Like so many of us, I was blown away by the news that dropped Saturday night. There are a few things that I’ll remember exactly where I was when they happened—9/11 (I was in one of my computer classes in high school), the birth of each of my kids (this is pretty obvious), and the rest involving death. I was bedside in my uncle’s hospital room when we lost him on November 6th, 2016. The other deaths are examples of deaths I never thought would affect me, but boy oh boy, did they. August 11th, 2014 I was cooking dinner while the rest of the family were outside playing and getting the patio table ready for dinner. One of the funniest comedians and actors left us that night—Robin Williams. It wrecked me, not as much as losing my uncle, but it still wrecked me. If the funniest man on the planet can’t take it, what chance do I have? We have learned so much more about what was going on with Robin since we lost him, but it still sits with me to this day.
When we lost Carrie Fisher, I was shocked, yes, but it doesn’t sit with me the way Robin’s did. I thought maybe “OK, it’s Robin, he’s a huge part of your childhood, that explains that”. To this day I don’t know why Carrie’s death doesn’t hit me the way Robin’s did—it should, I’m a huge Star Wars fan. For years at this point, I was under the impression I wouldn’t feel this way about the death of a celebrity again. That all changed on October 28th, 2023 while I was making dinner and enjoying craft night with the family and that news I mentioned at the top of this article dropped to blow me away.
The One Where We Lost a Friend
Matthew Perry, best known as Chandler Bing on NBC’s hit show Friends passed away on Saturday night. I still can’t completely put into words how sad I am about this. And while I think there are more important things to remember Matthew Perry about, we can’t escape what made him a household name. Friends has become a generational show—I watched the series with my uncle (just another thing he and I shared) as a 10-year-old and into my own young adulthood. The show has followed me throughout various relationships and has ultimately become a staple in my own household. A comfort show for all of us, including my kids. It’s a show that will likely outlive all of us, continuing to find new audiences as time goes on. Matthew Perry was such a crucial part of that show working.
The death hits close to home as well because I’ve always found that my uncle and Matthew Perry looked eerily similar. Add the fact that I look eerily similar to my uncle and for most of my mid to late teenage/early adult years, I was compared to Chandler with my sense of humor, well, losing Matthew Perry almost feels like losing my uncle again.
Matthew Perry was More Than Chandler Bing
Matthew Perry was more than a character he played on a hit TV show in the ’90s (and early ’00s). Aside from the other TV shows he’s done over the years (Studio 60, Mr. Sunshine, and Go On stand out as underappreciated shows), he had a fun film career too. The Whole Nine Yards (and its sequel—you guessed it, The Whole Ten Yards), Fools Rush In, and Three to Tango are gems from the mid to late ’90s.
Matthew Perry was more than all those things.
Shamefully, I’ve been sitting on this book since Christmas 2022. It’s part of a pile of books that I’ve been meaning to read, but others have crept into my lap first. And while it’s not at the top of my list to read, I still need time to mourn this loss before I dive in. That said, it’s been no secret that Matthew Perry struggled with addiction and that he was in and out of rehab during his time on Friends. Through all those tough times though, he finally found sobriety. And in sobriety, he found a different calling. He helped people. Other addicts would ask for help and he never blinked an eye to help them, even if he was still struggling himself.
He started the Perry House in Mailbu, a sober living facility for men. The play he wrote, The End of Longing, was his personal message to the world in hopes of helping people dealing with addiction like he was.
Matthew Perry is more than Oscar Madison. More than Oz Oseransky. And, yes, Matthew Perry is more than Chandler Bing. And while Perry understands that most people will remember him from Friends and as Chandler Bing, he would love for that to be after the things he did to try and help other people.
I wish I knew where this originated from. If you happen to know the source, please leave a comment below.
So, is Matthew Perry Really Batman?
View this post on Instagram
Matthew Perry did not fight crime as a vigilante and his recent Instagram behavior about Batman isn’t a cry for help. We all have passions and are part of fandoms—if you’re reading this, you’re likely part of the Friends fandom—and Matthew Perry was no different. He loved Batman. But, thinking about his real-life actions, I think we can safely say that Matthew Perry is as close to a real Batman as we can get. He helped those who struggled, often ignoring his own struggles. If Matthew Perry wasn’t Batman, he was certainly Mattman and he will be sorely missed.
RIP Matthew Perry.