‘Friends’ Star Lisa Kudrow Reveals Jerry Seinfeld Took Credit for Sitcom’s Success

by Chris Piner

In 1994, Americans watched a cast of characters try to navigate life, relationships, and living in Manhattan. Titled Friends, the sitcom ran for ten seasons, accumulating over 230 episodes. On top of its decade on television, the show received 6 Primetime Emmy Awards, gaining another 220 nominations. With only reruns of the show entertaining fans for almost two decades, on May 27, 2021, the original cast reunited for a reunion special for HBO Max. Most recently, Lisa Kudrow, who played Phoebe Buffay on Friends, admitted to Seinfeld actor, Jerry Seinfeld, taking credit for the massive success of the show. 

Taking part in an interview with The Daily Beast, Lisa Kudrow explained how she met Jerry Seinfeld at a party in the 90s.  “I remember going to some party and Jerry Seinfeld was there, and I said, ‘Hi,’ and he said, ‘You’re welcome.’ I said, ‘Why, thank you … what?’” According to Kudrow, the star added, “You’re on after us in the summer, and you’re welcome.”

When Friends premiered, it followed another sitcom called Mad About You, starring Helen Hunt and Paul Reiser. Surprisingly, Friends gained much of its traction when placed after reruns of another series… Seinfeld. While not denying the success of Jerry Seinfeld, Lisa Kudrow noted, “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.” 

Lisa Kudrow Remembers Her Son Watching Friends For The First Time

As mentioned above, Friends ended almost 20 years ago, yet it remains a favorite amongst those who watched it each week and even the younger generations. Lisa Kudrow recounted what it was like to hear her son, Julian, who is 24, congratulate her on how good the sitcom was. “He called me up and said, ‘So I just watched the first two episodes. It’s really good, Mom.’ I said, ‘Thanks.’ He said, ‘Can I ask you some questions about that?’ I’m like, ‘Yes!’ I almost started crying. I didn’t think that anyone in my family liked that show.”

While sharing the memory on Late Night With Seth Meyers, Lisa Kudrow noted how her son found only the guys funny. “He said, ‘It’s actually really funny. I mean, the guys are really funny.” Taking up for her costars, she joked, “Never in my life have I wanted to tell my own kid, like, ‘F— you!’ I mean, I thought it, I didn’t say it. It’s not required that you’re a fan. You don’t have to like what I do. But don’t … be so demeaning!” 

Considering the legacy she left behind, Lisa Kudrow loved the fact of being able to share her past with her son, even with his remarks.