The One With Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing (Bonus Episode!)


November 16, 2022

Today we’re sharing a special bonus episode from Suzanne’s sister podcast, Brand New Information! 

Suzanne and Jay just finished Matthew Perry’s new memoir, “Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing”, and they’re ready to talk about it. Fair warning: spoilers abound as they discuss the main takeaways from the book, which include Perry’s long battle with addiction, stories from the set of ‘Friends’, and oddly enough… Keanu Reeves. 

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Speaker 1 (00:00):

I wish more people would listen to our podcast.

Speaker 2 (00:02):

I know. I feel like this is why we need to do an ad. So this is an ad for brand new information, a pop culture and political podcast.

Speaker 1 (00:10):

We’re a couple Gen Xers who talk about pop culture and political stuff on the brand new information pop culture and political podcast. Okay.

Speaker 2 (00:19):

But we’re not a couple we’re siblings. It sounded like you said we’re a couple <laugh>. That was so gross. No, we’re siblings. That’s my brother. I’m his sister. Listen to us wherever you get your podcasts. Welcome to brand new information of pop culture and political podcast. I’m Suzanne of my kind of sweet and the sober mom life.

Speaker 1 (00:40):

I’m Jay of First Event podcast. Each week I’ll teach my sister about politics

Speaker 2 (00:46):

And I’ll teach my brother about pop culture. And we probably won’t break the news,

Speaker 1 (00:53):

But you can count on us to put it back together for you.

Speaker 2 (00:57):

<laugh>. That’s beautiful.

Speaker 1 (01:00):


Speaker 2 (01:05):

Okay, wake up because we have a book to review. We are now a book review podcast.

Speaker 1 (01:12):

We are?

Speaker 2 (01:13):


Speaker 1 (01:15):

I didn’t get the memo. I know I didn’t read the book.

Speaker 2 (01:17):

You did read the book. Well we listened to Is that the same? Is reading and listening to the book the same?

Speaker 1 (01:25):

I read the cliff notes. Cliff Cliff’s notes.

Speaker 2 (01:28):

The Cliff’s notes.

Speaker 1 (01:30):

Yeah. I read the choose your own adventure.

Speaker 2 (01:33):

What happens in the end of yours <laugh>? Like I chose addiction.

Speaker 1 (01:38):

Well I decided to explore the mine and then

Speaker 2 (01:47):

You were the dork that read those

Speaker 1 (01:49):

<laugh>. I

Speaker 2 (01:50):

Love those. I didn’t my choose your own adventure would be like, Hmm. Which store are we gonna shop in today? Okay. No, we are reviewing Matthew Perry’s book. Friends lovers and the big terrible thing. And we will reveal what the big terrible thing is at the end of this podcast. <laugh> choose your own adventure.

Speaker 1 (02:13):

It’s smelly cat.

Speaker 2 (02:15):

It’s gout. <laugh>.

Speaker 1 (02:19):

He never had gout. That’s one thing he never had.

Speaker 2 (02:21):

I know. That is one thing he never had. No, it’s a colostomy bag. That’s the big terrible thing.

Speaker 1 (02:29):

Oh, they kept breaking on it. Spoiler alert, there will be spoilers.

Speaker 2 (02:35):

Oh yeah. We will tell you what happens in this book.

Speaker 1 (02:40):

The first spoiler is that yes, he did get the job of Chandler on friends.

Speaker 2 (02:46):

He did. He was the last one hired.

Speaker 1 (02:49):

He was, although the role was basically written for him.

Speaker 2 (02:53):

I know. I think he informed a lot of the role.

Speaker 1 (02:56):

He was attached to the show. What was it, lax 2142 or something.

Speaker 2 (03:03):

Yeah, yeah. Where

Speaker 1 (03:04):

It was about space age, baggage, handlers, <laugh> who are like little people.

Speaker 2 (03:09):

Wait, they were little people. The baggage handlers. That doesn’t seem like very good casting <laugh>.

Speaker 1 (03:17):

Oh, and that’s the problem.

Speaker 2 (03:19):

<laugh>. Not that they were space age.

Speaker 1 (03:22):

No, there were little people and he had to wear a spacesuit or a space age suit.

Speaker 2 (03:27):

Yeah. He was like, God, I can’t audition for friends like us because I’m the in LAX 24 72 being a space age baggage handler. <laugh>.

Speaker 1 (03:39):

And it was called Friends Like Us. And then Justin Timberlake said, drop the us. It’s cleaner.

Speaker 2 (03:46):

<laugh>. Yeah. Justin Timberlake did <laugh>. Okay, so let’s start at the beginning. Let’s start in Canadian

Speaker 1 (03:55):

On day one.

Speaker 2 (03:57):

He’s from Canada. Jay,

Speaker 1 (03:59):

He is from Canada. I didn’t realize it and I didn’t realize his mom was press secretary to former Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau.

Speaker 2 (04:07):

Yeah, I didn’t

Speaker 1 (04:09):

Either. That was brand new information. That

Speaker 2 (04:11):

Was brand new information. He was also nationally ranked in junior tennis.

Speaker 1 (04:18):

I did know that.

Speaker 2 (04:19):

I did too cuz he was also on 9 0 2 and Oh,

Speaker 1 (04:22):

I knew that. I also knew that he was on the West Wing

Speaker 2 (04:26):

Was and he was nominated for an Emmy. Did he win?

Speaker 1 (04:29):

No, he never won an Emmy. He was nominated a bunch of times.

Speaker 2 (04:32):

I think he was nominated like nine times. So he had a troubled childhood. So his parents got divorced when he was really little. Yeah, two

Speaker 1 (04:43):

Too little for it to really matter.

Speaker 2 (04:46):

I don’t think that’s true because he said this is what really got me. And Jay and I both listened to this book, so I highly recommend listening to it. I think he reads it really well and I really liked it. So he always wished for his parents to get back together for every birthday. That was his wish. And I think I can relate to that so much. Jay, did you wish for our parents to get back together?

Speaker 1 (05:13):

Nah, not really.

Speaker 2 (05:14):

You didn’t?

Speaker 1 (05:16):

No. I do remember having dinner with mom and dad 10 years after they got divorced and then I was like, this is so weird, I can’t even imagine them together. And then I was like, that’s so weird that I’m thinking it’s so weird.

