Top 5: Friends Cameos
No one told NICK MORRISON that life was gonna be this way.
Over the course of its ten year run, Friends was a veritable soap opera roof party of celebrity guests. Ranging from the gamely self-effacing (Bruce Willis) to the indulgent (fat-no-more Brad Pitt), the sheer number of cameos makes it hard to choose the five best ones. Just kidding, these ones were awesome:
5) Jeff Goldblum
Brilliantly hammy, Jeff Goldblum stole the show as Joey’s Jewy director Leonard Hayes. In a wonderful send-up of pretentious director types, Hayes advises the Sudsy-nominated actor to think less, be more vertical and, ultimately, piss on his leg.
4) Greg Kinnear
In at number four is Greg Kinnear’s wickedly funny Mbenjamin Hobart (it starts with a silent ‘m’), Ross’ rival for hottie-of-the-palaeontology-department Charlie. Recipient of a Nobel Prize, the MacArthur Genius Grant and some of the series’ sharpest dialogue, Hobart does his best to screw Ross over (and just screw Charlie). Kinnear’s delivery is so perfect that every line becomes instantly quotable and one can only applaud him when he finally walks off with Charlie. BABY IT’S YOU… baby it’s you.
3) Kathleen Turner
Even if her performance were not completely brilliant, Turner deserves her place on this list simply for her willingness to play a drag queen called Helena Handbasket. Star of the Strip’s hot ticket, Viva Las Gaygas, Charles Bing is taken aback to find his estranged son now happily engaged. Hilarious as she is, it’s in the more serious moments that Turner reveals her talent as an actress; the rapprochement with Chandler is genuinely moving. And if that wasn’t enough, she closes the show with the second butchest performance of It’s Raining Men ever seen on TV. Click here for the first.
2) Alec Baldwin
Playing against grumpy type, Alec Baldwin appeared as Phoebe’s amazingly, fantastically, orgasmically happy boyfriend Parker! Delighted by everything, Parker eventually gets dumped after having just the best fight you’ve ever had in your entire life! Baldwin’s relentless, childlike joy at well-lit hallways, tail-lights and the wonders of Massapequa is so infectious we just want to take a mental picture of him – CLICK! Sadly brief as it was, we thought Parker’s appearance was ACES!
1) Jennifer Coolidge
Without a shadow of a doubt, Jennifer Coolidge takes the crown as Monica and Phoebe’s ex-friend Amanda Buffo-Martisis (FROM YONKERS). The girls froze her out of their lives and dodge her calls – part of the ‘them not liking her’ extravaganza. Appearing in series 10 (‘I remember because that was the year I slept with EVEL KNIEVEL’) Coolidge manages to wring a laugh out of almost every single line she delivers, despite never having had any professional dance training or exercising at all. The musty-necked expat sports an excruciating English accent and manages to be both completely unbearable and someone you wish would never leave. She could easily have become a regular character and that’s not that common, it doesn’t happen to every guest star and it is a big deal!
AND THE WORST…
As Joey’s hot roommate Janine, Elle MacPherson was everything bad about a guest star: gratuitous, smell-the-fart acting and generally pointless. If we had to talk to her about her performance, all we could say is: “So, we were watching you in there (Points to the TV) and you were sittin’ right here! Whoa!”