Amid ‘Friends: The Reunion’ buzz, Matthew Perry’s slurred speech has people talking

David Schwimmer and Matthew Perry joke around on a TV show set.
David Schwimmer, left, and Matthew Perry share a laugh during the “Friends” reunion special.
(Terence Patrick / HBO Max)
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Now that the heavily hyped “Friends: The Reunion” is finally streaming, one friend is getting a little more attention than the rest.

Matthew Perry, whose altered speech in recent interviews has raised eyebrows, was called out Thursday for no longer participating in the Cameo video platform, where he reportedly was charging $999 for a 20-second personalized video. But that’s not exactly news: He paused his participation in December, according to the company.

That’s the same month his last review is from. His profile page, which still exists on the site, now reads, “Notify me when available,” suggesting the “Friends” actor could come back at some point. The man fans know as Chandler Bing is the only member of the show’s cast to have joined Cameo.


The pair who immortalized the phrase ‘We were on a break!’ confirm their long-rumored attraction in ‘Friends: The Reunion,’ now streaming on HBO Max.

May 27, 2021

Perry has drawn attention for his demeanor on camera since several “Friends: The Reunion” cast interviews were published last week, along with a preview video from HBO Max. Some fans said his speech was slurred and commented on his lack of animation.

A source told the Sun, however, that the 51-year-old actor — who has dealt openly over the years with his addiction to alcohol and painkillers — had undergone an emergency dental procedure that day, and it left him in pain.

“That was said to impact his wellbeing and also how he was feeling,” the source told the U.K. paper Tuesday. “He had been in pain from what we understand, which caused the slurred speech.” He reportedly has told friends there’s been no relapse.

In the 17 years since it went off the air, there have been countless offers to revive ‘Friends’ in one way or another. Here’s why it came together now.

May 26, 2021

A Perry publicist didn’t respond to a request for comment Thursday, and the actor’s recent tweets merely promote a new, limited-edition merchandise collection. The two-hour reunion special was filmed in early April.

In the People interview, Perry’s voice is noticeably different than in the past as he describes stealing a cookie jar from the sitcom’s set and giving it to costar Lisa Kudrow and jokes, deadpan, about his chemistry with costars David Schwimmer and Matt LeBlanc being “very, very, very sexual.”

In an “ET” interview that was posted Wednesday on YouTube, Perry is more animated but half his face, especially half his mouth, is clearly affected by something. Still, he manages a few real smiles during the chat.


“Friends: The Reunion” is now streaming on HBO Max.


4:11 p.m. May 27, 2021: This story has been updated with additional information about Matthew Perry pausing his Cameo participation.