During Friends‘ original ten-season run, Matthew Perry’s struggles with substance abuse were well documented ones. In the years since the show’s finale, Perry appeared to be very aware of people’s lingering concerns while admitting to a cloudy memory, to the point where “I don’t remember three years of it … somewhere between season 3 and 6 … I was a little out of it, yeah.” Well, the subject revved back up on social media during last week’s HBO Max reunion event, when Perry seemed a little less full of pep (as with a People exclusive video as well) than the rest of the returning cast.
Perry’s got some defenders that want to assure everyone that he’s doing alright. An unnamed source quickly spoke with The Sun to claim that Perry had emergency dental surgery shortly before the reunion filming, and while speaking to Hollywood Reporter, reunion director Ben Winston was quick to respond to a question about Perry’s health while classifying disparaging remarks as “unkind”:
“[H]e was great. People can sometimes just be unkind. I wish they weren’t. I loved working with him. He’s a brilliantly funny man and I thought he had some great one-liners in the show. I felt just happy and lucky to be in his presence and directing him on something like this.”
Likewise, executive producer Kevin Bright supported Perry while declaring, “What people say is what people say.” He added, “I think he’s OK. He seems stronger and better since the last time I saw him, and excited about going forward.”
While the serious nature of substance abuse is no joke, seriously, emergency dental surgery is also no fun, either. Could there be anything less fun to deal with in the hours before the taping of a highly anticipated reunion that would be played for all the world to see? I don’t even attempt to talk or eat after novocaine, and Perry (allegedly) didn’t have that option available to him. Can we refocus the reunion response to the wonderful Matt LeBlank meme instead? Yes, please.