Speaker 2 (05:30):

<laugh>. It’s always weird as a divorced kid that you are just by design in the middle of your parents. And so anytime mom and dad would get together, I felt like I’d have to be like, mom, I don’t know if you’ve met my dad. Dad, this is my mom. She likes I’d

Speaker 1 (05:50):

Have to let me do a dance for the family. So they pay attention to me and don’t fight.

Speaker 2 (05:54):

Yeah, no. I’d have to introduce them and be like, oh mom, dad is liking this and Oh dad, mom likes this.

Speaker 1 (06:05):

I remember you doing that. And I remember just thinking, that’s really sad.

Speaker 2 (06:09):

<laugh>, we were always the links in between our parents.

Speaker 1 (06:15):

I don’t think that Matthew Perry was because his parents moved far apart where his dad lived in la His dad being an actor, struggling actor. And the big traumatic experience he had in his childhood was that he flew as an unaccompanied minor on the plane from Canada to La

Speaker 2 (06:40):

<affirmative> at five.

Speaker 1 (06:41):

At five. Is that too young for that?

Speaker 2 (06:45):

Of course I have a five year old and I cannot imagine putting her on a plane. I can’t imagine Evie going downstairs to get something on our own and getting it successfully and coming back up. That’s nothing against them. So you see that as being tried. That’s a five year old, A five year old, doesn’t know what the hell’s going on ever. They just are figuring out this kind of this world. They don’t know what the hell’s going on. Oh,

Speaker 1 (07:13):

They also gave him benzos as a baby.

Speaker 2 (07:16):

Yeah. What about that? Yeah, he was crying so much. Which yeah, that’s kind of what babies do.

Speaker 1 (07:25):

So they’re like, let’s give him some benzos

Speaker 2 (07:27):

And then they would laugh when he would pass out.

Speaker 1 (07:32):

It doesn’t take too much of a degree in psychotherapy to draw a line from that to being the funny guy on friends.

Speaker 2 (07:42):

I like that. He was like, my parents gave me benzos when I was three months old or three weeks old or something. He’s like, I’m not blaming my parents for becoming a drug addict, but I’m like, you totally are. Which you probably should.

Speaker 1 (07:56):

You’re also not blaming them

Speaker 2 (07:59):

And you kind of are and should.

Speaker 1 (08:01):

Well actually, isn’t that part of the memoir? Just the memoir genre? It’s like, okay, time to blame the parents. If I wrote a memoir, I’d blame my parents

Speaker 2 (08:10):

For sure. I’m writing a memoir and I’m blaming my parents.

Speaker 1 (08:14):

<laugh>, you are writing a memoir. I better have a huge part in it and come out smelling like roses.

Speaker 2 (08:24):

<laugh>, you’re gonna come out smelling like a colostomy bag.

Speaker 1 (08:27):


Speaker 2 (08:29):

No, but going back to the parents being like him being the link between his divorced parents, I think he still did play that role because he said the next time they were in the same room with him was when he woke up from his coma. That was like when he was in his forties. That was the next time his parents were in the same room.

Speaker 1 (08:50):

I can’t remember, was this when his colon exploded? When he literally had colon blow <laugh>?

Speaker 2 (08:58):

Not the cereal, the <laugh>,

Speaker 1 (09:01):

The actual thing.

Speaker 2 (09:03):

I think so. I don’t know. There are a lot of in rehab out of rehab. So this is a Washington Post article. It said half of his life spent in and out of treatment or sober living centers. 14 stays in rehab, 65 times in detox. Beginning at age 26,

Speaker 1 (09:21):

Denise spent 9 million on

Speaker 2 (09:24):

Recovery, 9 million on recovery. So he goes back and forth between his childhood and then getting to LA and starting acting and then getting friends and being in friends and then also kind of his rock bottom moment of his colon bursting.

Speaker 1 (09:43):

So the way it was structured was confusing to me because he was in and outta rehab. It seems like the colon exploding was the rock bottom. But then he went, but he had relapses after that.

Speaker 2 (09:59):

Right. Well it sounds

Speaker 1 (10:01):

Like he, the timeline is screwy and I didn’t know where rock bottom was.

Speaker 2 (10:08):

So first it was the struggle with alcohol, which is most of the friends years. But then he had a jet ski accident when he was filming a movie.

Speaker 1 (10:19):

Fool’s Russian. Yeah,

Speaker 2 (10:21):

I think that’s what he was filming. And then he discovered Vicodin. So then he kind of would always go back and forth between alcohol, Vicodin, there was cocaine in there.

Speaker 1 (10:31):

But that was also the friends. Yeah. And he also said, I was never a cocaine guy, but then he was like when I was taking cocaine

Speaker 2 (10:39):

And he said was never, he contradicted him. He said he never did heroin. Which is

Speaker 1 (10:44):

Yeah, cause he was afraid of needles.

Speaker 2 (10:46):

No, not cuz he was afraid of needles. He was afraid of heroin and that

Speaker 1 (10:51):

<laugh>. Oh right. He was afraid. I miss that.

Speaker 2 (10:53):

Oh my god. But that’s why, cuz that’s generally where if you’re addicted to Vicodin or Oxy, that’s the next step because it’s cheaper and easier to get

Speaker 1 (11:04):

Well and right. Easier to get for most normal people. But when he was really in the depths of his addiction, he could get whatever he wanted because he was famous.

Speaker 2 (11:14):

But also, okay, so this takes me back to the rock bottom. So he would have a surgery, he had the surgery on his stomach or whatever, I don’t know exactly what, but then the doctors would then prescribe him Vicodin and painkillers, <affirmative>. Cause he would complain about his stomach hurting when it didn’t. And so then he would get hooked on that again. It seems like there was just a whole lot of years with a whole lot of drugs and alcohol. And he said he would be sober for two years. There were a lot of stints of sobriety. And then he would fall off. And then he said he would do this drink and cocaine for six days knowing that, or for one day or something, knowing that he would have to spend seven days in detox. And so that sounds like that was just a cycle.

Speaker 1 (12:03):

The only structure I got to the whole thing was when he said on friends, if he was heavy, he was drinking. If he was thin, he was on pills. And if he had a goatee, he was on a lot of pills.

