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There are some things people never forget, and for Lisa Kudrow one of those moments was a run-in with Jerry Seinfeld during her early Friends years. During an interview with The Daily Beast published on Wednesday, the 59-year-old actress recalls a conversation she once had with the 68-year-old comedian as his show was helping kick-start the success of Friends.
"No. I did not at all," Kudrow says when asked if she ever felt competitive with Seinfeld, which aired from1989 to 1998. "Not to take anything away from the writing on Friends, or the cast, or how good Friends really was, but the first season our ratings were just fine. We held onto enough of Mad About You and starting building, but it was in the summer when we were in reruns after Seinfeld, where Seinfeld was our lead-in, where we exploded."
While Kudrow gave kudos to Seinfeld for helping build the success of Friends, in which she starred as Pheobe Buffay from 1994 to 2004, she says he also wasn't shy to take credit when she met him at a party during that time period.
"I remember going to some party and Jerry Seinfeld was there," she recalls. "And I said, 'Hi,' and he said, 'You’re welcome.' I said, 'Why, thank you… what?' And he said, 'You’re on after us in the summer, and you’re welcome.' And I said, 'That’s exactly right. Thank you.'"
While it's been nearly two decades since Friends ended after 10 seasons, the cast -- which included Jennifer Aniston as Rachel Greene, Courteney Cox as Monica Gellar, David Schwimmer as Ross Gellar, Matt LeBlanc as Joey Tribiani, and Matthew Perry as Chandler Bing -- remains incredibly close, and even reunited for a reunion special which aired on HBO Max last year.
While some memories, like her conversation with Seinfeld, remain embedded in her head, Kudrow previously opened up about having to relearn her character's infamous "Smelly Cat" song which she played alongside Lady Gaga during the reunion.
"That was great. I was really nervous when I first heard that," Kudrow said on a previous episode of The Ellen DeGeneres Show of finding out she'd be duetting with the singer. "Then I prepared. I realized I had to learn 'Smelly Cat' again. I tuned my guitar and realized I don't know the chords. But I Googled it! All the chords were there. Thank you, world, for posting the chords. So I learned it."
In May 2021, Kudrow told ET that the best part of filming the reunion was just being around her former co-stars. "Being in the same room with these people and getting to hug them [was my favorite]," she gushed.