Lisa Kudrow recalls Jerry Seinfeld taking some credit for early 'Friends' success

Lisa Kudrow doesn't think a Friends movie would work with the original cast.
While the co-stars of the show, which ran from 1994 to 2004, reunited for the HBO Max reunion last year, the actress who played Phoebe Buffay can't imagine it going beyond that.
The actress told the Daily Beast she was "never" approached for a Friends film. She said co-creators Marta Kauffman and David Crane didn't want to do one — "none of 'the cast' would think of moving without her."
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She continued, "I think if there ever was anything like that, if Marta and David ever signed anything like that, it would have to be a different cast at that age. I think it needs to be more up to date - and more diverse representation isn't a bad idea, you know?"
Kudrow went on to discuss the long-running diversity debate surrounding the NBC sitcom, a NYC show with an all-white cast — also including Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, David Schwimmer, Matt LeBlanc and Matthew Perry — and peripheral characters. In June, Kauffman pledged $4 million to her alma mater, Brandeis University, to establish an endowed chair in the school's African and African American Studies department, saying she was "embarrassed that I didn't know any better 25 years ago." .
Pictured: (l-r) Matt LeBlanc as Joey Tribbiani, David Schwimmer as Ross Geller, Lisa Kudrow as Phoebe Buffay, Jennifer Aniston as Rachel Green, Matthew Perry as Chandler Bing, Courteney Cox Arquette as Monica Geller (Credit: Andrew Eccles/NBCU Photo Bank /NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images)
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Kudrow told the outlet, "Well, I feel like it was a show that was created by two people who went to Brandeis and wrote about their lives after college. And for shows especially if it's going to be character driven comedy, you write what you know. They have nothing to do with writing stories about the experiences of being a person of color. I think the big problem I saw at the time was, 'Where's the education?'”
Kudrow, a star of upcoming HBO Max comedy The Parenting, said respect is key to the relationship between her and her friends' co-stars. They were known for negotiating better deals together. That friendship showed up all those years later during the Friends reunion.
"We got along really well," she said. "I think what we should acknowledge the most is the relationship that the six of us have built. It was really respectful. If someone said something and you didn't feel good about it, you gave it to them when in doubt - always. It was a fantastic relationship that we all got to experience.”
The gang reunites for Friends: The Reunion. (Photo: Terence Patrick/HBO Max)
While Kudrow looked back on the legacy of the beloved series, he also revealed a funny story about meeting Jerry Seinfeld when Friends took flight. His comedy Seinfeld was already a big hit on the same network after it debuted in 1989, and the two shows set ratings records.
When asked if she felt competitive with Seinfeld, Kudrow replied, "No. I don't have that at all. Not to take anything away from the writing about Friends, or the cast, or how good Friends really was, but for season one, our ratings were justly good. We kept enough of Mad About You and started building, but it was in the summer when we had repeats after Seinfeld, where Seinfeld was our opener, that we blew up.
She recalled "going to a party back then" and Seinfeld was there. And I said, "Hi," and he said, "You're welcome." I said, 'Why, thanks what?' And he said, 'You're after us in the summer, and you're welcome.' And I said, 'That's exactly right. Thanks.'"
In a recent interview, Kudrow spoke about her 24-year-old son, Julian Stern, seeing Friends for the first time.
"He called me and said, 'So I just watched the first two episodes. It's really good, Mom,'" Kudrow said on Late Night With Seth Meyers. "I said, 'Thank you.' He said, 'Can I ask you some questions about that?' I say yes!' I almost started crying. I didn't think anyone in my family liked this show." But the moment didn't go as planned, as he told her, "It's really funny and the boys are so funny" — without giving her any credit for her comedic skills. "He's like, 'No, I mean, you're funny too. And never in my life have I wanted to say to my own child, 'F*** you,'" she quipped.
Lisa Kudrow
American actress
Jerry Seinfeld
American comedian and actor
David Schwimmer
US-American actor
Marta Kaufman
American TV producer
Courtney Cox
American actress
Jennifer Aniston
American actress
Matthew Perry
Canadian-American actor

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