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Jennifer Aniston & Lisa Kudrow during 1995 VH1 Honors in Los Angeles, California, United States.© Getty Images

Jennifer Aniston recalls 'unfortunate' incident with Lisa Kudrow when Friends premiered 30 years ago — what happened

The NBC sitcom marked 20 years since its finale last month

Ahad Sanwari
Ahad Sanwari - New York
Senior WriterNew York
June 6, 2024
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Through the decades, Friends has remained a touchstone of television, particularly sitcoms and TV comedies, and just last month marked 20 years since its finale aired in 2004.

Jennifer Aniston joined Quinta Brunson for the latest installment of Variety's Actors on Actors segment, with the two beloved comedians gushing over the NBC sitcom as well.

Quinta, 34, spoke fondly about finding inspiration for the highly successful Abbott Elementary in an ensemble comedy like Friends, and Jennifer, 55, attributed it to the chemistry between the leads.

"Friends is turning 30," Quinta remarked, leaving Jennifer almost in disbelief as she remembered the day the show premiered, September 22, 1994, and what the cast was up to that day.

"It's so strange to even think that it's 30 years old," she shared. "Because I remember the day that it was going to premiere on television, on NBC: Matthew Perry and I were having lunch somewhere, and we knew Lisa was getting her hair colored." 

She continued to reveal that they decided to find her and have some fun with her, although not everything went to plan. "So we ran into the hair salon, and I snuck up — she was in the sink — and I took the nozzle from the guy that was supposed to be doing it and just started washing her hair." 

Lisa Kudrow and Jennifer Aniston during The 29th Annual People's Choice Awards - Backstage and Audience at Pasadena Civic Auditorium in Pasadena, California, United States.© Getty Images
Jennifer recalled playing a prank on Lisa that didn't completely go to plan

"It definitely flew out of control, and that was unfortunate. But the excitement we had, it feels like yesterday," Jennifer gushed, expressing that they had remained a "family" over the years, united once again by the tragic passing of Matthew Perry last October.

RELATED: Courteney Cox reflects on Matthew Perry's tragic death months later: 'He visits me a lot'

"The fact that it's had this long, wonderful life and it still means a lot to people is one of the greatest gifts I think all five of us — all six of us — we never could imagine," the Just Go With It star said. 

FRIENDS -- "The One With Monica And Chandler's Wedding" -- Episode 24 -- Aired 5/17/2001 -- Pictured:  (l-r) Lisa Kudrow as Phoebe Buffay, Jennifer Aniston as Rachel Green© NBC
The pair starred on the hit NBC sitcom together for a decade

"And we see each other. I talked on FaceTime with [Courteney Cox] last night for an hour, and Lisa and the boys, and we just have a really — it's a family forever."

MORE: The Friends Emmys reunion honoring Matthew Perry almost did happen, but there's an emotional reason it didn't

Quinta expressed a similar sentiment about feeling like she'd already created a family with her castmates on Abbott Elementary in just three years, including Sheryl Lee Ralph, Lisa Ann Walter, Tyler James Williams, Janelle James, and more.

FRIENDS -- "The One with Chandler in a Box" Episode 8 -- Pictured: (l-r) Matt LeBlanc as Joey Tribbiani, Lisa Kudrow as Phoebe Buffay, Courteney Cox as Monica Geller, David Schwimmer as Ross Geller, Matthew Perry as Chandler Bing, Jennifer Aniston as Rachel Green© Getty Images
"The fact that it's had this long, wonderful life and it still means a lot to people is one of the greatest gifts I think all five of us — all six of us — we never could imagine."

"Being a part of an ensemble like that — I'm part of one now only three years, and those people, they're family. I can't even imagine, because that was the '90s, which is probably different."

EXCLUSIVE: Abbott Elementary star Lisa Ann Walter praises Quinta Brunson for surprise casting decision

Quinta shared her experience of basing Abbott Elementary, which will premiere its fourth season in the fall, off of the example set by Friends, particularly the will-they-won't-they dynamic between Janine and Gregory, based on Ross and Rachel.

ABBOTT ELEMENTARY - Pilot  In this workplace comedy, a group of dedicated, passionate teachers  and a slightly tone-deaf principal  are brought together in a Philadelphia public school where, despite the odds stacked against them, they are determined to help their students succeed in life. Though these incredible public servants may be outnumbered and underfunded, they love what they do  even if they dont love the school districts less-than-stellar attitude toward educating children. TYLER JAMES WILLIAMS, CHRIS PERFETTI, QUINTA BRUNSON, SHERYL LEE RALPH, LISA ANN WALTER© Getty Images
"I'm part of one now only three years, and those people, they're family."

"I just want you to know, I learned about the beauty of an ensemble through watching Friends," she said sweetly. "You really do all seem to have a really beautiful relationship and chemistry — it's just perfection."

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