Twenty-five years after television audiences first clicked over to Friends, fans still haven’t stopped talking about the NBC series. It easily remains one of the most beloved shows of the 1990s. Fans are still revisiting their favorite episodes even now just to spend time with the six iconic characters.

So the last thing any Friends fan would expect is comparisons between Matthew Perry’s lovable Chandler Bing and Joaquin Phoenix’s unhinged performance in Joker. Yet, here we are.

Matthew Perry on the red carpet | Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic
Matthew Perry on the red carpet | Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic

‘Friends’ fever is hotter than ever

Before we get to what Chandler and the Joker have in common, let’s pause a moment to discuss Friends itself. The series ended its 10-year run in 2004. Yet, it appears to be as ubiquitous as ever.

Fans have been ecstatic any time two or more of the show’s co-stars have bumped into each other. Most recently, Perry grabbed lunch with former TV wife Courteney Cox. Then, reports revealed shortly thereafter how Perry has long harbored feelings for Cox.

Clearly, Friends is having a moment right now. Thanks to streaming, the show has found a whole new audience. Its impending departure from Netflix may even impact the streaming service’s bottom line. So we’ll blame the show’s continued prominence in popular culture for its perceived parallels to Joker.

Could Chandler Bing BE anything like the Joker?

Aside from turning to humor as a defense mechanism, Chandler doesn’t seem like he has a whole lot in common with the DC Comics supervillain. After all, Chandler is about as harmless as they come. It’s a testament to the character’s personality that he has endured the way he has.

Yet, someone on social media has discovered that Chandler and the Joker have a very similar taste in dance moves. While Perry later clarified he didn’t know who made the image, the actor tweeted out a side-by-side comparison of Chandler and the Joker.

The Friends image is lifted from the season 4 episode “The One With All The Wedding Dresses.” Meanwhile, the Joker still, of course, captures his instantly iconic dance alongside a now-famous set of New York stairs. Who knew Joker director Todd Phillips would draw as much inspiration from Friends as Martin Scorsese films?

Are we heading back to Central Perk?

In all seriousness though, Friends fans have a lot more to be excited about than Chandler’s ill-advised dance moves. For years, the cast has addressed rumors about a potential reunion. Now it’s official: the Friends will share the screen for an upcoming HBO Max special.

According to reports, the special will be more of an unscripted special, likely celebrating the show’s continued popularity. So fans hoping for a Friends reboot will likely be disappointed. But then again, the cast — and creators David Crane and Marta Kauffman — probably don’t want to risk tarnishing the show’s legacy in such a way.

What we can expect to see on the special remains a mystery, as the deal is still being worked out. For now, fans of Chandler’s (and the Joker’s) signature dance moves can only hope to see a reprisal whenever the Friends do re-enter Central Perk for the first time in more than 15 years.





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