exp matthew perry bill carter intv 102906a cnn ent_00020601.png
Actor Matthew Perry dead at 54
05:59 - Source: CNN

Editor’s note: Dean Obeidallah, a former attorney, is the host of SiriusXM radio’s daily program “The Dean Obeidallah Show.” Follow him on Threads at www.threads.net/@deanobeidallah. The opinions expressed in this commentary are his own. Read more opinion at CNN.

CNN  — 

Matthew Perry — who passed away Saturday at age 54 — was my favorite among “Friends.” His character Chandler Bing’s delivery of one-liners — often sarcastic and self-deprecating — deeply resonated with me.

Dean Obeidallah

Chandler used comedy as a defense mechanism to deal with insecurities and awkwardness with lines such as, “Hi, I’m Chandler, I make jokes when I’m uncomfortable” and “I’m not great at the advice. Can I interest you in a sarcastic comment?”

“Friends” — which co-starred Courteney Cox, Matt LeBlanc, David Schwimmer, Jennifer Aniston and Lisa Kudrow — was more than a TV show, it was a cultural marker that helped define a generation. “Friends” was the anchor of NBC’s “Must See TV” shows in the 1990s into the early 2000s, averaging 25 million viewers for each new episode.

(“Friends” was a production of Warner Bros. Television, which is owned by CNN’s parent company, Warner Bros. Discovery.)

The show’s final episode after its 10-year run in 2004 saw a massive viewing audience of more than 52 million people — making it the fifth highest-viewed series finale ever, according to Variety. For perspective, the top comedy show on TV in the 2022-2023 season was CBS’ “Young Sheldon,” which averaged 9.3 million viewers an episode.