Speaker 2 (12:16):

Which is season. Was that Season three

Speaker 1 (12:19):

I think Season three is when he gets the thinnest. He said he got to

Speaker 2 (12:22):

1 28,

Speaker 1 (12:23):

What was it? 1 28. And his highest was two 20. He had, there’s a hundred pound swing in Chandler during the seasons. He does mention the change between, is it season six and season seven? I

Speaker 2 (12:38):

Think that’s the

Speaker 1 (12:39):

Engagement. He’s literally wearing the same clothes.

Speaker 2 (12:42):

So that’s when he proposes to Monica with that big orange shirt, which <laugh> the girls’ clothes and friends kind of hold up. I mean some of ’em are questionable, but man, the guys fashion and friends do not, they just don’t hold up,

Speaker 1 (12:57):

Hold up, hold up, hold up. Their fashion isn’t relevant now because I need to totally rework

Speaker 2 (13:05):

The giant button down where it’s almost down to his knees. So oversized.

Speaker 1 (13:12):

That’s literally half the shirts in my closet.

Speaker 2 (13:15):

I know. I’ve been meaning to talk to you about that. So that’s where you can really see in the episode where he proposes to Monica because that it’s a season ender. And so between that last episode and then the first season of the seventh episode, he loses 50 pounds. And it’s the same shirt. It’s supposed to be the same night.

Speaker 1 (13:37):

Yeah, it is not even the same guy.

Speaker 2 (13:39):

But he did say he was never drunk on the set of friends. And he said he was like, I was a part of the Yankees. Like he said, I was a second basement for the Yankees. I would never screw that up. But he said he was often very hungover.

Speaker 1 (13:55):

But also Jennifer Aniston went into his trailer and said, you’re drinking again and we can smell it on

Speaker 2 (14:01):

You. But I think that’s even hungover.

Speaker 1 (14:03):

But I guess if he’s hungover, you could still smell the alcohol.

Speaker 2 (14:07):

She seemed like she was really trying to help him. She didn’t know how, but she seemed really sweet to him.

Speaker 1 (14:16):

And he mentioned many times that friends was such a cash cow that nobody wanted to

Speaker 2 (14:21):


Speaker 1 (14:22):

With it upset anything with friends. So they just basically enabled him. And that was, as I progressed in the book, I started really seeing just the levels of people enabling him to continue. And I can’t really put my finger on it, but it’s almost like he doesn’t even recognize how enabled he was while he is writing the book

Speaker 2 (14:46):

Because he was on friends. You don’t think that he recognizes that or he kind of calls that out?

Speaker 1 (14:53):

I mean, he talks about these treatment centers that he goes to and that somebody makes a mistake and puts ’em on 10% of something he’s supposed to be on and he’s criticizing them and it’s like, yeah, okay, that’s a bummer. But you can also spend $10,000 a week at a treatment center and a lot of people. Yeah, I don’t think he recognizes really his privilege throughout the whole thing. And he sounds, especially when he complains about the service he gets because of his privilege, it it’s not a good look.

Speaker 2 (15:26):

It seems to me like he has a love hate relationship with it. I think he loves the money because he does talk a lot about money and what he has

Speaker 1 (15:39):

Another house. I was at this other house and the one guy never paid him back his a hundred thousand dollars or $500,000 or whatever it was.

Speaker 2 (15:47):

He was like, I was making a million dollars a week. He talks a lot about money and kind of things in when he was talking about his car that you have to tell the car to start because he was on. Because

Speaker 1 (15:59):

I was

Speaker 2 (15:59):

On friends.

Speaker 1 (16:00):

That was a good line.

Speaker 2 (16:02):

Yes. Some of it I think is tongue in cheek and that you could tell he’s aware of that. But you can also tell that he likes that. And it didn’t come across to me that he doesn’t like to be famous. I think he does to be famous and I think he does to be relevant.

Speaker 1 (16:20):

Well that’s the other part that for me, I was really into the book at the start because I was like, I’m gonna hear about friends and I really like the parts that were behind the scenes on friends. But as it went on, and he’s not on friends anymore and he just keeps making these movies that are progressively worse and worse. And he is like, no, I’m gonna write a screenplay now I’m a screenwriter. And

Speaker 2 (16:41):

He wrote a play. He wrote a play that was in London’s West End

Speaker 1 (16:45):

And then it tanked in New York

Speaker 2 (16:47):

In Broadway.

Speaker 1 (16:48):

And he’s trying to stay relevant, but it’s very clear that he’s not anymore.

Speaker 2 (16:54):


Speaker 1 (16:56):

It got depressing for me because I felt like the book was showing things about Matthew Perry that he wasn’t intending and it was sad.

Speaker 2 (17:06):

It’s hard to separate Matthew Perry from Chandler Bang because Chandler b i, even if a Joey wrote this book, I could believe it more <laugh>. I could believe that Joey kind of had this going on behind the scenes. But to think about Chandler having this behind the scenes <laugh> Chandler had

Speaker 1 (17:27):

No, and how he slept with so many women, so

Speaker 2 (17:29):

Many after being impotent ps

Speaker 1 (17:32):

Which yeah, there’s that whole thing

Speaker 2 (17:35):

There was He was impotent for years.

Speaker 1 (17:38):

No, but he wasn’t though. He just thought he was. And it was because he was drinking too many beers before it was time to perform.

Speaker 2 (17:44):

That’s why

Speaker 1 (17:47):


Speaker 2 (17:47):

Me, it sounded like he just was so much, much in his head.

Speaker 1 (17:50):

<laugh>. Well yeah, that’s true.

Speaker 2 (17:51):

That he just couldn’t. And then it wasn’t until it was Natalie Wood’s daughter who got him outta that. He does name names too. In this book. He talks about dating Julia Roberts. He broke up

Speaker 1 (18:06):


Speaker 2 (18:06):

Her, Julia Roberts <laugh>. And then when she won her Oscar, she

Speaker 1 (18:10):

Sounds so cool and smart.

Speaker 2 (18:13):


Speaker 1 (18:14):

I was hearing this cuz she’s like, send me a dissertation on theoretical physics.

Speaker 2 (18:20):

And then he did.

