Matthew Perry’s Chandler Bing memorably moved to Tulsa, Oklahoma for a brief time during Friends season 9, and there were behind-the-scenes reasons for his reduced screen time in the show. Matthew Perry played the cynical and sarcastic character for all 236 episodes of the NBC sitcom. Created by David Crane and Marta Kauffman, Friends ran for 10 seasons between 1994 and 2004. Miraculously, the series was able to keep all six core characters during the decade-long run, but that didn’t mean every aspect of the cast’s professional careers and personal lives went smoothly along the way. Ahead of the show’s penultimate season, some of the characters’ lives changed forever with the birth of Ross and Rachel’s daughter, Emma. While Rachel was stuck in a weird love triangle between Ross and Joey, Monica and Chandler had hopes of expanding their own family by trying for a baby. Before the married couple learned that they were unable to naturally conceive, they were faced with a career change that put a strain on their relationship.
In the second episode of Friends season 9, “The One Where Emma Cries,” Chandler fell asleep during an important meeting at his workplace and accidentally accepted an offer to move to Oklahoma to run a division of the company in Tulsa. After failing to get out of the new gig, Chandler had no choice but to commute between Tulsa and New York City. Even though Chandler ended up quitting his job by the season’s tenth episode, it notably limited actor Matthew Perry’s screen time. Aside from being a fresh storyline, the decision for Chandler to transfer to Tulsa was highly speculated to be connected to the actor’s personal struggles.
Matthew Perry Was Busy Getting His Life Back Together
Since Friends ended a decade and a half ago, Perry has been outspoken about his issues with drugs and alcohol while appearing in the series. The actor already had a dependency on alcohol when he suffered a jet ski accident in 1997. Following the event, Perry became addicted to Vicodin and other drugs, resulting in a short rehab stint. His weight was noticeably fluctuating, and his co-stars attempted to provide any support necessary, but Perry’s life was spiraling. In 2001, Perry was still struggling, so he sought help from his family, which led to another rehabilitation period. He eventually returned back to his acting gigs, but getting his life to a happy place became a long-term mission. Despite not missing any episodes on Friends, he was given a less prominent storyline so that his health could be the priority.
Perry has since shared that he doesn’t even remember filming three seasons of Friends. Though he has fought for sobriety, Perry continued attending rehab as a way to continue his recovery. In recent years, the Friends alum has paid it forward to those who are suffering from similar situations. Perry reunited with his former co-stars for the Friends special on HBO Max, but helping others is currently his primary focus.
Matt Perry’s Speech Was Slurred During The Friends Reunion – But He’s Still Sober
The Friends reunion special was a resounding success, with all six original cast members returning for the program. However, there was one element of the show that had watchers concerned — Matthew Perry’s slurred speech. The actor has battled his own demons throughout his career only to come out victorious as he settled into sober living. However, many noticed that during the Friends reunion, his speech was slurred, causing worry that the actor had relapsed. Luckily, this wasn’t the case, but there was a different medical reason behind his speech difficulties that day. Apparently, on the day of the reunion filming, Matthew Perry had to undergo emergency dental surgery and was in a lot of pain, resulting in the slurred speech seen in the final edit of the reunion. No actor wants to perform after surgery, but Perry decided that the show must go on and joined the reunion special anyway. People who are worried about Perry’s sobriety can put their minds at ease knowing the reason behind his slurred speech at the Friends reunion was dental.
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