Once upon a time, in fictional 90’s New York, a young Chandler Bing pulled up the skirt and disgraced a young Susie Moss, causing her to be dubbed ‘Susie Underpants’ until she was 18. This backstory set off a chain of events still celebrated 25 years after it transpired.
In honor of the Superbowl next week, the creators of the cult-classic sitcom Friends got together and talked about a fan-favorite episode – “The One After the Superbowl.”
The episode aired in two parts in 1996, and included a host of guest appearances, including Brooke Shields, Jean Claude Van Damme, and Julia Roberts.
The last guest, however, was roped in by Matthew Perry himself. The actor, known best for playing Chandler on the show, actually convinced Roberts – and he did it by fax.
Friends co-creator Marta Kauffman and Kevin Bright retold the tale to The Hollywood Reporter, detailing how Perry not only convinced her, but also got a ‘flirtationship’ going with their help – also via fax.
Bright explained, “Matthew asked her to be on the show. She wrote back to him, ‘Write me a paper on quantum physics and I’ll do it.’ My understanding is that Matthew went away and wrote a paper and faxed it to her the next day.”
Alexa Junge, who served as Staff Writer, pointed out that though this was business, the approach was anything but – at one point the entire writers’ room was playing wingman for Perry.
“They may have met before the episode, but she was interested in him from afar because he’s so charming,” she said. “There was a lot of flirting over faxing. She was giving him these questionnaires like, ‘Why should I go out with you?’ And everyone in the writers room helped him explain to her why.”
“He could do pretty well without us, but there was no question we were on Team Matthew and trying to make it happen for him,” she continued.
Roberts was sold, and decided to play Susie, Bing’s childhood friend who engages romantically with him only to get back at him for the prank he pulled on her during a school play.
That’s not the end of the story, however, because the on-screen flames hit it off-screen too – Team Matthew’s mission was actually a success. Perry and Roberts made it to the headlines when paparazzi spotted them holding hands in 1996.
“I remember standing with her on the sidelines. She kept saying, ‘Chandler’s so funny!’ And I’m like, ‘I wrote every one of those lines!’ Jeff Astrof, who co-wrote part one of the Superbowl episode, told THR. “I don’t know if she fell in love with Matthew on the spot, but they soon started dating,”
“I felt like Cyrano [de Bergerac],” he joked. “Like, ‘Chandler is going to date Julia Roberts and I’m going to go home to my horrible girlfriend.’ That’s my memory of that episode.”