Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Lisa Kudrow, Phoebe (sort of)
Lisa Kudrow, Phoebe (sort of)
Screenshot: Jimmy Kimmel Live

With Jimmy Kimmel Live being the only late-night game in town this week, Kimmel spent an unhurried seven minutes chatting with former Friends and current Space Force star Lisa Kudrow at one of her homes. (Friends money is a glorious thing, if you can get it.) Sort of a bummer for Kudrow, really, as tomorrow is her 25th anniversary, and her husband is slumming it in Palm Springs thanks to some second-home renovations and the requisite, dutiful quarantining. The Emmy-winner was equanimous about the whole, all-too-familiar disruption of all personal milestones, an attitude that extended to the other big thing that was originally scheduled for May 27.

That’s when those happy, homogenously white workhorses from Friends were actually all going to be in the same place at the same time to celebrate their decade of lucrative forced friendship. (Sure, all six actors do really seem quite fond of each other and all, although not enough that Kudrow has ever found time to replace David Schwimmer’s broken-off arm in her commemorative Friends bobblehead collection.) Telling Kimmel that she’s sure the variously busy former castmates will, eventually, come together to celebrate their time in the NBC gold mines, Kudrow, once again, seemed untroubled but apologetic about the delay. HBO might be a bit less breezy about the postponed TV gathering, since the special was intended to help launch new streaming service and sole streaming Friends home HBO Max today, but maybe the extra time will give the cable giant some time to figure out just who the hell gets their new service and who doesn’t.

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Sticking with the Friends tchotchke theme, The Comeback star also was seated in front of a suspicious bit of TV set dressing that eagle-eyed, dangerously obsessive Friends fans might recall as the root of one of Kudrow’s most fondly remembered on-set improvs. Noting that Matthew Perry swiped the “Cookie Time” clock-shaped cookie jar from the set of Monica and Rachel’s infamously spacious New York apartment as a wrap gift for her (hey, Friends money doesn’t mean you can’t be frugal), Kudrow recalled how she and Perry came up with a bit of comic business where Phoebe, running late, checked the cookie jar for the time. (Man, those friends really did have some fun, huh?) Kudrow also explained—with perhaps the slightest hint of lingering resentment—that she’s unsure how Perry pulled off the prop heist, since she told Kimmel NBC security would routinely search her car for contraband when she left the lot. That’s life yoked to an unprecedentedly popular network cash cow, one supposes. As for now, the acclaimed actor isn’t in much of a hurry for things to get back to normal, telling Kimmel that Space Force (where she plays the wife of Steve Carell’s reluctant head of the titular, perhaps too-ludicrous-for-satire government program) was fun to do, even if she hadn’t been aware until after filming just how far life under Donald Trump had boldly gone into the void where satire goes to die.

Contributor, The A.V. Club. Danny Peary's Cult Movies books are mostly to blame.

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