Friends is one such sitcom that is still on top of the most-favourite shows list of many. Even today people watch this show and enjoy it like anything. People who have seen the sitcom will remember the two-part Super Bowl episode from 1996 that garnered a historic 56 million viewers. Everyone eagerly watched Chandler naked and afraid in a bathroom stall and Ross expose zoo corruption to find his pet monkey. But the real reason behind co-creator Marta Kauffman behind doing this episode has left us all stunned.
Julia Roberts was also there, as was Chris Isaak in this one. But Marta had a different rationale for agreeing to do the episode, besides the silly cameos and guaranteed to smash ratings.
Speaking to The Hollywood Reported for a new oral history of the episode, Marta Kauffman said that she was more concerned about using the extra hour of screen time to help domestic-abuse victims at their most vulnerable. “I wanted to do it because I had heard a statistic that Super Bowl Sunday is the day associated with the most number of partner abuse,” she explained. “My thinking was that if this helps one woman from being beaten, I’m all for it.”
Marta Kauffman‘s statistic has since been disproven. Elsewhere in the oral history, episode guest actor Jean-Claude Van Damme was described by various writers and producers as “difficult,” “unprepared,” and “arrogant,” whose demands included forcing a PA to bring him Cocoa Puffs cereal. “He arrived at the set three or four hours late and went straight to his trailer,” one executive producer recalled.
On the contrary, Brooke Shields was described as “hitting it out of the park” as a deranged soap-opera fan who stalks Joey. All this, despite her boyfriend at the time, tennis star Andre Agassi, flying into a jealous rage and “eviscerating” Shields when she licked Matt LeBlanc’s hand during a take. “I broke the show for a while, and the girls took Brooke aside and loved her, took care of her, and got her back on that stage,” the episode’s director recalled about Agassi’s behavior. “She did great because of the support of those three. He was a jackass.”
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