I see that some longtime fans of “Friends” are shocked that, during the reunion special that’s on HBO Max, the six stars couldn’t remember the particulars of some of the episodes they’d appeared in. Or even the names of characters like Mr. Heckles.
I’m not surprised one bit. Unlike the fan base, the actors haven’t watched and re-watched the show to the point of obsession. They may have never seen the finished product, but rather tried to move on with their careers — some to greater success than others.
While not nearly on that level, I can remember instances of listeners commenting on something I’d done on my radio show (sometimes as recently as a month ago) that I had no memory of whatsoever. That’s especially true of someone coming upon a piece of audio archived on my website that I’ve completely forgotten. Or they’d ask me to name some of my favorite guests and I’d have to think for a moment before coming up with a few names.
There were many times, over the course of forty years on the air, someone on the sales or office staff would stop me in the hallway after the show was over to compliment me on something I’d done that morning. More often than not, I had only a vague memory of it. The reason lay in the vast amount of things I said or did just that day, let alone over a week, a month, or a year. And if I couldn’t remember it the same day, there was no chance I’d retain it further down the line. Like seventeen years later.
For the six “Friends” leads, it’s not a matter of having disliked doing the show from 1994 to 2004, but being separated from it for many years.