Matthew Perry continues to celebrate his television past while he goes on with his present.
Set to return to weekly work as a sportscaster dealing with his wife’s death in the comedy-with-drama “Go On” — which NBC gives an early launch during Summer Olympics coverage Wednesday, Aug. 8 — the actor known to countless fans for his 10 seasons as wisecracking, self-deprecating Chandler Bing is glad “Friends” reruns remain ever visible on outlets including TBS and Nick at Nite.
“It’s interesting,” Perry tells Zap2it, “because what I’m finding out is that a whole new generation has found the show, and that’s really nice. I mean, it’s not just the cute girl’s mother who likes the show. A whole audience is becoming familiar with that show and how good it was.
“I remember that while we were shooting it, we tried not to just do timely jokes,” adds Perry. “We tried to avoid things that wouldn’t play eight years later. The benefit of new people enjoying the show is that it allows us the opportunity to still have some doors open … and the negative is that you have to fly past the idea that people will only see you that way.”
Perry tried to expand his on-screen image with other post-“Friends” series roles in NBC’s “Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip” and ABC’s “Mr. Sunshine,” and surely his guest shots on CBS’ “The Good Wife” last season. “I think it happened to a lot of the ‘Friends’ cast,” he notes, “and certainly to me, where you sort of get pigeonholed. You only get offered things that people have seen you do already.
“The movie opportunities that came my way were always romantic comedies, so you’d try to pick the best one. Because people saw me making sarcastic comments in a coffeehouse, I wasn’t being offered big action films or any of that stuff. Hopefully, this show will be successful and some of those will come my way now, too.”