"I’m Chandler. I make jokes when I’m uncomfortable.”
The sudden death of Matthew Perry left everyone speechless. Matthew Perry was half American and half Canadian, he was an actor, a comedian, and a producer. He also gained a Screen Actors' Guild Award for the role interpereted. He became internationally known by everyone for having played the beloved character of Chandler Bing in Friends from 1994 to 2004, and was found dead at the young age of 54 in his house in Los Angeles, on the 28th of October. The tragic episode left everyone aghast, sorrowful, and terribly sad.
The first episode of Friends was aired on the 22nd of September 1994 and the last one on the 6th of March, 2004. Yet Friends, as well as its protagonists, have been the background of the childhood generation born in the 1980s, leaving an indelible imprint. From looks to habits, from genuineness to humor, the younger viewers were catapulted into an era that they had only barely experienced and of which they already felt nostalgic. Those who were born in 1990s were too young to watch the series when it was released, and most of them, like me, started watching it ten years ago, during their teenage years. Friends was the comfort zone for every single person: from teenagers, to adolescents, to adults. It confirmed itself as a show where people could rely on, could relax, laugh, and could get involved in the yet complicated but hysterical life of the six friends from the Grenwich Village in New York. Binge watching after binge watching, the show became the background of our lives, Friends has become to all intents and purposes the favorite scenario in which to find refuge. It didn't matter that the series was considered "vintage", the discomforts and amusements of the young age were almost the same and remained relatable for subsequent generations. Friends has been confirmed as the show that gave comfort to many generations: mothers, fathers, friends, children, and after all teenagers. It was one of the best shows that gave relief, lightness, and smiles to numerous people of different ages and nationalities. The amount of people who loved this tv show is unquantifiable. Still today there are people that binge watch the show, even if it was released almost 30 years ago. The new generation feels comfortable and feels at ease watching it during their free time, while they have dinner, or just sitting on the couch before going to bed. Fans feel a connection to their storylines, to their love problems, to their every day routine. Friends has always been the Show that doesn't become old fashioned. It still is considered vintage but at the same time a modern series for the innumerous and various topics depicted in over ten years, for this reason it keeps up with time.
Matthew Perry gave a lot to his character, his smile, his ironic jokes, his adventures, his love stories, his problems, his sadness, and his happiness became ours. That's why the death of Matthew Perry, who interpreted Chandler Bing has affected both older and younger fans; because of the fame the show had among the years and how great he interpreted Chandler, a precise and meticulous accounting analyst, a very ironic and romantic man in love with Monica, interpreted by Courtney Cox. The love his fans had for him is not quantifiable in words, fans remained shocked and speechless in front of his premature death. Chandler Bing was loved by many people, the tv show gave us a safe haven, a place to refuge ourselves and forget about our problems. It was a safe shelter, a place where you could find comfort and laugh heartily. Chandler Bing was loved by generations, his character made many people smile and laugh, and forget about their troubles. Watching an iconic tv series like Friends was more than just a series, it was the show per excellance that has brought generations close together, and people got involved in the intriguing love stories of Rachel, Ross, Monica, Chandler, Phoebe, and Joey. Their stories invaded our houses spreading love, delight, and amusement. They are more than just characters, they became our friends, they are humans that for more than ten years kept us company during the most beautiful events of our lives, and in the saddest as well.
The one where we lost a friend.
The death of Matthew Perry shocked everyone, he was not only known as Chandler Bing, he was a man, a son, a friend; he was our friend, a friend with whom you could laugh for 45 minutes a night, a person with whom his lightness turned into serenity, thanks to his tireless ironic jokes. Our love toward Matthew Perry, as well as our love toward Chandler Bing was immense. Rivers of people, and fans went under the Friends' house in New York to pay homage to him, through a message, a bouquet of flowers, or simply a letter to thank him for his iconic simplicity, and his irony in these ten years of Friends. Without him, Friends wouldn't have been the same. His death showed how much he was loved and appreciated by many people around the world. Social media like Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok, were the ones where you could feel how strong the interest of the fans was towards him. His disappearance quickly became the trending topic. Fans paid homage to Chandler with edits, graphics and dedications of all kinds. Many people, in tears, feel that they have lost a friend. This was Chandler Bing to many: a friend. And it may seem absurd to empathize so much with someone you have never had the luck and the opportunity to have met in person but... Isn't that the power of being an artist, an actor, a hilarious character that spread love? Chandler, more than anyone, has meant so much to each generation, but especially to the generation of the outcasts, those who often don't feel comfortable with society. Chandler taught us how to smile when things don't always turn in the right direction and also how to overcome traumas, difficulties, and anxieties; and smile in front of misadventures. From Chandler you felt understood, his humor and sarcasm shaped that of many and, despite his difficulties and insecurities, he always remained a great example to follow: from his friendship with Joey to his healthy marriage to Monica.
Friends iconic quotes and memes became famous all over the world. They are used daily by young people on Instagram to express their moods. So only a small percentage of those who still haven't watched it yet, are beginning to know the series thanks to the quotes spread on social media. Many, thanks to these iconic memes on the web started watching it, and started loving it.
Chandler Bing and his five friends have been, are, and will be a healthy distraction from the anxieties of everyday life, a therapy, a laugh, a moment of light reflection. Matthew Perry in his last interview admitted that he didn't just want to be remembered as a protagonist of Friends, but as a man who spent all his energy in rehab therapy and wanted to help others with his same problems. He recently wrote and published a book called: "Friends, Lovers and The Terrible Thing". In his book he speaks about his journey, from childhood to fame, to addiction. He describes his lifelong battle, his biggest struggle, his character that made him famous, and how he found peace in rehab therapy, and in sobriety. This book, is a very strong memoir, an intimate part of his life, an incredible story of survival, a very touching private story that he wanted to share with everyone. Through this book he wanted to help all the people fighting his same battle to know they aren't alone, and with help, they can get over it, as he did. He released his book on November 1st 2022, and a couple of days after his passing he should have been in New York presenting his book. It is essential to remember that he created the Perry House in Malibu, a sober-living facility for men, as a way to help others with alcohol or drug addiction and another way to share his private journey to inspire others to get treatment and get help. This shows even more how not only Friends' fans loved him, but that people felt more grateful that an actor shared with all of us his troubles and problems, demonstrating how he was an ordinary person like the rest of us, with his strength and weaknesses, that's what made people love him even more.
I'm sure that Matthew will be happy to know, that his book has helped many people, and will help others in the future. He was an acclaimed actor, his impact and his irony were and still will continue to spread all over the world... and his legacy will live forever!
Thank you for making us laugh with your romantic, sweet, and sarcastic jokes.
The world will miss you,
You will never be forgotten!