The tear-stained file labeled “Good Stuff To Come Out Of This Whole 2020 Nonsense” is an unsurprisingly slim one. (It’s not a literal file, we’re all working from home, this is a mental file and yes, even mental files can become tear-stained.) There’s the kid who is hopefully making loads of money off of being bored in the house, there’s the song of the summer, there’s all the Murder, She Wrote stuff we bought on Etsy, you get the idea. Tucked inside that non-physical file is the ongoing pop culture quiz Mandy Patinkin’s son has been proctoring for his parents (that’d be actor/writer Kathryn Grody and her husband, Mandy Patinkin). Really, all things Patinkin/Grody belong in that file, but the quiz is a particular gem and this, dear reader, could be its zenith. Behold, the Friends theme.
There is just so much to unpack here, but the purest pleasure of this remarkable little video is not the absolute certainty with which Gordon guesses “Yellow Submarine” nor the perfect gesture with which Patinkin encapsulates Jennifer Aniston’s pep. (It is perfect; somehow with two hands Patinkin captures the phenomenon that was The Rachel. It could only be improved by the presence of his beard, may it rest in peace.)
Is Seinfeld about friends? Sort of. Does Friends star Jennifer Aniston, a famous TV star who is on a lot of magazine covers? Yes. Show us the lie. Mandy Patinkin has isolated the core of both of these titans of Must See TV. He is among the best of us, the very best. Mandy, if you’d ever like to start recapping television shows, you’ve got a job waiting.
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