Speaker 1 (18:23):

I was so into Julia Roberts. I was beforehand, but after the book she, she’s

Speaker 2 (18:28):

So cool. Yeah, she sounds so cool. And then when she was winning her Oscar for Erin Brockovich, he was laying in a rehab bed. And then remember he made this joke. He’s like, fine, I’ll take you back. <laugh> like, geez,

Speaker 1 (18:47):

It got really dark. And of course, I mean it’s a story of addiction and recovery and addiction and recovery. Of course it’s gonna get dark. But I don’t feel like he ever, did he ever really bottom out? He always had people around him to help. He always had people there to pick up the pieces. He had a sober companion, which, what is that?

Speaker 2 (19:06):

I think that’s someone who lives with you when you’re rich. I think that someone who lives with you, who is with you all the time to coach you through your sobriety and to help you with your triggers and Yeah.

Speaker 1 (19:18):

But is this a professional or is it just a person who’s a It’s at first I was like, is that a dog? <laugh> <laugh>? I thought it was a seeing eye dog or something. But a no, it was clear that it was a person.

Speaker 2 (19:32):

It was a sober canine. <laugh>. And he had that friend that he would always talk about Jamie something who she seemed to call him out on his shit a lot. Like she said, you’re disappearing.

Speaker 1 (19:46):

And then he dumped her. I

Speaker 2 (19:47):

Know he did. He dumped. He is just totally the guy who has major fomo, who wants bigger and better all the time. Who if he’s dating the hottest girl in a room, if he walks into the next room and sees a hotter girl, he wants her and he’s gonna dump the other one. It seems like it’s never good enough and it’s all rooted in his insecurity cuz he talks about his insecurity all the time that he’s not good enough.

Speaker 1 (20:19):

Do you think that’s where the addiction came from?

Speaker 2 (20:21):

Yes. I think that’s where pretty much all addictions come from.

Speaker 1 (20:26):

Insecurity or the FOMO thing where you’re always trying to reach the next,

Speaker 2 (20:32):

I think most addiction comes from this inner knowing that you’re not good enough. And so then there’s so much shame and judgment in that you drink or do drugs to quiet that voice because that’s a really hard thing to look at.

Speaker 1 (20:51):

He was definitely doing a lot to just quiet whatever was going on in his mind. But he was in therapy a lot. He had so much support. I would’ve felt better about the book and less as I was listening to it, I was starting to get more and more depressed and it just started. It was just so sad. Which is fine. It’s a sad story, but it’s sad. And it feels off. It felt off to me and it’s the off feeling part that was just icky, I guess.

Speaker 2 (21:25):

What feels off? What do you mean?

Speaker 1 (21:28):

I think it’s about, I was saying not recognizing the incredible support he’s had

And identifying that and he’s like, I could have been in the gutter if I didn’t get friends. No, don’t just give that lip service. Really explore that. What is it about your life that has allowed you to progress to where you are and helped you pull yourself out of your really lowest points. Some of it’s you, but a lot of it’s the people around you. And rather than just giving, passing lip service, really dive into that and really look at how you are a part of a larger whole and how sobriety and recovery is not just about what rehab center you go to and how many sober companions you have and things like that.

Speaker 2 (22:18):

So it feels tone deaf a little.

Speaker 1 (22:21):

Yeah. Which makes it feel sad because I feel like he’s not like he wrote the book a year two late, he needs another year of therapy to write the book

Speaker 2 (22:31):

A year Too early.

Speaker 1 (22:33):

Too early. That’s right. See time. The timeline was hard for me.

Speaker 2 (22:36):

<laugh>. It was timeline. Those are hard. Choose your own adventure. I didn’t get the sense that he was, wasn’t grateful for the support because he was. And maybe there’s a difference between being grateful for the support and just recognizing how privileged you are to have it. Maybe that’s two different things. Because it does feel like he has a lot of gratitude for the people. Not so much the structure that helped him, but the people who were in his life who were close to him. He had a lot of the same people helping him and he really was over the top about them.

Speaker 1 (23:17):

But maybe it was the level of self-centeredness too.

Speaker 2 (23:22):

Well I think he is super,

Speaker 1 (23:24):

He talks a lot about aa. He’s a very big AA demo.

Speaker 2 (23:28):

Yeah, he’s huge in aa. And he talked a lot about God and his faith.

Speaker 1 (23:34):

He found God in that kitchen.

Speaker 2 (23:38):

In that kitchen. He saw God. He saw this gold light orb for seven minutes and he literally saw it. It wasn’t just some apparition, I don’t know. To me the book, it was sad and it was depressing and a lot of the stories were hard to hear, but it was also filled with this gratitude and such heart that I liked that part. I also liked when he hit Chevy Chase in the balls with the tennis ball.

Speaker 1 (24:09):

<laugh>. I liked when he was hanging out with Bruce Willis, who sounds like a dude that totally has his shit together. A hundred percent.

Speaker 2 (24:17):

Do you think? Yeah. I was like, oh, maybe he has a drinking problem.

Speaker 1 (24:21):

No, he, that’s one of the things that Matthew Perry said was that he was able to compartmentalize when he had to focus on work. He focused on work and work was the most important thing for him. When it was time to let his hair down, he did and rented the entire,

Speaker 2 (24:35):

Let his hair down, <laugh>

Speaker 1 (24:38):

Singular hair, rent the entire floor of a hotel

Speaker 2 (24:42):

And put a disco ball up. He definitely sounds like the party guy. He’s the guy that if you see him at the party, it’s gonna be a good party.

Speaker 1 (24:50):

Who Bruce Willis or Matthew Perry. What happens if you see Matthew Perry at the party?

Speaker 2 (24:55):

I think that you, yeah,

Speaker 1 (24:58):

It got weird at the end because he’s like, and N my teeth fell out like, and I hate dentists.

Speaker 2 (25:05):

Wait, how he talked about that dentist, he has a personal vendetta against his dentist. He went off on that dentist. Do you remember?

Speaker 1 (25:15):

Yeah, I do. And it was really outta place and we never learned why his teeth fell out.

Speaker 2 (25:22):

Well I think his teeth fell out cuz

Speaker 1 (25:25):

Because of drugs.

Speaker 2 (25:26):

I think. I mean when you’re doing drugs and alcohol and cocaine and for 20 years your teeth are gonna fall and hygiene isn’t at the top of your list. I mean you’re probably not brushing and flossing every day.

