Who could ever forget Days of Our Lives‘ Dr Drake Ramoray? That world-class neurosurgeon who was tragically left in a potentially permanent coma following a fall down an elevator shaft in which he suffered such serious brain damage that only Dr Ramoray himself could have treated. And yet that wasn’t the end of him. Oh no, he was brought back several seasons later after undergoing a tricky brain transplant and was able to once again take up the scalpel and live to fight another day.
Hopefully you all know I’m talking about the character Joey Tribbiani (Matt Le Blanc) played in the fictionalised version of Days on the hit TV show Friends. It’s hard to believe that a generation has grown up WITHOUT Friends, especially considering how often repeats are played all around the world, but it has now been over 10 years since the finale aired and the six friends all went their different ways with varying success. However, our US readers can now relive all of the hilarious 10 seasons once again as Netflix has added the show to its streaming service this month, and it is for this very reason that Dr Drake Ramoray has once again risen from the dead and made a very special guest appearance.
This week, while going through his semi-regular “Distinguished Guests” feature as part of Late Night with Seth Meyers, Meyers introduced a familiar face in the audience, saying, “The field of medicine owes a debt of gratitude to this individual. Famed neurosurgeon Dr Drake Ramoray is here!”
Le Blanc, who spends a large part of his time now in London shooting Episodes – a comedy about a British husband-and-wife comedy writing team who moved to Hollywood to remake their successful British TV series, with disastrous results – talked with Meyers about his experiences with Friends and what it’s like having upcoming generations discovering the show.
“It happens, I guess, roughly since its ended every five to eight years or so, maybe less, that young people, early teens, come up and say, ‘Oh my God, you’re Joey on Friends! You’re so… old! What happened to you, dude?'” Le Blanc recounts. “And I say, ‘Scram, get out of here!'”
I hear yeah Matt. I still can’t believe how long ago Friends actually was.
While you are actually in the midst of things, it is often hard to take a step back and evaluate the experience, and with something as phenomenal with a seemingly overnight global success for the cast, it is interesting now to look back and see where they pinpoint the moment to be that they knew the show was something special. For Le Blanc it was when they went back after the summer hiatus and started shooting season two and they first started getting hounded by the paparazzi.
“I was watching TV one day, watching the news, and I see this thing about Friends,” he said. “I turn it up a little and they have the TV screen split into six boxes and it was an aerial shot of each of our houses. And I could hear the helicopters, it was like a live shot!”
You would think that would be a scary and yet surreal experience, but it turned out to be one that was inadvertently helpful. “I was going ‘That’s my house, my roof looks like s**t!’” He adds, “So when the helicopter leaves I go and get out my ladder and go up on the roof and sure enough, I had to call and get an estimate. The roof was a mess.” Who knew the paps could be good for something?
And do you know which commercial part Le Blanc blew off an audition for because he didn’t want to be known as “that guy”? Check out an excerpt from the interview below to find out.
All ten seasons of Friends are now available on the US Netflix. Episodes season 4 premieres tonight on Showtime at 10.30pm.