Friends Star Contributes to Worldwide Relief Effort

For those of a certain generation, the characters on Friends felt like people they knew and loved.

The show’s popularity endears today and whilst some of the gags and source material might not be entirely suitable for millennials, the actors and characters remain much-loved national treasures. One of those actors, Matthew Perry, has recently sought to keep the spirit of Friends alive with a merchandise range based on the show. Not only that, but he has used it for a force of good also.

Perry played Chandler, a quick-witted and sarcastic character, and the limited product range was based around his persona onscreen. The venture took inspiration from one of Chandler’s catchphrases, resulting in it being named Could this BE any more of a Matthew Perry merch store? Proceeds from the merchandise went towards helping pandemic relief efforts organized by the World Health Organization. Fans of the show were able to get mugs, baseball caps, hoodies and t-shirts. We use the past tense, because the run was limited to just two weeks running up to Christmas, and is now showing as sold out on the store.

The range acts as a precursor to the one-off Friends reunion show which we expected in 2020. The situation around the world meant a postponement of filming, but Perry recently went on social media to suggest the world might get more than merchandise in the summer, with filming due to start in March 2021. The eagerly awaited follow-up will be the first time Monica, Chandler, Joey, Phoebe, Rachel and Ross will have been seen onscreen since 2004, which is when the final show, The One Where They Say Goodbye, aired. It originally ended as viewing trends moved away from sitcoms to drama ser,ies according to Screen Rant, as well as a reluctance from stars to film shows with tried and tested storylines and plots.

The fact it left our screen did not mean it left pop culture though. It has been rerun on television numerous times around the globe and made stars of the cast members across a broad range of media. The obvious next step would have been a feature film, but as the cast drifted off to other projects, it became less likely. There was a spin-off, Joey, which featured Matt LeBlanc, but without the other five, it was not a success and ended after a couple of seasons.

The Friends logo and imagery remains iconic to this day though, and the theme tune is as recognizable as the first time they gathered on the sofa to film the intro. The show also spawned a range of games and associated products, including a Friends trivia game for the PlayStation 2 titled Friends: The One With All The Trivia. There are also Friends-inspired titles on Foxy Bingo, including Friends Bingo and Friends Slingo, which goes some way to cementing the legacy the show left behind, despite finishing a decade-and-a-half ago. Along with books, tribute shows and the excitement of the upcoming special, the desire to see the gang sat around at Central Perk is as strong now as ever.

That ties in with Perry’s merchandise range and whilst the numbers are not yet in as to how much it raised, there is little doubt that it was a huge success. Perry is not the first cast member to turn their imagery and pulling power on a good cause; Jennifer Aniston played Rachel Green in the show and she recently donated $1m to a racial justice charity. With the Friends brand set to rise once again, perhaps we will see much more from the six over the coming months.

For all the latest pop culture news, including Friends, make sure you are paying regular visits to Coed.

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