/h0lM3CEqPi
— Gem 🐸 (@gemmlarh) May 29, 2021
Matt Leblanc sits like a bloke that is at his nieces birthday while the cup final is on pic.twitter.com/gOORGkzpkh
— Jake 🌞 (@Jakep010923) May 29, 2021
Matt leBlanc – And who's this lad ye do be listenin ta, Post Mahone is it? pic.twitter.com/PCpck2w4un
— Mick Lally (@MickLally_) May 29, 2021
And for anyone thinking that Twitter is clowning on Matt LeBlanc, Irish Twitter will happily tell you that his meme-ification comes from a place of love.
Who's shaming Matt LeBlanc?
Saying he's like an Irish Da who doesn't want a dog in the house, but then a dog mysteriously arrives in the house, and then he ends up loving that dog, is one of the highest paid compliments an Irish person can give.
— Daithi (@daithigor) May 29, 2021
Now I’m not even sure that Matt LeBlanc isn’t an Irish Da. Are we sure there isn’t a cut scene from the reunion where he turns to Jennifer Aniston, elbows her in the ribs, and jokes: “Yer not hiding that Brad Pitt fella in yer trailer, are ye?”
Pic: HBO Max