David Schwimmer reveals what it was like working with Marcel in ‘Friends’

"The monkey didn't do its job right"

Friends actor David Schwimmer has revealed what it was like working with Marcel the monkey during his time on the show.

During the recent Friends: The Reunion event, Schwimmer detailed a list of issues when working with Marcel, including the times the monkey missed set cues and occasions when Marcel would eat live grubs whilst sat on Schwimmer’s shoulder.

During the event, he said: “Here is my problem: The monkey, obviously, was trained. It had to hit its mark and do its thing right at the perfect time.


“What inevitably began to happen was we would all have choreographed bits kind of timed out, and it would get messed up, because the monkey didn’t do its job right.

“So we would have to reset, we’d have to go again, because the monkey didn’t get it right.”

Ross Geller and Marcel the Monkey – Credit: Alamy

In the show’s plot, Marcel, who was played by a capuchin called Katie, went to live at a zoo before becoming a huge movie star, appearing in a show with Jean-Claude Van Damme.

Schwimmer also went on to reveal that the trainer used to feed Marcel live grubs during scenes when he was sat on his shoulder. Marcel would then, according to Schwimmer, rub her hands in his hair, meaning he would be covered in the remnants of the grubs.

“I would have monkey grubby hands all over,” he added. “It was just time for Marcel to fuck off!”


Away from Friends, Katie went on to appear in shows including 30 Rock and Sam and Cat alongside Ariana Grande.

Highlights of the Friends reunion special included Schwimmer and co-star Jennifer Aniston confessing to having real-life feelings for each other early in the show’s run, and Lisa Kudrow performing a duet of ‘Smelly Cat’ with Lady Gaga.

Despite the warm reception of the reunion from both cast and fans, Courteney Cox confirmed that the co-stars will never reunite on-screen again.

“Honestly, this will really make me cry, but this will be the last time that we’re ever asked about the show as a group that we will do this,” she said. “Like, we’re not going to do this [again] in 15 more years.”