20 New Things We Learned About ‘Friends’ From Lisa Kudrow Herself

Emily Kanoff

Thanks to Reddit, and its treasure trove of incredible celebrity AMAs (which stands for “Ask Me Anything”), we’ve learned many things about some of our favorite stars. George Clooney revealed he loves to cobble, Amy Poehler talked about her favorite “SNL” sketch, and Barney is Lil Jon’s favorite dinosaur. You know, important things.



Well now, Lisa Kudrow is talking thanks to the promotional rounds she’s making for the comeback of her HBO show, “The Comeback.” In between questions about Valerie Cherish, the former A-Lister/current D-Lister she plays on that show, Lisa answered tons of “Friends” questions we never even know we wanted answered.

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Here are the best droplets of “Friends” goodies from Lisa’s Reddit AMA:

On her favorite episode: “The Halloween party that Sean Penn appeared in. For a lot of reasons. Number one was it was the first show we shot after 9/11. And that whole week, while driving in LA, people would pull up, and give me a very sad look, and a quiet “thank you” for making them laugh.”

On her favorite season: “I think 1. Because it was the first one.”

On her funniest “friend”: “See, now, 20 people would be insulted… but because I spent 10 years laughing hysterically at Matthew Perry off-set, it’s Matthew Perry. And not laughing at him, laughing with him, sorry!”

On how she prepared for her role as Phoebe: “Well, the audition piece was the monologue you see in the pilot. So that told me a lot about the character. And I thought it would be funny if this person didn’t think that any of the stuff that happened to her was a big deal, and didn’t that stuff happen to everybody?”

On where the word “Phalange” came from: “heehee! The hilarious writers.”

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On her contribution to Phoebe’s songs: “First of all, Phoebe’s song lyrics were not ad libbed. The writers wrote them. And I got to come up with the tunes. Because I play guitar so poorly it would be too hard to learn how to play that badly.”

On how “Smelly Cat” came to be: “The writers wrote it, I wrote the tune, and had a little help from [The Pretenders frontwoman] Chryssie Hynde. She was amazing.”

On whether or not they found out what Smelly Cat was being fed: “No. Good question!”

On her personal favorite song to sing: “Oh!!! Okay: they all actually make me laugh really hard, somebody put them all together on YouTube, because I’d forgotten all the songs, and every time a new one came on, I laughed out loud, but I really liked the one for the kids, that starts“Oh the cow in the meadow goes moo…”

On how David Schwimmer made her laugh: “Hmm. It wasn’t just Schwimmer but all the guys did this, but Schwimmer made me laugh a lot when he did it…I would start to speak, he would pump his hand in the air and say “shh shh shh.” Still makes me laugh!”

On how David Schwimmer made her laugh the most: “Oh, the bagpipes! Ross played ‘Celebrate,’ the Kool & the Gang song, on bagpipes! And he was SO fully committed!”

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On who’s better—Phoebe or Ursula: “Both. But they were both fun for completely different reasons.”

On what she actually said when cursing at the Pacman machine: “Oh! I don’t know if I was allowed to actually swear. We pre-shot that part, and I think I remember Kevin Bright, our executive producer, laughing and saying ‘I know, but no one should even be able to read it on your lips.’ I think I remember it happening.”

On Janice’s shrilly voice: “Janice was played by Maggie Wheeler, and that is not her real voice. She’s actually a gifted songstress.”

On the funniest thing that happened backstage: “One day we all brought our dogs to work. And I thought I left my dog in my room, with the door closed, I was downstairs on the stage rehearsing, and all of a sudden, my dog, a little poodle, came running and JUMPED onto my lap and stayed on my lap for the rest of the scene – for the rest of the run-through of that scene, in front of the producers and all of the writers! Last time I brought my dog to work.”

On where Phoebe and Mike (played by Paul Rudd) would be in 2014: “Oh yeah! I honestly think Phoebe would be a super-competitive tiger mom. She doesn’t do anything by half-measure.”

On whether she’d do a movie, an episode of a whole new season of “Friends”: A whole season, because to spend that much time with those people again would be heaven!”

On whether she watches reruns: “I rarely watch re-runs. And I should watch them, because I never remember what the show was about. And so when we DO get together, shows do come up, we do reminisce about fun and funny things that happened.”

And finally…

Did she really love doing Friends? “I loved doing FRIENDS. I would have been fine if we did it 10 more years, and it was great that we finished when we did, because I’ve loved everything I’ve done since.”