Let’s be clear: Friends was really an all-white Living Single. But now David Schwimmer is getting his wish and the internet is being gifted a Friends reading with an all-Black cast. The special event, taking place Tuesday at 9 p.m. ET, is part of Zoom Where It Happens, which is described as “a new live table read series presented by Black women artists to raise awareness, intention and activation around voting rights. Hosted by former Friends guest star Gabrielle Union, the reading will be of a “remake” of the season-three bottle episode “The One Where No One’s Ready.” Tuesday’s event features real-life couple Sterling K. Brown and Ryan Michelle Bathe as Ross and Rachel, Aisha Hinds as Monica, Jeremy Pope as Chandler, Uzo Aduba as Phoebe, and Kendrick Sampson as Joey.
“We’ve selected popular four-quadrant shows to attract a wide cross-section of potential voters,” Bathe says in a press release of the reading series, which kicked off Sept. 8 with a Golden Girls reading hosted by Lena Waithe and starring Tracee Ellis Ross, Regina King, Alfre Woodard, and Sanaa Lathan. “We’re thrilled to see how many people have embraced the series and are actively motivated to get out the vote this November.”
More than 100,000 people signed up to attend the Golden Girls reading, and the series will continue with a rotating cast of actors through Election Day 2020. Tuesday’s performance will connect viewers to When We All Vote, the nonpartisan voting initiative founded by Michelle Obama. If When We All Vote sounds familiar, that’s maybe because it’s also the organization benefiting from HBO Max’s upcoming West Wing reunion special...which also stars Sterling K. Brown, who just came off being a double Emmy nominee for his work on The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and This Is Us, and can currently be heard on the most recent season of Kipo And The Age of Wonderbeasts. Just listing all his credits makes us tired.
This reading is not the first time Friends has been reimagined with a Black cast. In 2017, the NBC sitcom was channeled in JAY-Z’s “Moonlight” music video with Issa Rae, Tiffany Haddish, Tessa Thompson, Jerrod Carmichael, LaKeith Stanfield, and Lil Rel Howery.
To register for Tuesday’s event, click this link here.