Speaker 1 (25:38):

Was that He didn’t mention it, but I remember him being kind of weird during the reunion thing. Was that,

Speaker 2 (25:46):

Yeah, that was okay.

Speaker 1 (25:47):

Cause he didn’t tie that to the reunion. Cuz I thought he would be like, well that’s why I didn’t say anything at the reunion episode. But he never said anything about

Speaker 2 (25:56):

That. I know. I don’t think he even mentioned the reunion.

Speaker 1 (26:00):

No, he didn’t. Which is, isn’t that weird?

Speaker 2 (26:03):

I even think so because I think that was a big PR thing. That could be a big PR rehab thing to be like, Hey, this is what was going on. Yeah. Because after the reunion there was so much speculation that he was still not okay. Cause we friends fans have known, I think that he was first in the tabloids in what, 1996 for going to rehab.

Speaker 1 (26:25):

Was he the first celebrity who outwardly

Speaker 2 (26:27):

You went to was like

Speaker 1 (26:28):

Outed? Yeah. Going to rehab.

Speaker 2 (26:30):

And so we knew, I always knew something’s going on with Chandler. I don’t know if we knew at the time exactly what it was, but we always knew. Even just watching old episodes back before this book came out, you knew Chandler’s weight was fluctuating because of drugs and alcohol. We just knew, you know, knew something was going on.

Speaker 1 (26:51):

I thought it was interesting where he said that friends never broke the fourth wall. There was that one scene that they shot that they never used where he was in a the bunny suit with, what’s his face?

Speaker 2 (27:01):

Sean Penn.

Speaker 1 (27:02):

Sean Penn. And he was saying, I was thinking of making the transition to serious acting. Serious dramatic acting. And Sean Penn’s good luck with that.

Speaker 2 (27:11):

And then he walks off so that he’s smoking a cigarette

Speaker 1 (27:15):

Breaking the fourth wall, which they never did. No. And I’ve been watching friends with Kate and June and watching it again, and now I’m still watching it after having listened to the book. And I feel like that book broke the fourth wall on friends. And I’m kind of not into it now.

Speaker 2 (27:33):

I know. I was thinking about that.

Speaker 1 (27:35):

I’m watching it. I’m just keep looking at Chandler being like, you’re not who I thought you were. I don’t know.

Speaker 2 (27:44):


Speaker 1 (27:44):

Know I don’t wanna be judgemental toward anyone with addiction and struggles, but I didn’t like my trip into his brain.

Speaker 2 (27:51):

That’s what I was saying before. It’s such a big jump between Chandler and Matthew Perry, which probably is something to say about his acting that he was able to do that because Chandler is so wholesome. Choose one character on that cast and it’s not gonna be him who has this story. And so it’s such a departure and just a mind

Speaker 1 (28:14):

Bleep. And I’m looking at his face and while the camera’s on others and I’m like, what are you on?

Speaker 2 (28:21):

Yeah. And he said he had to, he was never drunk on friends, but he was definitely hungover and he’d have to lean on something cuz he was shaking. And so a lot of times he’s leaning on the table or the couch because he was shaking so much. And then talking about the girls had a treadmill in the

Speaker 1 (28:39):

So he could sweat out the alcohol.

Speaker 2 (28:42):

But also I was like, okay, why are we not talking about how bleeped up it is that the girls had a treadmill backstage?

Speaker 1 (28:49):

Yeah, I would’ve liked to have had more friends iconography. There

Speaker 2 (28:52):

Was some though, when he talked about his,

Speaker 1 (28:55):

I was really into it when he was talking about friends, but it wasn’t that much.

Speaker 2 (28:59):

No. Well, when he was talking about his growing up and his friends, the brothers, I can’t remember their names, he and they together came up with the, could I be any hotter like that? He came up with that style of speak with them.

Speaker 1 (29:16):

Well, he kept talking about how Chandler redefined the way America spoke. I know. And I’m like, is it anything other than could I be anymore? Blah, blah, blah. I know.

Speaker 2 (29:27):

I don’t think that really swept America the way he’s remembering because

Speaker 1 (29:31):


Speaker 2 (29:31):

I would say what changed the way we spoke more as far as Gen X and growing up is like Tommy Boy. I heard a lot of those growing up. Those are still quotes, but there’s not a lot of people just in every day aren’t like, could I have any more coffee? That’s not

Speaker 1 (29:50):

A <laugh>. People aren’t talking, talking about, and that’s the only construction. Right. Are there other, he said he was, he sort of implied that he was a master at putting the emphasis in the wrong on the face

Speaker 2 (30:00):

In the

Speaker 1 (30:01):

Sentence. Yeah. And I didn’t get that.

Speaker 2 (30:04):

I know. I think it’s pretty much, could I be,

Speaker 1 (30:06):

Could it be any more overblown? Matthew Perry,

Speaker 2 (30:09):

Could you be any more egotistical? I don’t know. This book showed me he was all of that. He was an addict. He was egotistical. He still is egotistical, but he’s also full of gratitude and so human and full of

Speaker 1 (30:25):

Faith. Didn’t some of the gratitude ring hollow though?

Speaker 2 (30:28):

It didn’t. To me, I think what I keep coming back to is the last, that last chapter or part where he was watching the waves and then he was saying what he was seeing in the waves. I got teared up in that, the faces that he saw in the waves, and then he went through all of the people in his life that he was thankful for that. Really? It’s also just a beautifully written book, like his imagery?

Speaker 1 (30:54):

No, it is well written. Yeah. Well,

Speaker 2 (30:56):

I didn’t think it was gonna be that well written.

Speaker 1 (30:59):

We buried the lead. Suzanne

Speaker 2 (31:01):

Oh one. What

Speaker 1 (31:04):

Is the deal with Kean Reeves?

Speaker 2 (31:07):

<laugh>. Oh, I know. Okay.

Speaker 1 (31:08):

Twice. He mentioned it

Speaker 2 (31:10):

Twice. Twice.

Speaker 1 (31:12):

Why? And then he mentioned it in an interview and he got some blow back and he is like, sorry, I just picked a name. I should have used myself. No, it’s not. Sorry, I just picked a name. You had written about it two separate times

Speaker 2 (31:25):

In your book. It’s not, it wasn’t like in the same paragraph.

