The following article contains mentions of substance abuse.

“Friends” premiered in 1994 and became one of the most successful and beloved shows of all time. A testament to the sitcom’s legacy was how excited fans became when they heard the core six cast members Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, David Schwimmer, and Matthew Perry were reuniting for “Friends: The Reunion,” a two-hour unscripted event on HBO Max. “It’s funny, when we do get together, it’s like no time has passed,” LeBlanc told People about the reunion. 

Perry has experienced several difficulties since the show stopped airing. It was well-publicized that the man who played Chandler Bing checked himself into a rehabilitation clinic on two occasions while filming “Friends” in both 1997 and 2001, per The Sun. “I had a big problem with alcohol and pills and I couldn’t stop,” he told People in an interview from July 2013. “Eventually things got so bad that I couldn’t hide it, and then everybody knew.”

The actor has publicly spoken about his struggles with addiction throughout the years. In 2011, he released a statement about stepping away from the public eye. “I’m making plans to go away for a month to focus on my sobriety and to continue my life in recovery,” Perry said (via TMZ).

When the cast got together for the reunion show, Perry joked that the old crew found “awkward magic” together, per People. A video of the cast’s reunion gave some fans an awkward feeling, as they worried about the actor’s health. Read on.

If you or anyone you know is struggling with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA’s National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

Matthew Perry recalls taking this keepsake, but fans weren't laughing

After the release of People’s new video ahead of the reunion special, fans became concerned over the perceived status of Matthew Perry’s health, and how he was speaking during the interview. At one point in the behind-the-scenes video, Lisa Kudrow discussed keepsakes she took home from the original set. Perry recalled how he nabbed one particularly memorable item for his co-star. “I stole the cookie jar that had the clock on it, and I gave it to Lisa Kudrow,” the actor said. “Cause she [at] one point looked at it and thought it was a real clock.”

Several fans noted that Perry appeared to have slurred speech, and difficulty fixating his eyes as he spoke about the cookie jar. “It pains me to see Matthew Perry like this, he just seems off, gazing at the void, speaking slowly,” one viewer tweeted. “[H]ate to say it, but I’m sad and scared like hell for Matthew Perry,” another Twitter user added. One fan came to the actor’s defense. “Matthew Perry has gone through so much … don’t lower down his confidence by commenting he is looking this or that [way],” they wrote.

This was not the first time people were concerned about Perry’s health. According to a source at In Touch, several “Friends” cast members, particularly Courteney Cox, were “worried sick about” Perry at the time.

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