Six underrated Matthew Perry roles that aren't Chandler in Friends

Six underrated Matthew Perry roles that aren't Chandler in Friends
Matthew Perry says he was ‘only one’ who wanted to be in …
Today, BBC Radio 4

Matthew Perry’s character from Friends, Chandler Bing, was so beloved by millions that the actor will forever be associated with him and his hilarious one liners.

But Perry, who died on 28 October in Los Angeles, wasn’t just a one-trick pony.

He was in dozens of films, TV shows and even stage productions that show his legacy is far richer and more varied than just being remembered for the famous sitcom.

Here are a couple of his lesser known works, in celebration of Perry's life and career.

She’s Out Of Control (1989)

Chandler wasn’t even a glint in Perry’s eye when he appeared in Stan Dragoti’s 1989 indie comedy She’s Out Of Control.

The coming of age comedy starring Tony Danza and Catherine Hicks is about a father coming to terms with his daughter growing up.

A twenty-year-old Perry played Timothy, one of the daughter’s several boyfriends in the film.

Unfortunately, it didn’t go down well with the critics. One reviewer wrote: “I became so depressed I actually thought about quitting my job as a film critic.”

But 34 years later, the film has a certain charm and certainly carries a few laughs. For diehard fans of Friends it is required viewing.

Matthew Perry in She's Out of Control (1989)

The Odd Couple (2015-17)

Perry executive produced The Odd Couple, a sitcom based on the 1965 play written by Neil Simon.

He also starred in it as the slovenly Oscar Madison, acting opposite Thomas Lennon playing the obsessively tidy Felix Unger.

In fact, Perry had been pushing for a version of the show to be made since the late noughties, hoping for a launch in 2010. However, executives passed on it, and Perry was forced to shop it around.

Eventually, it got picked up in 2013, and Perry got his show. It ran for 38 episodes across three seasons, marking Perry’s longest-running TV show behind Friends.

The Odd Couple Episode 1 01 Pilot Sneak Peek

The End Of Longing (2016)

Perry’s stage career wasn’t as extensive as his film and TV appearances, but he still found time to write his own play.

The End Of Longing was a dark comedy, starring Perry as an alcoholic named Jack, and was performed both on Broadway and on the West End.

Referencing his own struggles with addiction, Perry later wrote that the play was “sort of an exaggerated form of myself” but that it was not an autobiographical part.

While it got mixed reviews, one critic said: “The writing is wired, raw, politically incorrect and very funny [...] Perry's a novice playwright, but one of great promise.”

Matthew Perry on His Play 'The End of Longing'

The Whole Nine Yards (2000)

Being at the peak of his Friends fame didn’t stop Perry from appearing in The Whole Nine Yards, a crime comedy starring Bruce Willis.

Perry plays Oz, a mild-mannered dentist who travels to Chicago to inform a mob boss about the whereabouts of his new neighbour, a former hitman with a price on his head.

Film critic Roger Ebert wrote: “A subtle but unmistakable aura of jolliness sneaks from the screen during The Whole Nine Yards, and eventually we suspect that the actors are barely suppressing giggles.

“This is the kind of standard material everyone could do in lockstep, but you sense inner smiles, and you suspect the actors are enjoying themselves.”

It’s a romp, and well worth a watch.

The Whole Nine Yards (2000) Official Trailer - Bruce Willis, Matthew Perry Movie

Serving Sara (2002)

Perry didn’t do quite so well in Serving Sara, the romcom starring him and Elizabeth Hurley. The film follows a server given the assignment to serve a British socialite with divorce papers.

However, he is bribed to serve her husband instead so that she can get a big divorce payout – and all manner of chaos ensues.

Sadly, the film was thoroughly panned and didn’t do well at the box office, where it grossed only $5.8m on opening weekend.

Check out the trailer and judge for yourself.

Serving Sara

Scrubs (2004)

And finally, from one era-defining sitcom to another, Perry went from Friends to a guest appearance in Scrubs.

The medical comedy, which starred Zach Braff, went on for nine seasons through the noughties, and became one of the best-loved shows of its era.

Perry played an air traffic controller, Murray. See a clip of Perry and Braff, the comic duo you didn’t know you needed, here.

Scrubs - Matthew Perry In Scrubs -

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