Speaker 1 (31:28):

No, it was like a hundred pages apart and he returned to it.

Speaker 2 (31:32):

And so he’s talking about River Phoenix working with River Phoenix. He loved him. And then he was like, how is it in a world that takes amazing souls or mines amazing minds like River Phoenix and Heath Ledger. And yet Keano Reeves still walks among us <laugh>

Speaker 1 (31:51):

<laugh>. And it’s

Speaker 2 (31:53):

Like, wait, what?

Speaker 1 (31:55):

And then later on

Speaker 2 (31:56):


Speaker 1 (31:57):

He loses somebody. I can’t remember who. And he is like, Kean Reeves walks among us.

Speaker 2 (32:04):


Speaker 1 (32:04):


Speaker 2 (32:04):

What? My friend died. But Keanu Reeves walks among us. That’s like, why do you want Keanu Reeves to die?

Speaker 1 (32:12):

<laugh>. Then he was doing press for the book and he was like, I’m so lucky to be alive. And Kean Reeves walks among us. Wait,

Speaker 2 (32:20):

He said that in an interview?

Speaker 1 (32:21):

Yes. Wasn’t that what he said in an interview? Sorry. I thought that’s what he said in the interview.

Speaker 2 (32:27):

No, he didn’t say that in the Diane Sawyer interview.

Speaker 1 (32:30):

Yeah, that’s That’s where he said it, right?

Speaker 2 (32:32):

No, he didn’t say it. I thought she would ask him about that because, so this was a huge thing on Twitter, and when I saw the Diane Sawyer interview, I looked up to see if Matthew Perry was trending. And I was like, oh, he is. Let me see what people are saying. And it was all just dogging him and dragging him about this Keanu Reeves thing, which then I felt bad about because I was like,

Speaker 1 (32:56):

Oh. And he was talking about Chris Farley dying.

Speaker 2 (33:00):

Okay, yes. Yeah, yeah. Because Chris Farley, he said that Chris Farley wasn’t afraid of heroin, and that’s obviously why he died.

Speaker 1 (33:11):

So I’m just reading people, which I gotta say that’s the first time in my life I’ve read people

Speaker 2 (33:17):

You’re missing

Speaker 1 (33:18):

Out.com/tv. So he’s apologizing for using Kean Reeves in the book. He didn’t use it in a

Speaker 2 (33:26):

Interview. In an interview

Speaker 1 (33:28):

In a statement to people. Perry says, I’m actually a big fan of Keano. I just chose a random name. My mistake. I apologize. I should have used my own name instead.

Speaker 2 (33:37):

I mean, it was a dumb mistake because, and even in the book, it just kind of came out of nowhere. So I had someone message me on Instagram and she’s like, I wanna listen to the book, but I can’t get past that Kean Reeves thing. And I was like, okay. I’m like, this is Twitter. Twitter has made this way too big. What did

Speaker 1 (33:56):

You say where you’re like, it’s not about Reese? No.

Speaker 2 (33:59):

And I said, it’s literally one second in a 10 hour book. Please don’t let that stand in the way of you exploring this book. And so it made me feel bad for him because it was a stupid mistake. But the fact that that’s what people are focusing on,

Speaker 1 (34:17):

I think Matthew Perry’s next book should be a 300 page takedown of Keanu Reeve

Speaker 2 (34:23):

<laugh>. Yeah. It made me feel bad for him. And I was like, oh, I hope he doesn’t spiral because he was getting such bad press. But cuz it’s such a great book. And I’m like, you guys, who the fuck cares about the Kean Reeves comment? Yeah, it was stupid. But get, don’t let that, I don’t know. It’s just Twitter to take something that is just so inconsequential and stupid and just make it everything

Speaker 1 (34:47):

You feeling bad about it is in about him potentially spiraling then is interesting. Because didn’t he say in the book that, I can’t remember what it was exactly, but you’re sober until something goes wrong.

Speaker 2 (35:01):

Yeah, he said, and there’s always something

Speaker 1 (35:03):

Came back to that a lot where if you struggle with addiction, you can be sober until something goes wrong, something always goes wrong.

Speaker 2 (35:11):

Yeah. I think he said something and then something happens and he was like, and something always happens.

Speaker 1 (35:17):

Yeah, that’s what it was. And so now the Keanu Reeves thing happens, so you’re thinking like, okay, maybe he’s not going to stay sober.

Speaker 2 (35:25):

And he hasn’t said publicly how long he’s been sober this time. He’s been asked in that Diane Sawyer, they asked him, I’m looking at a Washington Post article right now, and they are asking him, and he said that he’s not saying it. I’m sober long enough that I felt very comfortable writing this book.

Speaker 1 (35:43):

Well, he talks about being in rehab during the pandemic, doesn’t he? So it’s fairly recently that he was in rehab after the friends reunion?

Speaker 2 (35:56):

No, the friend’s reunion. He was sober. He said that his therapist said, if you ever do take Oxycontin again, you will need a colostomy bag for the rest of your life.

Speaker 1 (36:10):

And he is like, okay, that’s enough for me.

Speaker 2 (36:13):

And that what I know, it seems like such a vein jva thing that you could just be like, okay, I’m done. But he said that was it so that he hasn’t wanted it since.

Speaker 1 (36:24):

Well, and then he goes into this long riff about quitting smoking and how hard it was to quit smoking.

Speaker 2 (36:31):

That was the hardest

Speaker 1 (36:33):

Hypnotherapist that he sees all the time. But

Speaker 2 (36:36):

That didn’t even work, right?

Speaker 1 (36:38):

No. And then he’s got, his team takes all the cigarettes out of his house and the group of people meet to determine exactly how many cigarettes he can have and how often and how quickly he should go. And he’s not saying this with any hint of awareness of how unreal this is for most people who are struggling with addiction. And I wonder, Suzanne, because you have your other podcast, the sober mom life,

Speaker 2 (37:07):

I think we’re gonna do a release on both of this. So I think it’ll be on there too.

Speaker 1 (37:11):

Okay. And you talk about addiction a lot there. And is this a book that helps regular people who are struggling with addiction? Because I think that’s a really interesting question. Be Yeah, because it gets to the level of privilege he has and how he sometimes takes that privilege for granted, which made me feel icky.

