Matthew Perry almost missed ‘Friends’ reunion special due to surgery

“I couldn’t not show up. So what I chose to do was go and just do the best that I could”

Matthew Perry has said he almost missed appearing on Friends: The Reunion due to emergency dental surgery.

The actor, who played Chandler in the sitcom, reunited with the show’s cast on the HBO special last year, where they revisited the set and reminisced with host James Corden.

Speaking to Diane Sawyer for ABC News, Perry explained that he underwent surgery days prior to the special, which made his mouth “feel like fire”.


“A couple days before that, I had emergency dental surgery, which did all sorts of things,” Perry said.

Matthew Perry
Matthew Perry CREDIT: David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images

“The dental surgery just made my mouth feel like fire and it sounded like my voice was off. And I couldn’t not show up. So what I chose to do was go and just do the best that I could.”

The actor recalls his struggles with substance and alcohol abuse in his memoir, Friends, Lovers, And The Big Terrible Thing. The book begins with the revelation that he almost died aged 49 in 2018, and spent weeks fighting for his life after his colon burst from opioid overuse.

Speaking to People, Perry said: “The doctors told my family that I had a 2 per cent chance to live. I was put on a thing called an ECMO machine, which does all the breathing for your heart and your lungs. And that’s called a Hail Mary. No one survives that.”

The actor recently apologised for comments from the book about Keanu Reeves, after he asked: “Why is that original thinkers like River Phoenix and Heath Ledger die, but Keanu Reeves still walks among us?”


In another extract, Perry claimed he kissed Eddie Van Halen’s wife, Valerie Bertinelli, while the guitarist was passed out drunk.