It was a huge shock to hear of the sad passing of Matthew Perry last weekend. Until now, I have kept thinking it must be some sick joke. Remember the episode of Friends where Ross had a fake memorial service after Chandler updated his alumni page claiming a blimp had killed Ross (The One With The Memorial Service)? Maybe Matthew Perry was playing his own sick joke?
But, alas. It appears that this is indeed no joke.
For so many of us who have probably watched Friends more times than we have fingers to count, it does indeed feel like we have lost a friend, albeit one we never got to meet. So many actors feel familiar because we are so familiar with their work. We watch their shows/films in our houses, immerse ourselves in the pretend universe the show lives in, and identify with some of the joy and sadness the characters feel.
The actors aren’t their characters, though, however much we associate them together. Unless, of course, you’re a slightly unhinged Erika Ford (played by Brooke Shields in The One After The Superbowl, Part 1) who can’t separate fantasy from reality.
Matthew Perry was a legendary human being, not only a genius at comedic acting and sarcasm and wit but also someone who went to great lengths to help people struggling with addictions. He battled with his own demons for a long time, and he made sure to do what he could to help others on their journey to recovery.
The world has lost yet another huge talent far, far too soon. Rest in peace Matthew Perry.