Speaker 2 (37:34):

I don’t come from a place of being addicted, so it’s hard for me to talk from that. I don’t know if it would be a book, if someone is in active addiction that they would wanna listen to, that they would find inspiring. I think maybe for someone who has some sober time under their belt, I think it’s an interesting book just to hear how someone who has the world at his feet and who has everything that addictive substances affect everyone. If they take them, they don’t discriminate. So I think in that way, if you’re sober for a while, also, it’s just a beautiful book. I just loved, I didn’t love so much the rehab stuff, recounting of the timeline, all of that. It’s just the way he writes in the imagery and with the waves and the vistas and the talking about all of these things that he’s grateful for in his faith. I loved all of those parts. I think those would be really helpful to someone in sobriety.

Speaker 1 (38:40):

I noticed that as we were listening to the book, so he was reading the book to us and after a while I was like, I just don’t wanna hang out with Matthew Perry anymore. Yeah, I’d hang out with Chandler bang the whole time, but I just don’t wanna hang out with Matthew Perry.

Speaker 2 (38:58):

Yeah, he kinda seems like a downer

Speaker 1 (39:01):

And I don’t know. I wish I could put my finger on it, but I’m having a

Speaker 2 (39:05):

Hard You don’t trust him?

Speaker 1 (39:06):

Well, I definitely don’t trust him.

Speaker 2 (39:08):

Okay. Me either. Then when you say it like that,

Speaker 1 (39:12):

<laugh> an edge to him. That is uncomfortable to me. I don’t think it’s related to the substance abuse. I think it’s just partly who he is. I don’t know. I’m totally talking out of beyond my knowledge, but there was an edge that I found uncomfortable.

Speaker 2 (39:28):

Huh. That’s interesting. I don’t think I picked up on that.

Speaker 1 (39:31):

Okay. Never. Nevermind. <laugh>.

Speaker 2 (39:32):

Nevermind. You’re wrong.

Speaker 1 (39:33):

Never retract my

Speaker 2 (39:35):

<laugh>. You’re wrong. How could you be so wrong? How could you be so wrong?

Speaker 1 (39:39):

Could I have any less edge?

Speaker 2 (39:40):

Could be more wrong. <laugh>.

Speaker 1 (39:44):

That’s it. Right? That’s the only thing.

Speaker 2 (39:46):

Yeah. The hardest thing for me was just this, separating Chandler from Matthew Perry and Friends is such an important, this is gonna sound stupid. It’s just such an important part of my life. Any

Speaker 1 (40:00):


Speaker 2 (40:01):


Speaker 1 (40:02):

I forget which of your kids was like, you’re like, who are your best friends? And

Speaker 2 (40:06):

They’re that Harper when she was three.

Speaker 1 (40:07):

She’s like, Monica, Rachel.

Speaker 2 (40:10):

No, she would never say Monica,

Speaker 1 (40:12):

Rachel. No. They’re my best friends.

Speaker 2 (40:16):

I said, harp, who are your best friends? And she was three because my, she’s been watching it. She knows it better than I do, by the way. <laugh>. Yeah. I was like, who are your best friends? She’s like, I dunno, that’s really hard. I think probably Ross and then Rachel <laugh>, she ranked them and I was like, Hey, that’s

Speaker 1 (40:34):

Good. She probably thought best friends.

Speaker 2 (40:36):

Yeah, best friend. Well, also she was like three, so she didn’t have best friends.

Speaker 1 (40:42):

David Schwimmer sounds pretty amazing, doesn’t he?

Speaker 2 (40:45):

Yeah. Oh my God.

Speaker 1 (40:46):

He was like, let’s negotiate together.

Speaker 2 (40:48):

And he was the top earner. And so that only meant that he was the high watermark. He was gonna make them all this money. And that was early on.

Speaker 1 (40:58):

That was early on. And it paid off for all of them. But it was a really smart business move. I really respected

Speaker 2 (41:04):

That. And that was the first time a cast had ever done that. I remember when that happened that they negotiated together like normal casts don’t do that.

Speaker 1 (41:14):

Do you know who Craig Biko is?

Speaker 2 (41:16):

I looked him up. Okay.

Speaker 1 (41:17):

So I looked him up

Speaker 2 (41:18):

Too. He was one of Chandler’s best friends who was offered, or not Chandler’s best friends

Speaker 1 (41:24):

<laugh>, right? Matthew Perry. Yeah.

Speaker 2 (41:27):

Who was offered the part of Chandler. And Matthew Perry said he was going between two shows and he is like, should I accept this part of Chandler for friends like us or this other show? And Matthew Perry had read the friend script over and over and he wanted that part, but he was still being an alien baggage handler. <laugh>. And so he said, you have to go with friends like us. And he was like, damnit, I have to tell him the truth. I have to be a good friend. And he was like, yeah, you have to take that part. And then he turned it down.

Speaker 1 (42:00):

He turned it. He’s the one who turned down friends.

Speaker 2 (42:02):

And Craig Biko was on Sex in the City. He’s the guy with a d d on Sex in the City who dates Carrie and plays her. He’s a jazz musician. Anyone who knows Sex in the City knows who I’m talking about. And he plays her a jazz instrument or whatever. And he’s like all over the place. He’s hot. He’s got a hat. Yeah. He could have been Chandler man. And then he said that he didn’t talk to him for years after that. And he’s like, sorry, I just couldn’t. I’m like, yeah, bad life decision. Yeah. Craig

Speaker 1 (42:34):

And Hank’s area was his good friend. I

Speaker 2 (42:36):

Know. And he said Hank was always in the gym, which totally had to be when he was making a along King Poly. Cause he was jacked in that

Speaker 1 (42:45):

Movie. He was jacked in that movie. He was. And he was the one who had the money because he was

Speaker 2 (42:52):


Speaker 1 (42:52):

He was a voice on The Simpsons.

Speaker 2 (42:55):

So many of ’em. He was Moe. And

Speaker 1 (42:58):

So that explains why he was Phoebe’s boyfriend who had to go to Minsk.

Speaker 2 (43:03):

Yes, totally. I love all these crossovers too, that Bruce Willis, that he lost a bet to Matthew Perry. And that’s why he lost

Speaker 1 (43:11):

A bet about the whole nine yards. He didn’t think the whole nine yards would be good.

