Created by David Crane and Martha Kauffman, the show was not just another sitcom. It was about six ordinary individuals spending ten years to give the audience an extra-ordinary time. Friends paved the way for several comedy sitcoms and currently holds the reputation for being the most loved, if not the greatest, television show in American history. Everyone knows the beloved characters but the same cannot be said about the following rare facts about the highly esteemed show.
15) Creators David Crane and Martha Kauffman co-wrote the Title Theme along with The Rembrandts
The insanely popular song "I'll Be There for You" that served as the main theme is as prevalent as the show itself. Along with band members Phil Solem and Danny Wilde, producers and creators of the show David Crane and Martha Kauffman helped to write the song.
Heavily influenced by the Beatles, the theme was originally less than a minute but was later re-recorded to a proper three-minute pop song due to the theme's success along with the show. In 1995 - an entire one year after the launching of Friends - the song was number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 Airplay chart for eight weeks.
14) Monica Geller's Refrigerator had Water and Drinks for the Cast
As surprising as it may sound, the refrigerator in Monica Geller's apartment - where majority of the scenes of any episode were shot - was real and had several drinks and water bottles in it for the main cast.
Whereas the one in Joey Tribbiani and Chandler Bing's apartment was empty, despite being a real one too. The fridge was filled particularly for the scenes when it had to be shown being opened.
13) Matt LeBlanc had a Crush on Jennifer Anniston
In an exclusive interview with Matt LeBlanc for the book Friends ...'Til the End: The One with All Ten Years, the actor admitted that he had a crush on co-star Jennifer Anniston. LeBlanc stated, "Now I had a little crush on Jen in the very beginning, but I think the whole world did too, so what are you going to do?"
However, their respective characters of Joey Tribbiani and Rachel Green have shown much liking throughout quite a number of episodes; particularly as shown in The One Where Joey Dates Rachel.
12) Matthew Perry Helped the Writers in Comical Scenarios
Perhaps no other actor more true and dedicated to his role was Matthey Perry. Much like his character Chandler Bing, Perry had a vast reputation of cracking jokes every now and then to make even the most problematic situations hilarious by his wit.
Due to his appreciable sense of humor, Perry was the only actor from the entire cast to sit with the writers as an inspiration for the show's frequent comical and humorous scenarios.
11) Central Perk is in 32 Countries
Two years after the show ended, Iranian businessman Mojtaba Asadian registered the famous café of Friends characters hangout Central Perk in 32 countries to start a franchise in its name. The coffee café had similar counters, neon signage, brick material, paintings of the shows characters on the wall, television playing the show's episodes and even the trademark couch.
In one of the Central Perks in Dubai, James Michael Tyler - who portrayed Gunther, the manager of Central Perk in the show - worked as a waiter.
10) Proposed titles other than F.R.I.E.N.D.S
While pitching the sitcom to NBC, original executiveproducers David Crane, Martha Kauffman and Kevin S. Bright were on the verge of choosing Friends Like Us, Six of One, Once Upon a Time in the West Village, Across the Hall and Insomnia Café as the title of the show.
On a related note, in 1993, Matthew Perry suggested NBC a comedy show featuring a group in their twenties called Maxwell's House. It was denied since the network was already working on an analogous show in which Perry starred in i.e. Friends.
9) Chandler Bing was supposed to be Gay
In the early production process and the character's personas were under discussion, it was suggested that the role of Matthew Perry, the wise cracking Chandler Bing, would be that of a homosexual.
The idea was later dropped and was frequently used as a recurring gag in the show since Bing was presumed gay by many of his co-workers, strangers and even by his friends.
8) Bruce Willis appeared on the show for Free
During the shooting of The Whole Nine Yards, Matthew Perry made a bet with his co-star - none other than Bruce Willis - that if the film opens number one at the box office, the latter would have to appear on Friends for free. Little did he know that Willis was already set to appear on the show.
Perry won the bet and Willis guest starred on the episode The One where Ross Meets Elizabeth's Dad; playing the role of Paul Stevens - the father of Elizabeth Stevens. The actor donated all the money he earned from the show to charity.
7) Monica Geller and Joey Tribbiani were supposed to be the Main Couple
The show's writers were originally interested in making roles of Courtney Cox and Matt LeBlanc as the main couple to be focused on. The idea was later scrapped and decided to make Ross Geller and Rachel Green as the core love birds.
However, during the wedding of Monica with Chandler in the finale of the seventh season The One with Monica and Chandler's Wedding, Joey served as their priest.
6) Each Episode used more than 5-Mile Film Role
As hard to believe it may be, every single episode of the show that was filmed was made possible by employing a film role that reached more than 5 miles. Despite making use of absolute precision, it took nearly 12 hours of recording per episode.
Under the eyes of production, the 12 hours of recording were shortened to nearly 22 minutes to make an episode while the rest served as the blooper videos of the particular episode.
5) Ellen DeGeneres Turned Down the role of Phoebe Buffay
After Ellen DeGeneres declined the pivotal role Phoebe Buffay, auditions of Jane Lynch, Megan Mullally, Kathy Griffin and Lisa Kudrow took place. Since the producers had a liking towards Kudrow's versatility as Phoebe's twin sister Ursula, she won the role.
It is interesting to note that Ellen hosted a mini-Friends reunion on her show The Ellen DeGeneres Show recently; featuring Jennifer Anniston, Matthew Perry and Courtney Cox.
4) Jennifer Anniston hated her Rachel Haircut
It was a haircut that caused a sensation in countless salons and even got named after Jennifer Anniston's character of Rachel Green. However, Anniston admitted that she always despised her trademark haircut and described it as "the ugliest thing" she ever saw.
Anniston further added, "I love Chris [her hairstylist and creator of the 'Rachel' haircut] and he's the bane of my existence at the same time because he started that damn Rachel, which was not my best look."
3) Salaries of the Cast
The six members of the main cast received $22,500 per episode and received a different number in the second one; ranging from $20,000 to $40,000 per episode. The cast demanded collective contract negotiations for the third season and received $75,000 per episode for the third season - the salary of the least paid actor; prompting David Schwimmer and Jennifer Anniston to have their salaries deducted.
The salary increased to $85,000 in season four, $100,000 in season five, $125,000 in season six, $750,000 in both season seven and eight and eventually reaching $1 million in the remaining two seasons.
2) "Shiny Happy People" by R.E.M. was originally used as the Title Song
Before sticking with the addictive "I'll be there for you" by The Rembrandts as the main theme of the show, R.E.M.'s song "Shiny Happy People" served as the theme and even made it to the pilot episode when the show was still known as Friends Like Us.
On a related note, the song was picked up by Sesame Street as the band got the chance to perform it with few of the lyrics changed with context and vocals by Stephanie D'Abruzzo of Avenue Q.
1) Stage 24 of Warner Bros. Studios was renamed "The Friends Stage"
After the shooting of the season finale The Last One Part 1 and 2, Warner Bros. Studios decided to rename Stage 24 - the place where the show was shot since its second season - as "The Friends Stage".
Due to abundant cultural impact and the incredible financial success earned from the show, the company recognized it as the best way to dedicate a memory lost but never forgotten. With remakes of classic franchises from the 80s and 90s hitting the big screen (both Robocop and Ninja Turtles are getting reboots next year), fans can only speculate whether they will be able to see their Friends for a whole new generation.
Tayyab Khalil from Chillopedia.com contributed to this story!
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