“Friends” celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2014, and despite no new episode being released in over 10 years, the series has retailed its popularity. Fans still clamor for a reunion, and every time the cast members reunite in any form, it’s celebrated.
Lisa Kudrow, who played Phoebe Buffay on the NBC classic, recently shepherded another one of her comedy series back into the public spotlight when “The Comeback” Season 2 premiered on HBO, nine years after it was originally canceled. When asked why she thinks “Friends” remains beloved after so many years, Kudrow has one simple answer: It’s funny.
“One of the things is it’s still funny. I’ve caught an episode here and there, and I’m laughing. It’s still really funny. So I think that’s part of it,” she tells Zap2it, acknowledging that its humor still works today “for the most part.”
“The thing that hasn’t changed since ‘Friends’ is people are scattered and away from their families. Especially if you are living in New York, you literally are living with five other people,” she acknowledges.
Considering “Friends” can still be found on a number of TV channels including TBS, Nickelodeon, TV Land and The CW, and will soon be coming to Netflix, it’s almost impressive that Kudrow avoids reruns. When asked why she doesn’t embrace the airings when she stumbles upon them, Kudrow admits it’s hard to watch herself in the decades-old show.
“Part of it is, I don’t know why, but I’m embarrassed,” she says. “I know I’m at home, and I know that no one’s really looking at the camera on my TV, but [laughs] I don’t know why, but I feel self-conscious sitting there laughing at my own show.”
Kudrow continues, “When I have watched it and I pretend like I’m a grownup and not in junior high school, I’m laughing hysterically at the other people for sure. Sometimes, you know, I think I’m just dreadful, and sometimes I think I’m alright. It depends what mood I’m in. But the other people crack me up. I mean, whenever I do see it, I’m re-amazed at how talented they are.”
Now Kudrow finds other comedies to make her laugh. She enjoys “The Mindy Project” and “The Big Bang Theory,” is catching up on “Black-ish” and admits she recently got on a “Will & Grace” kick where she went back and watched every single episode. “They’re really funny — like, laugh-out-loud,” she says. Adopting a Valerie Cherish voice from “The Comeback,” she adds with a laugh, “‘I just discovered Karen Walker. She’s funny!'”