Speaker 2 (43:17):

And he ended up being the top movie. And so then he had to do a three run episode on Friends <laugh>

Speaker 1 (43:25):

And Julia Roberts. Were they dating when she was on Friends?

Speaker 2 (43:29):

I think. Yes. She said she wanted to be on it and she would only shoot with him it. Well, it was with his storyline. And that’s what started the courtship, the faxing, courtship back and forth.

Speaker 1 (43:43):

There were faxing back and forth. This is the stuff that I thought was really great. But when it really started to go down, and maybe it’s just me, maybe it, I don’t know it, when it started to get really dark, it just started to get really sad.

Speaker 2 (43:58):

Well, it was dark during the friends part too, but it was just that Then you had the friends stuff.

Speaker 1 (44:05):

Yeah. You had, right. And what is he doing now? He keeps talking about shopping screenplays and shopping scripts. And he thought he was talking to M Night Shalon, but he wasn’t. He was just talking to a waiter.

Speaker 2 (44:17):

He was talking to N Night Shop. <laugh>. Yeah. Yeah. He was partying with him. <laugh>

Speaker 1 (44:26):


Speaker 2 (44:27):

Adam McKay. He thought he was talking to Adam McKay. This is Adam Macab or something.

Speaker 1 (44:33):


Speaker 2 (44:37):

What is he doing right now? So we talk about his ego and how he really wants to be in the public eye. This Washington Post article said he remains astonished at quote, how big this book has become and how much my face is back in the public eye right now. I’m everywhere. The paparazzi’s back, the offers are coming. Television shows, movies. He was offered a television drama the previous day. He said, but it wasn’t good enough. <laugh>.

Speaker 1 (45:02):

Yeah. Oh come. Yeah. So that’s what I don’t like.

Speaker 2 (45:06):

Yeah. I mean, I think that’s what it is though. I totally understand that. Cuz that’s the hard, hardest part for me is to look at Chandler and now I see Matthew Perry and I don’t want that Friends, to me is so special. And every time I watch the series finale, I cry. I cry because it’s over again. And I’m like, oh, you

Speaker 1 (45:30):

Could just, when Joey puts the Turkey on his head, do you cry?

Speaker 2 (45:33):

No, but I’m like, and I think, oh, I could just start over. And I’m like, yeah, but it’s done. The fact that that era of television is done never to be done again is really, really sad. And because it’s so special. I love it so much that I don’t wanna see Matthew Perry when I look at that. I don’t wanna see David Schwimmer. I don’t wanna see Lisa Cdre. Like I wanna see, see my Friends. I wanna see Ross and Chandler and Rachel.

Speaker 1 (46:01):

Have you watched friends since you finished this book? No. You should because it’s different.

Speaker 2 (46:05):


Speaker 1 (46:06):

Know. I’m not into it now. It did break the fourth wall, which they were right. Not to ever do.

Speaker 2 (46:12):

Yeah. We do have to say, because we ranked our favorite friend’s characters a few episodes back on brand new information. And I just have to tell you that Matthew Perry himself

Speaker 1 (46:25):

Ranked Joey I,

Speaker 2 (46:27):

Joey was number one. Joey was the funniest character and was, I have him at the top of my list because he was the funniest. Joey was never supposed to be likable. He was supposed to be this tough womanizer and he turned him into the most likable, dumbest, funniest guy on television.

Speaker 1 (46:50):

Yeah. I did think of you when I heard that part in the book. And Ian, yeah, I mean, he’s a good character. He’s a really good character. He, he’s

Speaker 2 (46:59):


Speaker 1 (46:59):

Funny. But he is he better than Ross and Rachel?

Speaker 2 (47:03):

Yes. I think that Jo, I mean just Joey can say any line.

Speaker 1 (47:08):

I know you can say he can deliver, but so can Ross. Ross. Absolutely

Speaker 2 (47:13):

Can Ross can too. Yeah, Ross can too. And Rachel can too. That’s what puts those three apart. I don’t think the other three can do that as much. Phoebe can. Monica’s last. We know that.

Speaker 1 (47:27):

Does this move Chandler up or down

Speaker 2 (47:29):

Stays the same. I have to separate Chandler from Matthew. I have to do it for my sanity and for my mental health. That’s my boundary. <laugh>,

Speaker 1 (47:39):

Your daily affirmation. Matthew Perry and Chandler Bang are separate

Speaker 2 (47:43):

People. They will never overlap in my mind or in my heart. <laugh>. Okay. Let’s rate it out of 10. Good reads. What do you give this?

Speaker 1 (47:55):

A five.

Speaker 2 (47:57):

Wow. Really?

Speaker 1 (47:58):

Yeah. Really?

Speaker 2 (48:01):

Wow. 8.5. Whoa. Yeah.

Speaker 1 (48:06):

Okay. You heard it here first.

Speaker 2 (48:08):

Wow. All right. This is fun. We should do more. I want, I wanna hear Ross’s book now. As long as there’s no prostitutes and <laugh>, cocaine and

Speaker 1 (48:22):

Are there for Ross. I can’t picture David Schwimmer doing that.

Speaker 2 (48:24):

No, that’s what I said as well. Could you picture Chandler?

Speaker 1 (48:27):

Yeah, kinda

Speaker 2 (48:30):

<laugh>. Oh, okay. Good job, love.

Speaker 1 (48:34):


Speaker 2 (48:35):


Speaker 1 (48:40):

Thank you for listening to this week’s episode of Brand New Information. If you liked what you heard, you can like, subscribe, share, print out copies to give to your family. If you don’t like it, just try us again next week. Cause we’re trying to get better. We’re always trying to get better.

Speaker 2 (49:00):

Okay. But also rate at Five Stars

Speaker 1 (49:03):

Is Five stars The max,

Speaker 2 (49:05):

I don’t know. Okay. Rate at Six Stars.

Speaker 1 (49:07):

Six stars, yeah. You could follow us on Twitter at brand new info.twitter.com.

Speaker 2 (49:14):

Oh, good job. And on Instagram at Brand New Information Pod.

Speaker 1 (49:17):

Thanks a lot. See you next week. Bye.

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