you'd be rich

Damn, Imagine If You Were Part of the Cast of Friends

Photo: Tim Robberts/Getty Images

On Thursday, it was widely reported that Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, David Schwimmer, and Matthew Perry were in talks to appear in an hourlong Friends reunion special that would air on HBO Max, the upcoming streaming service that will one day host the Friends series.

Now, I’m not sure if this news is appealing to you. Perhaps the thought of an hourlong Friends reunion special, which is rumored to be “unscripted,” fills you with joy. Maybe you’re thinking: Finally, all of my “friends” will be back together. Maybe you’re thinking: I hope someone says, “PIVOT!” Or maybe you’re thinking: If they don’t say “PIVOT” I hope someone at least says “Mrs. Chanandler Bong.” I’m not sure what you’re thinking. Only you know what is inside of your head.

But what I’m thinking, and what I’d like you to know, is that the amount of money each member of the cast is rumored to be receiving for their participation in this hourlong unscripted reunion special ranges from $2.5 million (according to the Wall Street Journal) to as much as $4 million (according to Deadline). Four million dollars!

Can you imagine this? Obviously accruing that kind of money — the kind of money you’d accrue if you were a member of the cast of Friends — is morally wrong. But … (can you imagine it?) I said it in parentheses to be a little quieter. (Can you imagine how much money you would have if you had been a member of the cast of Friends?!)

I like to imagine things like this frequently. Like: Imagine what it would be like to go to the grocery store as Taylor Swift. You’d be able to get all the bullshit you want. Like kale chips … kale chips cost, what, $7 for the tiniest bag? But if you were Taylor Swift or, more to the point, a member of the cast of Friends, I bet you wouldn’t even have to consider it. You could buy kale chips just for a normal snack. Not even as a special treat.

We’re talking about the multi-million-dollar paycheck for the hourlong unscripted Friends reunion special because it’s a new announcement, but it’s also worth noting that the cast of Friends each holds 2 percent of the sitcom’s syndication rights, which, according to a report from Market Place, earns them about $20 million annually — each. Each of them!

Imagine that? Just like, you were a part of the cast of Friends a hundred years ago, and now you just get enormous checks delivered to your gigantic house. Damn. Maybe that’s a nice place to escape into mentally for a moment. You’re sitting there at your computer, yes, but now pretend you’re sitting there at your computer … having once been a core member of the cast of Friends. Maybe you’ll go out to dinner later and order whatever you want. A couple of the entrées, whatever sounds good. Another cocktail just to taste it. Kale chips for the table. Why not!!!

Of course I’d like to note again that acquiring that sort of wealth should not be allowed for anyone as it is morally unjust and evil. But. Damn.

(Can you imagine?)

Damn, Imagine If You Were Part of the Cast of Friends