MATTHEW Perry was pulled from a terrible sci-fi sitcom to star in Friends in a last minute shake-up.
The 51-year-old actor won a legion of fans around the world for his role as Chandler Bing in the hit NBC sitcom.
🔵 Read our Friends reunion live blog for the latest updates…
But during the Friends reunion show, it was revealed he almost missed out on the role because he was already signed on to another sci-fi sitcom set at LAX airport in the future.
The show was called LAX 2194 and followed “baggage handlers at the L.A. airport in the year 2194".
Friends co-creator David Crane revealed: "I thought Chandler was going to be the easiest part to cast, because it's not just a character, he's got jokes, actual real jokes.
"I thought 'here we go, it's going to be great' but we saw actor after actor and it wasn't funny."
David and fellow show creator Marta Kauffman had worked with Matthew before and she added: "When Matthew reads that dialogue, it sparkles and it comes alive.
"For the first time during the casting process we knew we had a character, and he was the only guy to play it."
A clip was then shown of Matthew on the show, and it was clear to see why the show didn't take off.
David said: "Someone from Warner Bros was actually at the taping of 2194 and thought 'this show is never going… but him in Friends, we'll be OK'.
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"And suddenly it was like, 'there's our Chandler', he spins the lines in a way that's his and there's so many comedy skills there."
Matthew wasn't the only cast member tied to another show as Friends tried to get off the ground.
Jennifer Aniston was already filming a sitcom called Muddling Through and if that had been picked up, Friends would have had to re-film the first few episodes of season one with another actress.
Thankfully it wasn't a success and the star was free to take up the role of Rachel Green, much to the creators' relief.
Friends: The Reunion airs on HBO Max in the US and on Sky and NOW in the UK from today.
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