Ach, Matthew Perry

I’m at that age where when people my age die it’s not entirely unexpected — Welcome to being No Longer Young, y’all — but it doesn’t make it less of a shock. It’s compounded in my case by the fact that of all the Friends characters, Perry’s Chandler Bing was the one closest to my own personality, i.e., the quipster, so in a weird way I felt invested in Perry’s life and struggles. Parasocial relationships are strange things, folks. I’m sorry he’s gone.

— JS

11 Comments on “Ach, Matthew Perry”

  1. Friends was one of those shows that just seemed to always be there and you couldn’t help but become invested in the characters. Here in the UK (I’ve no idea if it’s the same in the USA or elsewhere) we get memorial benches, each one with a plaque giving names and dates and all to often now I think, “I’m older than that now” .

  2. I’m usually not upset by the passing of stars. But this one hurt. I have Chandler Bingisms in my vocabulary.


  3. Since I’m 20 years older and never watched Friends, don’t feel the same, but I liked Perry in other things I’ve seen (my wife is a huge fan of his FOOLS RUSH IN, and since my true love Salma Hayek is his co-star…).

    But, yet… it’s been apparent for years that he had a major issue with drugs, in recent years he looked just awful, so I had to admit when I heard the news I wasn’t shocked. Sorry, yes, but not shocked.


  4. I’ve been at that age for a while. And now I am well past it. After a while you might see those moments as, “Well, I might be wearing out one appendage at a time, but I out lasted that guy and he’s a lot richer than me.”

    Sometimes that works for me.

  5. speaking of parasocial relationships…

    Stay safe out there buddy, your family is depending on you to keep monetizing your off-beat sci-fi dad-humor and we are here for the sunsets, cat photos, and restaurant reviews from your offspring.

  6. Like Jeff and T.W., I’m of an age where the ‘Friends’ frenzy kind of passed me by. My spouse and I watched it off and on; it was semi-amusing.

    What I’m finding a little difficult to understand is the way the media in particular are covering this. One of the nation’s allegedly preeminent newspapers said Perry left a “stunning comedic legacy.” Really? He was a reasonably amusing actor in a reasonably amusing TV show. For that show, I’m willing to presume that most of his funny lines were written by other people.

    There were many other very popular sit-coms of this era, including Home Improvement, the Drew Carey Show, Frasier and Family Matters, which starred Tim Allen, Drew Carey, Kelsey Grammer and Jaleel White. When these respective actors die, are they also going to be praised for their stunning comedic legacies? And don’t even get me started on Roseanne Barr.

    I just don’t get it. I mean, I’m sorry he died young. I’m sorry his life was so messed up. but still.

  7. I was a big fan, and this made me very sad. Not unexpected, and I’m sure they’ll discover that his heart gave out or something similar. I thought Mr Sunshine and Go On were terrific portraits of a very funny man with a very sad core, much like Robin Williams. And I loved The Whole Nine (and 10) Yards movies! I really do think he left a legacy of great comedy.

  8. “When these respective actors die, are they also going to be praised for their stunning comedic legacies?”

    Well, in at least two of those cases, I suspect…yes. Yes, they will. And why not? Comedic acting is a skill that many actors don’t have in great supply, and Perry’s contributions in that regard are hardly limited to ONE character on ONE sitcom that might not have made you laugh all that much, but it made a whole lot of other people laugh, long and hard. Is Perry’s “comedic legacy” less than, say, Carroll O’Connor’s?

  9. Jeff M:

    And you had to share that…why? I suspect I’m a bit (but not much) younger than you, but I’m not sure why I’d shit on his appearance while referencing his medical issues.

    my dog is named apc-saurus:

    Nice name :) (I realized on preview that this sounded sarcastic — It’s not! It’s a good name!)

    I don’t understand your comment. You’re basically saying “this comedy didn’t appeal to me” (with an implied “Nobody else should care about this”)
    followed by a pro forma RIP. Again, what was the purpose of your post?

    Kelsey Grammer might be a clue — he’s a comedic genius and on the (hopefully far off) day he dies he will be celebrated as such. I don’t like the guy’s politics, but I’ll celebrate his artistic talents.

    For my own sake, I think that Chandler Bing’s comedy (which is to say, Matthew Perry’s comedy) was very formative to me. I’m not going to claim that it was the best influence, but well, could I BE more self-referential?

    No man is an island,
    Entire of itself.
    Each is a piece of the continent,
    A part of the main.
    If a clod be washed away by the sea,
    Europe is the less.
    As well as if a promontory were.
    As well as if a manor of thine own
    Or of thine friend’s were.
    Each man’s death diminishes me,
    For I am involved in mankind.

    Therefore, send not to know
    For whom the bell tolls,
    It tolls for thee.

    I’m sad we lost him, and wish he had led a happier life, full stop.

  10. the show lasted long enough to simply become a part of the routine, the ever on background noise… ten years… and now thanks to streaming services it has been available upon demand… which meant when you’re in the mood for it there it is waiting on you… it was brain candy never an entree nor did anyone involved in the show seek to be much more than a bowl of chocolate coated malt balls

    so yeah, pro forma RIP