Friends is one of the most watched TV series of all time. Here are some interesting facts about Friends that will blow your mind.
Friends co-creator Marta Kauffman and David Crane had originally titled the show as Insomnia Cafe. The show was renamed a no. of times before they settled for FRIENDS. When NBC bought the pilot, they named the title as Friends Like Us. Warren Littlefield, NBC president named it, Across the Hall. By the time it was shot they again called it Six in One. And finally, when show was premiered on September 22, 1994, they settled with only FRIENDS .
Each of the six cast members of FRIENDS received $22,000 per episode during the first season. During the second season everyone got different salary per episode. In 1997, all the six cast members got together and demanded a salary of $100,000 per episode for all the six members. It was for the first time in the history of TV that cast members had done this. By the final season, each cast member got $1,000,000 per episode.
The cast always had a private huddle before filming every episode of the show. They never allowed cameras or any one inside the room while they prepared for the show. The average episode of Friends took just five hours to film.
The cast and characters of the Friends could have been much different. Jon Favreau and Jon Cryer both were considered for the role of Chandler but Matthew Perry got it. Even Kathy Griffin and Jae Lynch both were auditioned for the role of Phoebe.
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Joey and Monica were intended to be love interests, when show was first written. Ross and Rachel were not meant to be the central romance of the series. Such storyline was developed seeing the chemistry between David Schwimmwer and Jennifer Aniston. Hank Aaria who played David the Scientist in the show, gave audition for Joey twice.
Originally Phoebe and Chandler were to be supporting characters. David Schwimmer was the first of the main six actors to be in the show and Jennifer Aniston was the last. Producers wanted Courteney Cox to play Rachel, but she requested to play Monica, because the character was so strong.
David Schwimmer directed 10 episodes of Friends. Eric McCormack (Will & Grace) was auditioned two, three times for the role of Ross. But Kevin Bright, Executive producer of the Friends had already worked with David Schwimmer, so the writers were already developing Ross’s character in Schwimmer’s voice.
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James Micheal Tyler was cast as Gunther as he was the only extra who knew how to operate ab espresso machine. Until middle of the second season he didn’t have a name. Moreover he didn’t have a line until 33rd episode and he said “yeah”.
Matthew Perry had a bet with Bruce Willis that The Whole Nine Yards would be No.1 in the box office on its opening weekend. Bruce lost the bet and had to appear on the show free of cost. Bruce donated all his fee to charity.
Jennifer Aniston and her then husband Brad Pitt hosted a dinner party at their home when the last series ended. They served the bottles executive producer Kevin Bright had saved from the first series. Each cast member got a piece of the sidewalk from outside Central Perk, when series ended.
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The Simpsons cast members Dan Castellaneta (Homer), Hank Azaria (Moe/Apu), and Harry Shearer (Mr. Burns/Smithers) have made guest appearances on Friends. Virgin Airlines CEO, Richard Branson also appeared on the show as a salesman. Even Sara Ferguson made a guest appearance in the London episode.
Co-creators Marta Kauffman and David Crane have also written the show’s theme song, “I’ll Be There for You” by the Rembrants. To cover up Lisa Kudrow’s pregnancy they wrote the triplets storyline.
Joey and Chandler’s big white dog belonged to Jennifer Aniston. A friend of her gifted her when show started. Marcel the monkey is actually a female and her name is Katie.
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There is no actual Central Perk Cafe in New York city. Though a Friends fan opened a one in downtown Beijing after getting inspired from the show’s fictional cafe in 2010. In 2012 another Central Perk got opened in Liverpool.
The opening credits were shot at Warner Bros. studios, not in New York. Although the fountain looks a lot like Pulitzer Fountain in Central Park.
In the opening credits of “The One After Vegas” surname Arquette was added to the end of every cast member’s real name. This was the first show after the marriage of Courteney Cox and David Arquette and was dedicated to them.
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Some More Interesting and Random Facts about FRIENDS
- Before the show’s pilot aired, the cast was taken for dinner at Caeser’s Palace in Las Vegas to enjoy their “last shot at anonymity”.
- Joey owes an estimated $114,260 to Chandler in the show.
- 30-second commercial spots in the final episode sold in the UK for approx $1.8 million.
- It was ranked #7 on Empire magazine’s 50 Greatest TV Shows Of All Time in 2008
- Crew member Paul Swain was responsible for the Magna Doodles on the door of Chandler’s apartment.
- Courteney Cox is actually older than David Schwimmer, though he plays her older brother on the show
- Courteney Cox is the only regular cast member to not receive an Emmy nomination for their work on the show
- When Matt LeBlanc auditioned for the role he only had 11 dollars and when he got his first paycheck, he bought himself a hot dinner.
- The orange couch used in Central Perk was found in the basement of the Warner Bros. studio
- Season Two is the only season of Friends where there is no episode on Thanksgiving Day
- Ellen DeGeneres turned down an offer to play Phoebe.